When not to force a friendship into a relationship

Sometimes friendships just don’t work out. They either become real or they fade away. Either way, it’s not your fault.

It’s important to understand that true friendships happen naturally. When you try to force a friendship, it will never turn out as you want it to. This article will discuss 8 things to remember when trying to avoid forcing a friendship into a relationship.

Don’t Make the First Move

If you want to take it slow, there are ways to let your friend know that you are interested in a deeper friendship without coming off as clingy. For example, you can simply text them and invite them to coffee, drinks, or another fun activity where you both can get to know each other better.

It’s also a good idea to float some of your interests and see how they respond. For instance, if you have been wanting to try a new fitness class or read a certain book, mention it and see if they seem interested in doing it with you.

In the event that you decide to move forward and turn your friendship into a relationship, it’s best to do so in private with a mutually agreed upon time and date. Doing this can prevent misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and even further complications down the line. Also, this will give you the time to make a decision that is right for both parties.

Don’t Be a Space Filler

It can be hard to let go of a romantic relationship, but if you are constantly forming new friendships with guys who just want “a filler girl,” it may be time to move on. Essentially, you’re doing this because you are not fully over your ex and don’t feel ready to separate your lives from one another or let someone else enter your emotional world again.

Fully processing a breakup can take months or even years, and it is important to give yourself time before committing to another relationship. If you find yourself avoiding social media or avoiding your old haunts, it is probably a sign that you need more space. Attempting to rekindle a romance with your ex can be toxic for everyone involved, so only engage when it feels good.

Don’t Forget About Other Friends

In a healthy friendship, each person does their part to communicate and support one another. If your friend isn’t making time for you, ignoring your texts and calls, or failing to show up for coffee dates or other fun hangouts, this is a sign they aren’t giving it their all.

If you’re concerned about their commitment to the friendship, ask them if they want to try something different for a while to see if that helps. Pointing out a common interest like a shared love of camping, sushi, or rap music can help paint the picture that you both want to make the relationship work.

In addition, if your friend’s focus is on trying to bring you down or criticizing perceived failures, this isn’t a true or supportive friendship. Friends should lift us up and never make you feel bad about yourself or your achievements. These toxic friendships are often rooted in competitive behaviour, and can be hard to spot.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Sometimes you have to say No, even if you care about the person and want the friendship to last. But if you have to decline an invitation, try to wrap it around something positive. For example, if they invite you to go to a concert and you don’t like loud places, say that you’re hoping for an opportunity to hang out in a different setting or with a different group of friends.

It’s important to set boundaries and not let your friends overstep them. But if you are having trouble saying No, don’t worry. Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, who has been featured on TV, offers tips for learning to say No in a kind and respectful way.

Miscommunication is a major factor in many relationship problems and your tone of voice can make your No sound harsh, even when that is not your intention. So make sure to communicate clearly and in a way your friend will understand.