Sex Talk

Staying Friends when She wants More

Q from a Male, Senior student at Cornell University: There is a woman who likes me as "more than a friend" who I would like to keep as "just a friend." How can I tell her without hurting her?

Dr. Caron's answer: You may not be able to save her from hurt. She is responsible for her feelings. If you are able to talk with her directly, I might suggest starting by expressing how important her friendship is to you. Emphasize what you like about her and what makes her an important friend. If she can hear that, she may be able to hear you when you explain that you would like to keep the friendship platonic. If you don't talk to her about the situation, but instead choose to let the tension continue, at some point she may feel led on. Talking to her and being honest now will save her (and you) a bigger hurt down the road.

© 2007, Sandra L. Caron

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It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover. - Marge Piercy

American teens have the worst of all worlds...Our children are bombarded and confronted with sexual messages, sexual exploitation, and all manner of sexual criticism. But our society is by and large sexually illiterate. Faye Westheimer

Dr. Sandra L. Caron is a professor of human sexuality at the University of Maine. To submit a question to Dr. Caron or chat with your peers visit Got a question for Dr. Caron? Visit and ask away! Get a guaranteed personal and confidential response to your question: or E-Mail

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