1. Offer him relationship advice
During conversations, you could consider giving him advice on how he should consider dating someone from your mutual social circles who you think he would get along well with.
Encourage him to approach her and ask her out for a date because you think both of them have a lot in common.
This way, you could subtly play matchmaker while letting him know politely that he should consider investing his time and efforts on someone else. While doing this, remember not to have any discussions with him about your crush or new love interest since that would be like rubbing salt in his wounds.
2. Avoid hanging out with him alone
While it is fairly common for friends to hangout in groups of two, if you make it a habit to meet him for coffee or dinner alone, he might get the wrong idea. The last thing you want him to assume that your friendly coffee session was a date.
To avoid any such misunderstandings, you need not stop hanging out with him altogether, especially if you enjoy his company. Instead, invite your mutual friends and try hanging out in groups with him as far as possible.
3. Don’t show any form of physical affection
It is fairly common for friends to hug, playfully nudge or push each other and sometimes, even hold hands. If you’re aware he is into you, consciously avoid any form of physical contact like hugging or touching him during conversations.
By doing so, you will only give him mixed signals and false hope that you might want to be his girlfriend.
4. Tell him how much you value him as a friend
Once you have consciously made the effort not to send any mixed signals and not lead him on, tell him how you are glad he is a part of your life as a friend.
Let him know how you think of him as a sibling or how he reminds you of one of your family members. The key is to communicate with him that you see him as family.
5. Just be honest with him
If none of these tactics work and he still continues you compliment you on how beautiful you look or is persistent in trying to ask you out on a date, just be honest about how you feel. Many people dread having ‘The Talk’ and go up to great lengths to avoid it hoping he will just get the hint.
By doing so, it could only result in hurting his feelings and potentially, even losing him as a friend. Have a private conversation with him and tell him how you love hanging out with him, but only as a platonic friend.
Though he might look hurt during this conversation, he will eventually be able to deal with the situation a lot better and even continue being your friend since he will grow to respect you for your honesty. Tired of being friendzoned?