Dear Sharideth, How do I not lead her on?


Hi Sharideth,
Wondering about your thoughts on ways to kindly communicate to a friend that you are not interested in them. You know, like when you have a pretty good hunch that they are into you, and you kind of secretly enjoy that validation, also know that its not going to happen and have been strung along before and have vowed to reduce the overall douchebaggery in the world and thus never to do that to others?
It seems like the direct approach is a bit presumptuous, but the indirect approach could be even worse.

Not A Douchebag

Dear NAD,

I commend your attempt at reducing douchebaggery. After you do away with leading girls on, can I suggest you go after a ban on deep Vs? Also, big thumbs up for admitting you like the validation of her admiration but aren’t going to use her for it. I think I just heard a collective swoon from my lovely lady readers.

Honestly, this one is hard for me to answer because I don’t know what kind of girl you’re dealing with. Is she the kind that will stay your friend for years in hopes you’ll come around? Because that girl is more common than you think. Is she the type that will get the hint when you ask her advice on asking another girl out? Is she into you but also not going to wait around for you because lame and she’s too confident to do that?

If she’s the first, you have to stop hanging out with her. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s the only way. Any attention from you will be hoarded as hope.

If she’s the second, great. That’s easy. Letting her know you’re pursuing someone else, even a nonspecific someone else, will do the trick. Specific is better though. That way she doesn’t do the girl thing of twisting it her brain to think you’re getting her advice on how to ask her out.

What? Don’t get mad at me, ladies. We’ve all done it.

There’s also a possibility you can keep the friendship with no weirdness, but that will be up to her. If she stops interacting with you, let her go.

The third is my favorite. She’s decided you’re someone who she’d like to have along in her life, but has embraced her own self worth enough to not need you or wait around for you. She may end being one of your best friends and a true confidant. Just let her know you appreciate her friendship. She’ll get it. She’s also the one you could straight up tell you only feel friendship for if the subject comes up. She can take it.

Under no circumstances, no matter what kind of girl you’re dealing with, do you tell her you want to meet someone like her. That sounds like a compliment to you, but trust me, no bueno. That will either make her desperate for you because you just don’t realize yet how much you love her *sighgaspOMG* or it will make her want to cut your nether regions to ribbons.

Oh so sincerely,


Ladies, what would make you understand you are kindly, but firmly friendzoned?


13 comments on “Dear Sharideth, How do I not lead her on?

  1. Michelle says:

    Be honest with her on how you feel period. If she feels you will still make a good friend she will stick around.

  2. Jenn says:

    I think it comes down to being consistent with your activities, language and action. If you are JUST friends and want to stay just friends, then you shouldn’t be doing consistent one on one activities like a weekly movie night, and you should be very careful with how you talk to her because it can quickly can come across like you are looking for emotional support or you’re dropping hints that she’s the one and you’re just shy and lastly know where your physical boundaries are – if you’re a hugger you best be hugging everyone and not just her.

    I will say that this was an issue in my early twenties, I had lots of guy friends, that I liked, who would suggest we hang out, normally it would be a movie or dinner, all the standard date activities and they would want to cuddle or have that verbal affirmation about how awesome they were, it would continue on until they decided to actually date someone and then I would find myself having a conversation that we were just friends. I found they wouldn’t change, so I did, it get things laid out on the table as soon as possible.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Sharideth, I think you might be my spirit animal. Or maybe my patronus. Take your pick.

    I agree. If you’re getting clingy, desperate vibes you need to firmly but politely shut it down Liz Lemon style. If she’s one of Sharideth’s favorite types, she’ll take the hint and graciously back out. No harm, no foul.

    Just pick your route and stick to it and you’ll be fine.

  4. Jamie says:

    My favorite answer you give starts with “Just let her know…”

  5. Soul Walker says:

    Reducing douchebaggery is a great turn of phrase and idea.

  6. Good stuff… and the ‘just letting her know’ is a good route to go. We won’t break… and better sooner than later, I think. It doesn’t have to be awkward at all. And it just makes the friendship that much better when you’re not left wondering.

  7. bornsirius says:

    I agree with all the other ladies – just let her know! That’s the mature adult thing to do. I’m not going to fall apart if it turns out someone doesn’t like me.

  8. […] clicked on one of my tags and I stumbled upon this.  It shouldn’t be a coincidence that it was in the results, but it couldn’t have been […]

  9. Scotty says:

    Eek. I disagree with the idea of letting her know for the same reason the letter writer did (maybe a tad presumptious). I had a guy friend take me out to breakfast at a nice restaurant just to tell me he only thought of me as a friend and “we would never happen.” Especially since I hadn’t had feeling for him, it became a really awkward situation for us both.

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