Hello. I’ve recently gotten into this situation with a co-worker of mine and I don’t really know how to handle it. I have a strong feeling she likes me based on personal information that she’s texted me, and the hugs we exchange when we greet each other (I hug some of my other female friends so this isn’t some different scenario). She has never officially told me that she has feelings for me, but I want to let her down early on so it doesn’t look like I’m leading her on. She is very nice and I would like to stay friends with her, but I’m just not interested in a relationship. She texts me every now and then, which just makes me feel a little more awkward since I am disinterested in a relationship. Can you please help me?
Not Interested Nick
Dear Not Interested Nick,
I think you are totally right to be aware of her feelings and not lead her on. This can be difficult, especially if she has not point blank told you that she has feelings for you. I would be cautious in how you approach telling her you are not interested, as it could come off as being presumptuous or arrogant. An easy way to do this is to not be as responsive to her text messages. You do not have to respond every time she texts you, especially if they do not elicit a response. If she is just texting you something that came across her mind, for example, and not a specific question, then you do not always have to respond. Engaging in texting conversation will only tell her that you are interested.
Unless she officially tells you that she has feelings for you or makes a move, then I would not say anything to her. If you start seeing someone, you can always casually bring it up to her in conversation. Unless you flirt with her, hook up with her, or hang out with her a lot one-on-one, then I do not think you are leading her on. If you simply treat her the way you treat your other female friends, then it is not up to you to change how she feels about you. At a certain point, hopefully she figures it out and moves on. In the meantime, just keep her at a distance and always be friendly and polite.
You can also refer to a previous post I have written on a similar situation here.
Hope this was helpful!
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more questions!