She Just Wants To Be Friends: Should I Give Up Trying To Date Her?
By: Jon Jaehnig
Updated March 02, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Robin Brock
To put it bluntly- it's probably for the best that you stop trying to date her, for several reasons.
Read on about how to go about it and what to do next.
She Just Wants To Be Friends
And that's okay. She has the right to make that decision. That doesn't mean that you have to stop being friends, or that you should stop being friends.
What it means is that, for her sake and yours, you should give up trying to date here.
It's probably not just you. In fact, you should ask her - respectfully and without pressure - why she doesn't want to date you. She might have a dozen reasons ranging from she's not interested in a relationship right now; she's not attracted to people of your gender, she's focusing on her career or education, etc.
Or maybe it is you. But that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Maybe she values you as a friend. Maybe she doesn't want to date people that she goes to school or work with. You never know until you ask. After all, it's not likely to be something like she doesn't like your personality. If it were that she wouldn't want to be friends either. The good news is that - take a deep breath - it's not the end of the world.
Reasons To Give Up
We're Americans. We don't like hearing the words "give up." Giving up is what losers do. It's also what decent people do when they realize that their desires are not in the common interest.
If you respect her at all as a person, you'll give up trying to date her once she's made it clear that she's not interested - not just for her good, but for yours as well. If you respect her as a person, you should also give up trying to date her. But for the rest of this article, I'll assume you're a decent person.
It's What She Wants
This has to be reason number one. That's why we've already said it - a couple of times.
Everyone gets to choose who they don't want to date. If she doesn't want to date you, you need to respect that. Give up these ideas that her not wanting to date you somehow impinges on your rights to choose who you want to date and be glad that she wants to stay friends.
She's Your Friend
That brings us to reason number two: she's your friend. You probably learned a long time ago that sometimes we need to compromise to keep our friends.
If you like her, be glad that she still wants to be friends and remember that she probably won't want to be friends if you keep pursuing a romantic relationship with her against her wishes.
It's Good For You
Reason three is also about your benefit. If you're ready for a relationship and she's not interested, you're more likely to find someone who is if you stop holding out for her.
Because she's your friend already, she might seem like low hanging fruit when it comes to a relationship, and it might seem like leaving that behind to pursue other people is a bit of a step backwards. However, she's not interested. Opening your mind to finding people who interested will probably speed things along for you. Going after her is probably just preventing you from forming meaningful relationships with other people.
She Might Change Her Mind…
I'm not saying that this is why you should give up. If you give up in the hopes that she'll come around, you haven't given up.
I'm just saying, you wanted to date her because you were friends and maybe she doesn't feel that way now but maybe she might - if you give her space and see where the friendship takes you.
Again, the idea isn't to sit around, waiting for her to change your mind. You should still be open to the idea of other relationships. This is also one way to test your friendship. If she's a friend she'll be supportive during your other relationships, and if you're a friend, you'll be able to maintain healthy relationships with other people while still being friends with her.
What To Do
So far, we've been focusing on her emotional needs. You should be respectful of her emotional needs, but you have emotional needs too.
So, now that you've decided to give up trying to date her, here are some things that you can do to make sure that your needs are being met.
Focus On Yourself
As mentioned above, she's probably avoiding a relationship to focus on herself. It probably wouldn't hurt you to do the same.
That doesn't mean that you have to commit to staying out of relationships, it just means that maybe you're putting too much emphasis on finding one.
Spend Time With Friends
A lot of men are interested in romantic relationships for support. However, this support can come from non-romantic relationships - even with other men.
Creating more meaningful relationships in your life won't only satisfy some of the emotional needs that you might associate with romantic relationships, it will also make you better at romantic relationships once you find one.
As we've mentioned, giving up on trying to date your friend doesn't mean that you need to give up on dating. After all, looking for a new partner can be a fun and exciting experience.
Just consider looking in new places - maybe at people that you don't already know. And remember, if you need a romantic relationship to be happy, it's probably because you're not happy with yourself.
Break It Off
You shouldn't jump to the conclusion that if she doesn't date you, you shouldn't be friends. However, if you decide that your feelings for her are so strong that you can't be her friend while respecting her wishes, it might be the right thing to do. Further, you may find that maintaining your friendship with her makes it difficult for you to have meaningful relationships with other people and that's not good for anyone.
If you do decide to stop being her friend, it's important to explain why you feel like it's a good idea. If she can be strong enough to tell you that she can't date you, she should be strong enough to hear that you can't be her friend - especially if your reasons for not being friends are noble and honest.
Talk To A Therapist
To be clear, just because your friend didn't want to date you doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you. Of course, there doesn't need to be anything wrong with you for you to benefit from talking to a therapist. Chances are, we'd all be better off if we saw therapists. (Is there a never-ending chain of therapists doing therapy with other therapists?)
However, as mentioned above, if you feel a strong need for a relationship, it could be a sign that you need emotional support that you aren't already getting, and a therapist may be able to offer that support.
Talk To A Relationship Therapist
You're probably thinking, "I can't go to a relationship therapist, I'm not in a relationship, remember?" I remember. However, similar to how you don't need to have a mental health problem to see a therapist, you don't need to have a partner to see a couples' counselor.
Just like talking to a therapist when you don't have a mental health issue can still help you become a happier and healthier person, talking to a relationship counselor without being in a relationship can help you to understand what you want from a relationship and how to start on the path to building a strong and healthy relationship with someone right for you. Further, not having been in a relationship with your friend doesn't mean that you aren't allowed to have thoughts or feelings that a relationship counselor may be able to help you work through.
If you're interested in talking to a therapist, talk to your regular care provider. They may be able to help you find therapists and resources in your community and may even be able to give you a referral that will help your insurance pay for your therapy.
If you're interested in relationship counseling, your doctor might not be able to help you. However, picking up the phonebook or making a quick web search can help you find couples counselors near you.
Depending on where you live, you might not have easy access to a relationship counselor. Or, you may not want to receive relationship counseling from someone that you're likely to just run into.
There is an alternative to talking to a relationship counselor one-on-one, and that's talking to a relationship counselor over the internet.
This idea might seem strange to you but think about it. You talk with other people who are close to you over chat, over the phone, or video. Why not talk to a relationship counselor in this way? Talking to a relationship counselor over the internet is more private, more convenient, and more affordable than seeing a relationship counselor face-to-face. For more information about how meeting with an online relationship counselor can help you, visit https://regain.us/start/.
The takeaway from this article is that the best thing to do is to respect your friend's wishes and stop trying to pursue a romantic relationship with her if that isn't what she wants but that that doesn't mean that your emotional needs have to go by the wayside. You are allowed to have feelings for your friend and about this situation, but there are healthier and more productive ways for you to deal with those feelings than pursuing her.