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PQ: How do I tell a boy I don't like him?

PQ: How do I tell a boy I don't like him?
How do you tell a boy you don't like him as a boyfriend?

You might like a certain boy, but he likes someone else. Then there may be a boy who likes you, but you don't like him "in that way." It happens a lot in the middle school years — and beyond. But what do you do, especially if you feel put on the spot to tell a boy whether you like him or not?

The first rule is to imagine yourself in his position. It doesn't feel good to learn someone doesn't find you equally fascinating and wonderful. But you can't lie about it either.

It's always OK to be honest about how you feel. But ignoring him, telling him to go away, or telling a friend to tell him "No way!" would definitely hurt his feelings.

So what do you do? If you're honest, he will probably be disappointed. But if you're honest without being mean, that's much better for you both.

Try this approach, which involves giving him a small compliment: "You're a [insert compliment here: smart, funny, nice, etc.] guy, but I like you just as a friend, not a boyfriend. I hope you're OK with that."

Good luck and we hope that works!

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: June 2013

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