Don’t want your male colleague to get extra friendly or flirty? Here are some tips

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Find the fine line between flirting and friendly.

There’s a fine line between being interested in a man’s life and being interested in a man. While you may be wooed by his charm, sense of humour or you may just want to keep a safe distant yet be acquainted enough to know who you are associating with. But here’s how you can find the difference when your opposite gender is just being flirty and being nice.

Don’t send mixed signals.

So how can you let a guy know you just want to be friends without him thinking you’re secretly looking for something more? It’s almost impossible to convey with complete certainty to another person that you don’t want something romantic. There’s always going to be that question mark and possibility that one of you will change your mind. The best you can do is to be as clear from the start that you’re looking for a platonic relationship and avoid delivering mixed signals—which is where these five steps come in.

If you are not interested, show it.

If you have a boyfriend or significant other, make sure it’s included in the conversation earlier rather than later. That’s an instant friend zone move for most men, and they will immediately take you out of the running romantically and start to see the potential in your platonic relationship.

Don’t spend alone time with him

If you aren’t involved with someone, spending time alone is just asking for trouble. You need to make it clear this is in the friendship category right from the start, which means no dinners for two, no drive for two, no conversation for two etc. Once the lines are established and time has made that clear, you can start to hang out one-on-one, but even then try and avoid anything that seems too date-like.

Don’t Treat Guys Like Your Girls

If your girlfriend has on a new shirt or gets a haircut, you’re going to compliment her—that’s what good friends do. For guys, though, this sends mixed signals. Male friends have to be handled differently than girlfriends, mainly if you think there is an attraction on his side.

Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Touch is a powerful flirtation tool. Even if you’re a touchy-feely person, you need to rein it in so he doesn’t get the wrong idea. A goodbye hug is okay, but no knee squeezes, shoulder rubs, or arm grabs.

Clear the Air

At some point, both of you will wonder if this friendship should be something more. That’s just a fact of cross-sex relationships. But you may not even realize he’s thinking that. Sometimes there’s a kind of conspiracy of silence, where people who are romantically interested in their friend aren’t sure how their feelings will be received, so they just don’t bring it up to avoid getting hurt.


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