wikiHow to Become Friends Again with Someone You Told You Like

Two Parts:Overcoming Initial AwkwardnessBecoming Friends Again

If you made the leap to tell your friend that you like them and they rejected you, even to the point of not talking to you anymore, it can be a real blow. It can be difficult to rebuild a friendship with someone once you’ve confessed you like them as more than a friend. However, if you each give yourself time, affirm the importance of your friendship, and work hard to rebuild connection and healthy boundaries, you could become friends again.

Part 1
Overcoming Initial Awkwardness

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    Ensure you’ve given yourself enough time. Once your friend has rejected you, make sure to give you and your friend some time to process and readjust. You both probably feel uncertain about what the two of you now have, so give some time to think things through. If you usually spend every weekend with them or talk to them frequently via text, give yourself a few days apart and decrease your communication during that time.
    • Keep in mind there’s no set time limit for getting over someone. Go with your instincts on how much space or time you both need, but don’t avoid each other for too long.
    • If after a few days or weeks you feel you've processed your initial sadness, reach out to them to see if they're open to talking and spending time together. If they're still uncomfortable, ask them how much longer they need and let them know you’ll be there for them when they're ready to talk again.[1]
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    Affirm the importance of your friendship. Acknowledge that your friendship probably won't ever be quite the same again, but affirm how important it is for you to still be their friend. Let them know that no matter the rejection, you still value them as a friend. Communicate how being their friend means a lot to you.[2]
    • You can say, "You still mean a lot to me as a friend and I'd like to try to be friends still, even if it's a little awkward at first."
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    Accept responsibility. Accept responsibility for trying to change the boundaries of your friendship. Acknowledge that you know it may have been awkward for them to hear your changed feelings. Show that you can handle the rejection well by accepting your friend’s feelings and not trying to fight with them or change their mind.[3]
    • You can say, "I know this is probably awkward for you and I'm sorry for putting you in this position. Thanks for listening."
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    Explain yourself. Explain your reasoning behind confessing feelings to your friend. Let your friend know that you had to tell them the truth because your friendship has always been based on openness, honesty, and trust. If you’ve been good friends for awhile, have spent a lot of quality time together, and have developed this openness and honesty with each other, your friendship will have a better chance of restarting.[4]
    • You can say, "I would regret it if I never told you how I really felt, and I'm glad we're such good friends that I could be honest with you."
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    Ask what your friend needs. Together, discuss specific ways you can return to your friendship. Check-in with your friend about what they need or want from you now that you’ve confessed your feelings. Check-in on how they see the situation and ask if they have any ideas for making things better between the two of you.[5]

Part 2
Becoming Friends Again

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    Return to normal. The earlier you return to your normal pattern of interaction with your friend, the easier and less awkward it will be between the two of you. Returning to the normal way you spend time with them will show you’ve accepted and moved on from the rejection. Avoiding each other will only increase awkwardness and keep you both from returning to friendship.[6]
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    Create new, healthy boundaries. You’ll want to return to your normal ways of communicating and spending time with your friend, with a few exceptions. Now that you’re trying to rebuild your friendship, you might want to do some things differently so as to avoid catching feelings again. If there’s too much pressure to act differently around each other, you may not be able to rekindle the friendship. Some boundaries to set include:[7][8]
    • Avoid flirtatious behavior, touching, and sexual innuendo.
    • Be careful when talking about their love life and dating other people.
    • Avoid holding out hope that they’ll change or fall in love with you later.
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    Develop other relationships and interests. Make sure you make time for other interests and activities. Explore other friendships and dating other people. This will help you move on from any feelings you had for your friend. Be sure to develop other friendships where you can discuss love and dating more openly than you might with your friend.[9]
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    Look at your patterns. Explore what made you decide to try to take your friendship beyond its current status. Reexamine if you read too much into their behavior, if you typically fall for friends or others who aren’t really available to you, or if you developed too much intimacy with your friend too soon. Talk about these patterns with a counselor or a friend who knows you well so that you can prevent falling for your friend again, or falling for another friend.[10] These patterns could occur because:[11]
    • You've been hurt in the past and are scared of real commitment.
    • You want to protect yourself from future rejection in a relationship by choosing someone who is already unavailable or uninterested.
    • You don't believe you're deserving or worthy of love.
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    Learn and move on. Take heart in the fact that your crush on your friend has taught you what you value in a relationship. You’ve learned what you appreciate in a significant other and what’s attractive to you. Apply that knowledge to other relationships. Learn to grow the intimacy you’ve shared with your friend in other relationships.


  • If you mope around after you’re rejected, it just serves as a reminder that this person didn't "give" you what you wanted. Instead, try to gracefully accept the rejection and move on. If you can’t accept the rejection, you likely cannot return to being “just friends.”
  • Both of you are probably embarrassed by an encounter like this. So both of you will need support, from each other and from other friends.
  • Give your friend time if needed, but don’t avoid each other if you’re both genuinely interested in wanting to preserve the friendship.
  • If you continue to hold out hope that your friend will return feelings, you're not being fair to the friendship.

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Categories: Changing and Losing Friends