Telling a Boyfriend You Want to Be Friends

Be prepared for your boyfriend to be upset.
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You have decided that you no longer want to be involved in a romantic relationship with your boyfriend. Breaking the news that you want to be only friends is never easy. However, you can take steps that will prepare you for this naturally uncomfortable discussion.

1 Consider Your Decision

Before ending your romantic relationship with your boyfriend, think through your decision carefully and be certain that this is what you want, suggests the website in the article, "Breaking Up With Kindness and Respect." If you have any doubt, rethink your decision before initiating the conversation with your boyfriend. Your boyfriend is likely to be upset when you tell him you want to be friends, and he may ask you to reconsider your decision. Once you have made the decision that ending your romantic relationship is in your best interests, be strong and do not waver about your decision.

2 Time and Location

Pick a time to speak to your boyfriend when you can talk face-to-face. Don't break the news via telephone, text or email. Telling him that you have decided the two of you would be better off as friends needs to be done in person. Choose a location where you can talk privately, without distractions, such as his home.

3 Be Honest and Open

Begin your conversation by expressing appreciation for the time you two spent together, suggests Rita Watson, former director of policy and education in the Yale psychiatry department and author of "3 Steps to Breaking Up With Integrity" on the Psychology Today website. Be truthful and direct with him as to your feelings of wanting to move from a romantic relationship to a platonic one. For instance, you might say, "I really like you as a person and would like to continue a friendship with you, but I don't feel a romantic connection." Be prepared to tell your boyfriend why you would like to end your romantic relationship, says

4 Consider His Reaction

Your boyfriend is likely to be hurt by this news and may not want to be friends with you after the breakup. If this happens, don't take offense. He may still have romantic feelings toward you and he may need time to get over you. To move forward as friends, the bond you shared as a couple will need to break and the emotional feelings after the breakup will need to be resolved, says Susan J. Elliot, a counselor cited in the article, "Being Friends With an Ex-Boyfriend or Ex-Girlfriend on the PsychCentral website. After a period of time, however, your ex may want to reunite with you as a friend.

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.