What to do if a friend asks you out when you want to date someone else?

sazuna45 asks: My friend A told me she likes one of my other friends, B. They keep on flirting with each other, I think they’re inches away from dating. Meanwhile, one of our besties, C, asks her out! And A doesn’t know what to do. She can’t say ‘yes’ cause she likes B, and if she says ‘no’ then their friendship is going to turn awkward, because they’re really close. What should she do???

Hi sazuna45 –


Wow, you do come up with the most amazing situations!  You’re such a good writer, I wonder if you’ll find a way someday to put these adventures of your friends and you into a novel, a play, or a screenplay!


But in the meantime, again, you’re being a great friend.


Okay, so A is in a serious quandary!  She likes this B, who clearly likes her back, but there’s C asking her out.  I’d say there are two ways she can go.


The first is to be completely open with C.  To tell him that she really likes him, but as a friend, and that she has feelings for B.  And I certainly understand her concern that doing that would alter her relationship with C, to at least make it uncomfortable.


The second is to say yes and go out with C, and see how it affects B.  If it makes him jealous, and he gets the guts to tell A that he wants to go out with her too, then she can win him.  And if it doesn’t make him do anything, she can figure that maybe all that flirtation with B really meant nothing, to him at least, and she’ll have a nice guy to go out with.


Of course, the problem with that is C.  And that’s where my real feelings lie.  You see, I’ve seen Handsome go out with lots of women.  They show up, they leave, sometimes they stay friends.  But there’s only one Me in his life.  And he works very hard to make sure I know that I always matter, even when he falls head-over-heels in love (which he has a bad habit of doing!).


And C’s like me, isn’t he?  I mean, in the sense that he’s a “bestie.”  So my sense is that A’s job is to keep C’s friendship no matter what.


Which makes me suggest that she go for the first option.  To tell C that she’s flattered that he wants to ask her out, that she absolutely adores him and cares about him and wants him in her life.  But that, right now, she has this big crush on B.


You see, the funny thing is, that’s not really a rejection.  It hurts when someone tells you “I won’t go out with you because I feel nothing for you and I’d rather stay home and watch TV than be seen with you,” even if they don’t speak those exact words!  But it doesn’t hurt at all to be told, “I think you’re great, but I’m dating someone else,” or especially “I think you’re great but I’m married!”  And what she’d be telling C is almost like that.


Now there’s one daring thing she could do, if she wants.  She could put it straight in B’s face:  “Hey, C asked me out.  Do you want to go out with me?  Because if you do, you’d better ask me out right now, or else I’m going out with C!”  But I don’t know for sure how that would work out.


So probably the best idea is for her to just be really honest with C, and let him be a bit disappointed.  But then she has a major job on her hands.  And that is that it is Her Responsibility to make C feel good about what happened.  There’s a really good chance he’ll feel embarrassed, like he shouldn’t have asked her out, and feel he needs to avoid her.  It’s her job to keep that from happening.  She should make it really clear to C that she wants exactly the relationship she’s had with him in the past.  Or even better.  She could invite him to go out to a movie with you and her.  And give him a hug the next time she sees him at school, and make sure she eats lunch with him.  The truth is, what he did is brave, and a huge compliment to her.  If she can let him know that she sees him that way, he’ll be a better friend than before.  And she can feel great.


And the really funny thing is, if she does that, and B sees how friendly she is with C, that might just be enough to get him to GET OFF HIS TAILBONE AND ASK HER OUT!  Which is really what we’re after here!







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