Should you be friends with someone who “only wants to be friends”

Nicnak asks: Dear Shirelle, There is this boy that I like, and he is a year older than me. We have been talking a lot, and he found out I liked him. He said he likes me in a way, but doesn’t want to date a person a year younger than him. Do you think I should just be friends with him?

Hi Nicnak –


Thanks for your question.  You’re actually in a kind of funny situation, because normally boys like to date girls a year or so younger than them.  It actually makes a lot of sense, as girls mature earlier than boys, so very often a girl of, say, 15 is a better match for a boy of 16 than of a boy her own age!


But given what he’s told you, I think you’re asking the wrong question.  It’s not “should” you be just friends with him, as much as it’s can you.  He’s saying he likes you, and it sounds like he’s saying he’d like to be your friend.  He has a rule against dating girls your age, so… I think it’s really up to you.  If you are able to be his friend, then both of you can be happy and move on.  But if it would be too painful for you to be with him and not have a romantic relationship, then perhaps you need to step away.


But I will throw one thought in.  Maybe today he has this rule about not dating girls younger than he is… but what about tomorrow, or next month, or next year?  Might he change his mind over time?  Now that thought might lead you either direction:  you could think it’d be great if he knew you better and valued your friendship and then fell in love with you – or you could think he’ll take you for granted if you’re already friends, and never look on you as someone he’d want to date.


But either way, I’d suggest you include that thought in your decision!


Good Luck!



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