The following is a guest post by Michaela

So he likes you, huh? Maybe he professed his “like” for you to your face. Maybe asked you out? Or perhaps your best friend found out and just told you. Or you found out through your friend’s best friend’s cousin at school, co-op, or youth group? And you don’t like him back, am I right?

You’re probably feeling one of two ways right now: disgust or dismay.

You might feel disgusted because, let’s be honest and real, you can’t stand the guy! He’s gross and annoying and sometimes downright rude! He runs up behind you all the time and pokes your sides! Or he says you throw the basketball around like it’s a dying goose…in front of all your friends!

But you might feel dismayed because you’re actually good friends with this guy. You’ve gotten to know each other through similar circles of people. You’re just friends, and, as far as you’re concerned, that’s all you’ll ever be. You see him more like a brother, and how could you like your brother (in that way)? Insert the “Yuck” emoji!

How can you possibly handle this dreadful and totally embarrassing situation? How do you tell a guy that you don’t feel the same way toward him? And how should a Christian respond to this in a way that is honoring to God and Christ-like?

Today, I’m going to give you two ways that we girls typically handle an unwelcome crush. I’m going to show which one is the best for handling this situation in a Christ-like manner, and I’m also going to give you some examples from my life and how I learned from them.

How to Respond with Godliness When You Don’t Like Someone Back

It's hard to know how to properly turn down a guy when you don't return his crush, so here's how to respond with godliness when you don't like someone back.

1. The ignore and avoid method.

This is probably the most common method among us girls. We don’t know how to handle confrontation and the awkwardness, so we ignore and avoid the person.

This is honestly NOT the best way to respond when you don’t like a guy back. Whether you’re friends or you can’t stand the guy, ignoring and avoiding him is rude. It makes you look like a jerk, and it is not a Christ-like way to respond.

Paul tells us in Romans 12:16 says to “live in harmony with one another.” If you are ignoring and avoiding someone, you are not obeying God’s Word. And honestly, it makes you look immature.

I can honestly say that I have done this. In most cases, I’m not proud of it. It was not considerate or kind of me.

However, there was one incident where it was the only method that worked (sort of).

During my freshman year at college, a guy in my show choir class kept trying to get me to go out with him. I refused to give him my number at least twice, and I turned down his request to go to a concert with him (thank the Lord I was actually going to be out of town that weekend!). He would wait for me to leave class with one of my other friends, and he would attempt to follow me to my car.

It came to a point where avoiding him, even hiding in the ladies’ restroom, was the only option.

My professor, a few other classmates, and my family were aware of the awkwardness and apprehension I was feeling. But the situation had not quite escalated to where I needed to get them involved. He eventually left me alone after the majority of the semester, but avoiding and ignoring him was the method that worked. I must also point out that he wasn’t a Christian either, and that was the number one reason I wouldn’t go out with him.

There are times when this may be the only method, even if you’ve tried another, more direct method.

When he won’t leave you alone, sometimes this is the only way to get him to do so. If this is the case, your parents or another trusted adult needs to be involved. If it moves on to an obsession or he begins stalking you, then I encourage you to get the police involved. But that is only when you and those close to you feel you are in danger.

In all other, normal circumstances, it is best to not use the ignoring and avoiding method.


2. The “just tell him” method

I asked my brother and one of his friends how they would prefer being told that a girl didn’t like them back. Their reply: “Just tell me straight up.” Don’t dance around the issue. Don’t ignore him. Just be honest with him.

Now, don’t crush him with your reply.

There is a right and a wrong way to tell a guy you don’t like him. One way will honor God and still maintain a friendship. The other will destroy any hopes of a friendship, and it will not reflect God’s love and compassion.

Ladies, just because a guy likes you and you don’t like him back does not give you the right to be rude to him.

Guys have feelings too. And most of us girls don’t realize how much influence and power we have over those feelings. When a guy likes you or is interested in dating you and he voices his thoughts and feelings, you hold his heart in your hands.

Guys aren’t used to expressing those kinds of feelings out loud. How you respond and what you say to him can build him up or tear him down. Be VERY careful how you phrase your reply!

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

The wrong way to handle this situation would be to retract in horror and say something along these lines: “Oh my goodness! No way! I don’t like you like THAT! You’re like my brother or something.” Please, please, please do not EVER respond to a guy this way!

One, it’s simply immature. And honestly, you’re showing him that you are most definitely not ready for a relationship. Two, it’s extremely harsh and completely lacking in any sympathy or consideration for him. You are not thinking before you speak, and you are not speaking in a way that is encouraging.

Ephesians 4:29 says tells us this: “Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” You must respond with grace when telling a guy you’re not interested.


But sometimes that is easier said than done.

Trust me; I know.

I’m an extremely awkward person, and stuff like this throws me for a crazy loop. But I’ve learned that more this has happened, but easier it gets (kinda lol). And to show you what this looks like, I’m going to tell you about an example from my own life…one that ironically happened very recently. (Perfect timing, right?)

So there’s this guy (and yes, I totally started my story out with the classic beginning! #sorrynotsorry). I’ve known this guy for about two years. He is a kind, godly man, and he truly loves the Lord, but I’m just not interested.

I suspected he liked me a little over a year ago, but he never acted on it. When I started my long distance relationship last year, he found out and stopped contacting me. I haven’t seen or heard from him in a year.

