How to Accept Rejection When You Tell a Friend You Love Them

Four Parts:Expecting the outcomeHandling anger, frustration or disappointmentRemaining friendsWhen your friend doesn't stay friendly

So you told your best friend that you wanted to be "more than friends", and he/she answered that he/she just wants to "be friends". Here is how you can handle this rejection without being mad at them. Even if they didn't do it politely.

Part 1
Expecting the outcome

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    Before telling your friend that you love them, expect both possible responses. That way, you at least set yourself up to accept that your friend could either be receptive or negative about your confession, allowing you to develop a mindset in advance for coping with either outcome.

Part 2
Handling anger, frustration or disappointment

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    Be aware that you will probably feel deflated after rejection. Telling someone such a personal and intimate thing leaves you feeling exposed and vulnerable, and rejection simply slams home that you went out on a limb and received no reward. It's natural to feel disappointed, frustrated and sad. However, it's important to remember that this person is your friend, and doesn't deserve negative treatment from you, however mad you get.
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    Don't be angry when he/she says that he/she just wants to "be friends". Remain cool while trying not to express your sadness in a way that will make him/her uncomfortable.
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    Seek consolation and advice from someone else you trust. This might be another friend, preferably with someone who has experienced a similar hardship. A family member might also be a suitable person to talk to.

Part 3
Remaining friends

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    Tell him/her that you still want to be friends and will need some time to get your emotions in order. Remaining friends with that person is a great idea. However, it will require you to be open and willing to move through these feelings, as well as reassuring your friend that you are prepared to let go of the feelings and restore the friendship.
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    Stay away for a few days. Return only when you are ready to accept that you will remain "just friends". It's a good idea to tell your friend that you just need a bit of space to think and regather your emotions, and that this is no way reflects badly on your friend.
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    Be confident about the other person's decision. It isn't right to make them feel bad about rejecting you; your friend had every right to explain how he or she felt. Not being on the same level of feelings as you isn't a character defect or something blameworthy; it's just a fact of life. By being accepting and understanding of your friend's response, this will show your friend good a person you are and may help in restoring the friendship back to its pre-confession state.
    • Do not be tempted to lean on your friend to change his or her mind. This isn't fair and it can lead your friend to simply wanting to stay away from you out of fear of making the wrong choice. Let it be. If your friend needs time to come around, he or she will do so. If not, then it most certainly wasn't meant to be.
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    Don't be clingy or too friendly. Equally, don't break contact off with your friend. Make use of social media messaging if you're not yet ready to meet up in person again.

Part 4
When your friend doesn't stay friendly

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    In some cases, your friend may end up feeling so awkward that he or she doesn't want to continue the friendship. In this case, at least try to talk it through first. Explain that you realize it's a heavy burden to have laid at the feet of your friend but that you're 100 percent committed to working the feelings out of your system and restoring the friendship on platonic terms. Tell your friend how much he or she really matters to you in friendship terms and how you never want to lose that.
    • This requires a lot of honesty on your behalf. If you make promises, be sure to keep them.
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    Find a place of acceptance if you and your friend move apart. If you find your friend no longer wishes to hang out with you, spend time with you or even be known as your friend, it will hurt a great deal. However, realize that you placed a very big wedge between you that your friend simply found too much to handle. Time might heal the feelings between you, and it might not, but holding a grudge against your friend will only hurt you.
    • If you feel down or depressed, talk to people you trust. Do not try to carry around the pain inside all alone.
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    Find ways to release your despair constructively. Write in your journal, write poems, sing songs, play music or just cry. Do what you need to do to move past this loss. It will feel miserable for a while, and that's only natural. However, do be kind to yourself and remind yourself how much courage you contain to have at least trying to do the right thing by laying your heart on the line. Sometimes you don't win, other times you do but you cannot deny the fact that you had the strength of character to ask.
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    Be sure that you know there is a perfect match for you, and he/she will come when the time is right. Chalk this one up as a lesson in coping after rejection without letting it be an excuse to avoid future love. You deserve love, it just wasn't meant to be with this particular person.
    • Your perfect match might even be the person who rejected you. They just might not be ready yet. However, don't live with false hope; instead, let it all just be and let time unravel the mysteries of love for you.


  • Times change. People change. Who knows; maybe someday he or she will change their mind. Until then, just focus on being a great friend to them.
  • Keep your cool.
  • Don't yell even if you feel like it. Just think in your head it's okay because someone else loves you.


  • Don't get too frustrated about it! You can't make someone love you by doing that!
  • If you get angry count to ten and then resume the conversation

Article Info

Categories: Friends | Handling Rejection