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My Friend Keeps Trying to Pair Me Up and I'm Getting Frustrated

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Dear Athena,

My best friend keeps trying to pair me up with different guys, and I am kinda getting frustrated. I love her like a sister, but I do not think she understands that I don't want a boyfriend. How can I tell her to stop without hurting her feelings?

Sincerely

Space wanted

Dear Space Wanted,

You're right. She probably doesn't understand that you don't want a boyfriend ... because you probably haven't told her. Am I right?

Our friends and family think they have our best interests in mind, but they often have no idea what we want or don't want. They project their own needs and desires on us, perhaps to fulfill something they're missing themselves. Your friend thinks you aren't happy being single and she wants to help. Maybe to her, being single is scary and she's trying to protect you from being alone.

That might sound silly, but loads of people don't feel complete or secure unless they have a partner. But being in a relationship isn't for everyone all the time — or any time. If that describes you, for heaven's sake, tell her! She might be offended or embarrassed, but she'll get over it as long as you let her know in a caring and gentle way. Don't, for example, imply that you are in some way superior, smarter, cooler, more secure, etc., because you don't need a man in your life.

If, after this talk, you friend persists in playing matchmaker, you may need to get some space from her. A little distance might send the message if words do not. Sometimes the only way to get someone's attention is by not giving them any.

If that seems to harsh, invite your friend to do things with you that don't involve dating. Show her that you prefer her company right now; let her see other things that make you happy. Maybe she truly doesn't realize that there's more to life than finding a mate. Set the example for her, and she will come around.

Yours,

Athena

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