A few weeks ago he came into the store I work for. We talked for about ten minutes, catching up on life. He texted me about a week or so later to see when I would be working so I could help him find what he was looking for, which was fine. He came to my store three times in a week…but honestly, it couldn’t be helped. His store order go messed up.

The third day, after talking for a few minutes and giving him his corrected order, followed by a few moments of awkward silence, he asked me if I wanted to grab coffee sometime.

I’ll be honest; inside, I panicked.

I had been kinda expecting this all week, but not really. How was I going to handle this? It was awkward. I don’t like him like that. How has he not figured this out? And oh my gosh! I’m having to live out an example that goes perfectly with the blog post I’m writing! All I can say is that God sure has a funny sense of timing.

So, how did I respond? With honesty.

The first words that popped out of my mouth (after about 20 seconds of shocked silence) were “I don’t know.” Yep. Enter the queen of awkwardness at her finest.

To cover that up, I continued to be honest, yet gentle and gracious. I told him that I had just broken off a year-long relationship only a month ago and that I wasn’t ready to “be on the market” just yet. I told him that I needed time and I simply wasn’t ready to even consider another relationship.

{For those of you who have read my previous posts on long distance relationships (here and here) you should know that I no longer am in one. But that’s a story for another time…soon to come.}

He responded so graciously. He told me that he understood and that he respected the fact that I needed time. And he actually texted me later than night and apologized for catching me off guard. I thanked him and then told him that I would be okay with meeting him only as a friend, if he was okay with that. And he was!

By handling the situation delicately and being careful with my words, I was able to keep the friendship maintained and was even able to find a way for it to grow.

I didn’t respond by completely shutting him down. I did not tear him down or act immaturely. Awkwardly, yes, but maturely.

I made sure to be honest in a loving way that focused on protecting his feelings, building him up, and striving for friendship. I followed the Apostle Paul’s instruction to “be kind to one another [and] tenderhearted…” (Ephesians 4:32). I strove to make peace with him. Jesus told His disciples in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).


I encourage you to think carefully about your responses to guys, especially to those who show or voice interest in you and you don’t reciprocate it.

Pray and ask God to give you the wisdom to respond in a Christ-like manner, putting on grace, gentleness, and encouragement.

Seek godly counsel as well, from your mom or another wise woman, and ask them to guide you and pray for you.

I hope this was encouraging and helpful! As always, it is pleasure to share with y’all! Feel free to comment below! I would love to hear how this helped you, or if you have any other tips to add from your own experiences!


P.S. For some comedy relief and some answered questions about guys, check out this awesome video from Blimey Cow. The last item talked about in the video ties into my topic for today.

IMG_5122Hi y’all! I’m a 22-year old college student, born and raised in the heart of Texas! I’m completely obsessed with all things having to do with weddings! On that note, I’m slowly starting my own wedding planning business (yay!).

I love all kinds of music, historical fiction books by Melanie Dickerson, Carry Grant movies (if your my age, you probably don’t know who Carry Grant is, but even so, your movie life has been gravely deprived of pure awesomeness!), “The Lord of the Rings” movies, dragons, and tiny puppies!

Above all, I love serving and following Jesus, and I can’t wait to see all the crazy, wonderful things He has planned for me on my life adventure!

Read more Joy Because Grace guest posts by Michaela.

This post topic idea was dropped in the Joy Because Grace post suggestion box. To my anonymous friend, thanks so much for your suggestion!

4 thoughts on “How to Respond with Godliness When You Don’t Like Someone Back

  1. Kayla

    Hi, I’m 17 and this guy who’s 15 and goes to my church has a crush on me, and ever since I found out I’ve been kind of doing the avoiding thing. He’s a nice guy, but he’s got some personality traits that I don’t like. And he was t getting the hint from the avoiding thing- and it’s been making me feel really guilty. How should I tell him gently that I don’t like him in that way (I literally used to call him my fake little brother)?

    1. Michaela

      Hi Kayla! Thank you for commenting!
      Let me ask you this: has he come out and told you he likes you? Has he asked you out? For right now, I would say just be friendly and Christ-like toward him. If he asks you why you were ignoring him, then I would say 1) apologize for doing so, since it is obviously bothering your conscience (also, if you haven’t done so already, repent of it to God and ask Him to forgive you, and also ask God to give you the right words and actions to handle this), and 2) then gently, graciously tell him you don’t like him that way. If he asks why and if you have a reason, tell him why, being careful to speak in brotherly love as Christ would. And you may have to tell him that you are saying this in Christ-like love or you’re telling him this as a friend.
      I hope this helps! If you have more questions, feel free to ask!

  2. Hannah

    I am 14 and there is a boy a bit older than me who seems to like as more than a friend. I would just like to be friends. Do you think that this article would apply to me since I’m younger?

    1. Michaela

      Hannah, this absolutely applies to you! This article is meant for all ages. When I was probably 11or so, I had to tell a good friend of mine that I didn’t like him after he told me that he liked me. I would advise you to still be kind and Christ-like toward him. But if he asks you out or says that he wants to be more than friends, then you need to be honest with him and say that you just want to be friends. How he responds to that is his choice.
      I hope this helps! :)

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