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I went on a few dates with a woman I was interested in at the time. After the fourth date, she decided we should just be friends, which I was okay with. That happened about a month ago. Since then, we've hung out several times a week (3-4 times a week), which I've enjoyed. I'm no longer interested in her romantically, but I do like being her friend.

However, whenever we're alone, she seems to get uncomfortable. I think she may still believe I am interested in her. I've tried to dissuade her of this opinion by going on other dates and trying to be as casual as I can around her. I haven't outright stated I'm not interested in her anymore, because I figured that would be a really rude thing for me to say.

Typically, when we hang out, we're at her place. Normally, we watch a movie or TV series. If we're not doing that, we're typically playing a group game with some friends. I've noticed when we're watching a movie, she'll switch couches, get up and eat something, etc. She also avoids physical contact, like hugs and things like that.

Question: What can I do to help make the situation less awkward for her? I really enjoy our friendship and the fun we have together.

closed as too broad by scohe001, sphennings, baldPrussian, curiousdannii, Masked Man May 26 '18 at 14:54

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Are you genuinely fully mutually in the friend zone, or does part of you hold out hope? Do you normally do physical contact with your male friends? – Harper May 25 '18 at 18:37
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    I'm not holding out hope. I'm known to be a hugger between all my friends. – Joe-You-Know May 25 '18 at 18:39
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    What's awkward about getting up to eat while watching TV? Sounds normal to me. Are you projecting? Some people just have nervous energy and aren't "known huggers." – MarkHu May 25 '18 at 22:11
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    I don't know, it feels like it's because I'm there, alone with her, that she gets up to do these things. For example, insisting that I stay put while she gets us drinks or food. I naturally want to help, but she kind of quickly rejects my help and I just sit there. Honestly, I just try to have fun when I'm with her or any of my other friends. – Joe-You-Know May 25 '18 at 22:18
  • @Joe-You-Know Have you taken into consideration that insisting that guests stay put while the host goes to get something to drink or eat for the guest could just be hospitatily? (I do that). And that her switching the couch could be for maximum comfort for herself? – Kaspar Scherrer May 26 '18 at 11:54
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You said that when you're alone:

"she'll switch couches, get up and eat something, etc. She also avoids physical contact, like hugs and things like that."

This sounds a lot like she's trying to avoid giving you any sort of false hope or false indication that she's interested in you. You agreed to just be friends, and if you're hanging out alone this frequently it seems apparent she really does enjoy your company - but she probably wants to make sure she doesn't give you the wrong idea. Thus, she avoids physical contact (which some people don't enjoy with anyone, FWIW), she avoids sitting too close to you for too long, etc.

The best thing you can do is be patient and give it time. Continue to act as you normally would with her, showing her what you have to offer in a friendship. Allow her to take whatever distance she needs while showing your character. With time she will grow more and more comfortable that she can trust that her actions won't be mistook for a signal of romantic interest.

While there are ways you could speak directly to her about these moments of awkwardness, I'd honestly advise against it unless this issue persists over time. If she really is trying to avoid giving off any mixed signals, confronting her about it could potentially make her even more guarded around you.

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Follow her lead.

It seems like she prefers to keep some physical distance between the two of you; you can avoid a lot of the awkwardness by keeping that physical distance yourself.

It's perfectly normal for platonic friends watching a movie or something together to have separate parts of the same room.

Sit on a different couch/chair, avoid hugs, etc - even if you're a known hugger, you're getting signals that at this moment that is not appreciated. If you are not picking up on those things as signals to give her some space she is likely to assume you are doing that intentionally.

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I upvoted the other answers because they're good, but I feel they're not direct enough. I've had several of these experiences in my life - on both ends - and the best thing that has worked for me is being direct.

She said she just wants to be friends. You agree with that. Why not reinforce the idea that you're okay with that fact by saying something along the lines of:

Hey XYZ, I just want you to know that I really enjoy our friendship and want to make it clear that I'm not interested in anything beyond that.

I've had positive reactions from making this kind of statement, and have reacted positively to it. There was a girl I was really interested in a few years ago, but a difference in religious beliefs (which are very important to her) put the brakes on anything further than friendship. She explained to me her feelings and I accepted it, and we're still good friends to this day.

Being open and honest is always a good policy. However, if you choose this approach you should know that some people are averse to this kind of direct attitude, and you may put her off. It's up to you to judge whether or not a direct approach would be useful for this particular case, or if a more abstract approach as suggested in Jess' and Bryan's answers would work better.

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Take a page out of the womens play book. Instead of saying that you are not interested in her romantically anymore (which I agree sounds somewhat wrong to state outright unless asked), use these two things that women regularily employ to make it clear to a guy that he is solidly in the friend zone:

  1. State what a great friend she is. Since you didn't state your country, this works best if your native language has two different words for friends and girlfriends. But the basic principle applies in any language. Use "friendship" in english, for example. "I really enjoy our friendship." - if you ever hear that from a women, you are 100% in the friend zone and never getting out. Use the same kind of phrases.

  2. Discuss other romantic interests you have with her, ask for her advise, etc. - when you become her wingman or she yours, you are so much out of being a potential candidate, words don't do it justice.

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