Being a guy, this is a tricky one for me, but maybe a girl knows how to answer it?
I've made a female friend here whose company I enjoy a lot but I've started to sense that she's interested in me more romantically. I think she's cute but I'm not interested in pursuing anything more intimate with her than just friends because, well, I enjoy her friendship too much and a relationship would just complicate things and kind of ruin that.
I'm worried that if I tell her, she might feel a bit rejected though, so maybe I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.
If you're a guy, how would you handle it?
If you're a girl, how would you want to be let down with this? What would soften the blow for you?
Firstly I want to commend you for actually caring and respecting this girl enough to come here and ask for opinions and advice (I know too many guys that wouldn't!) If my screen name hasn't given it away, I am a girl and I'm gonna start by generalizing and saying we all appreciate honesty and being upfront - so even though you're worried, and it may be a hard conversation to have with her, you're already starting good by wanting to deal with the situation, rather than just leading her on.
It may sound like bad or "too simple" of advice but literally, if you're ready to confront her, just be HONEST. Tell her exactly how you feel about her (as a friend) and that you really just don't want to lose her and a relationship risks that. Say that you like things as they are and just want to take it easy or let things run their course.
I think the follow up is important though - if you have this conversation with her, changes are she will probably get shy for a few days/week after and be a bit scared to contact you - - which means you've gotta step back in and "act normal" and be the one to contact her to catch up again after. Does that make sense?
Wow Ladytay, I was gonna jump in here and give Lex my 'male' perspective, but I find myself pretty much agreeing with your female perspective.
I think that is a briliant point you make about the follow up. She will feel inevitably back-off and feel a bit embarassed regardless of how well you deliver the 'news', but if you want to keep her as a mate it is going to be up to you to take the lead and prove to her that you really really do actually still want to be mates while she adjusts to how you feel.
The only thing i would add is that it is good to be honest... but be careful beeing TOO honest. You gotta be careful not to hurt her feelings.