18 Ways to Stop Being Attracted to a Friend & Deal with Rejecting Yourself

It may seem like you can’t possibly do it, but you can learn how to stop being attracted to a friend. Once you do, you can start moving on with your life.

How to Stop Being Attracted to a Friend

It is totally normal to be attracted to a friend. Whether you actually have feelings for them is a different story, but an attraction is totally normal. Learning how to stop being attracted to a friend will help you stay sane.

Attraction can be based on looks, personality, and more. But it is more of a bodily feeling than an emotional one. You can be attracted to someone and easily not act on it or have it mean anything other than attraction.

Of course, if that attraction is causing issues in your friendship or making you feel uncomfortable you want to stop your attraction.

[Read: How to lose feelings for someone and let go of the might have beens]

Why do you want to stop being attracted to a friend?

It is totally healthy to be attracted to a friend. But if it impedes your friendship or makes things uncomfortable, it makes sense to want to stop those feelings in their tracks.

But, why? Does this friend have a partner? Will it never work out between you? Have they made it clear they aren’t attracted to you? Are you afraid of ruining a good friendship? [Read: 17 signs you’re falling for your best friend and how you need to deal with it]

Thinking about why you searched for this article in the first place is a good place to start. Knowing why you want to shut these feelings of attraction down will help you get kickstarted by ridding yourself of those emotions.

The rational reason you have for wanting to stop being attracted to a friend will help you remind yourself to let go of that attraction. Whether they are taken or you’ve dated in the past without success, those reasons should sit in your mind to assure you that this cannot go beyond attraction.

[Read: 13 stages of trying to get over someone who doesn’t like you]

But, consider the other side of this, are you sure you don’t want to be attracted to this friend? Are you more than attracted to them? Do you want to know if they are attracted to you?

Working out what causes the attraction and why you want these feelings to go away will guide you in the right direction. No matter which way that is.

How to stop being attracted to a friend

Stopping a biological feeling in its tracks can be difficult. Attraction isn’t like other things, so stopping that can take a lot of internalizing and a bit of compromise with yourself.

You must rationalize your attraction, understand it, and argue it if you’re wondering how to stop being attracted to a friend and maintain the friendship.

1. Why are you attracted to a friend? 

There are different types of attraction. You can be sexually attracted to your friend or maybe you’re behaviorally attracted to them or intellectually attracted to them.

Pinpointing what it is that you’re attracted to can help you analyze it so that it all makes sense and isn’t so mysterious which makes it hard to handle. Even without learning how to stop being attracted to a friend, defining why you are can make it easier to deal with. [Read: 15 ways to subtly flirt with a friend without making things weird]

2. Redirect your attraction

Every time you have a sexual feeling about your friend, redirect that emotion to reality.

You are not romantically with this person. They are your friend. You enjoy your time together, and you rely on each other. Take that physical or romantic attraction and apply it to your platonic friendship.

3. Consider the negatives of acting on your attraction

This tip, although useful, is not a favorite. You should never have to guilt yourself for natural feelings of attraction, but reminding yourself of why you aren’t acting on those feelings can help you keep a clear mind.

4. Think about the qualities about them you aren’t attracted to

Sure, they are your friend and you like them. There are always things that will irk you.

Do they chew with their mouth open or text and drive? Maybe they look good in a swimsuit, but are they unreliable as a prospective partner? [Read: How to stop having a crush on someone and find your heart again]

5. What makes them a good friend? 

Focus on your stronger feelings. Attraction is not permanent. It is often brief and fleeting. So, focus on your friendship.

Think about the rough times they’ve been through with you or your mutual love for a fandom or that inside joke. Focus on the feelings you want to keep and put less attention on the ones you want to get rid of.

6. Organize your feelings on paper

Write it all out. Our feelings, even ones as basic as attraction can easily get jumbled inside our heads. If you want to stop being attracted to a friend, write down your feelings. Describe when you were first attracted to them, why, and how they make you feel.

This doesn’t have to be concise or perfect. You only write it out for yourself, then crumble it up and toss it out later. Putting your feelings on paper where you can see them and then getting rid of it may seem silly but is very symbolic.

7. Why is it so frustrating? 

Why are you suffering? Are you masochistic? Do you like the feeling of knowing you’re attracted to someone that is out of reach? Are you hoping they will tell you they find you attractive as well?

Consider why it is so hard for you to stop your attraction or why being attracted to them is such a problem. This may take more than some thinking. You may want to talk to someone you trust or even a therapist to figure out what makes this so hard for you. [Read: How to ask a friend out without risking the friendship]

8. Take some space

Spending a lot of time with a friend you are attracted to will make your attraction grow. Tensions run high, and you feel things due to proximity.

Spend some time apart. Don’t stop being friends. If you want to know how to stop being attracted to a friend, just pick up a project that will keep you busy for a while so you can clear your mind before hanging out together again. And then hang out in groups so your attention isn’t so focused on them. [Read: How to handle sexual tension between friends like a platonic pro]

9. Date around

Of course, you can be attracted to someone while dating someone else. But if you are lonely and haven’t dated in a while, the closest romantic option may be a good-looking friend.

Turn that attraction onto someone more suitable and get out there. Go meet new people or try a dating app. Sometimes your body and mind can play tricks on you when you’re romantically lonely. [Read: How to get your best friend to fall for you without asking them out first]

10. Tell them

Yes, this is risky advice. But tell your friend you’re attracted to them. Sometimes saying it will actually help those feelings go away.

Just by letting it be heard, you may already feel a lot better.

Being attracted to someone isn’t something to be ashamed of. Likely, your friend will be flattered. [Read: In love with your best friend? Why you need to back away right now]

11. Feel the attraction and let it go

Instead of fighting those feelings of attraction, just feel them. Just because you are attracted to someone doesn’t mean that you have plans to let it go just because you can’t act on it.

You can be attracted to someone and not let it overwhelm you or cause problems. Just let it be.

How to deal with rejection from a friend

Since you want to know how to stop being attracted to your friend, there must be a very good reason. And one of those reasons is that you either fear being rejected – or you already have been rejected and you want to get over it.

That’s never easy to deal with, so here are some tips to help you deal with rejection.

1. Grieve

Being rejected never feels good. It conjures up all sorts of feelings of sadness and low self-worth. But that’s okay.

You are mourning a loss – a loss of the hope that your friend would also be sexually attracted to you. So, allow yourself to grieve the loss of that fantasy. Just don’t wallow in it too long. [Read: Losing a friend – 30 ways to face the pain of best friends drifting apart]

2. Stop trying to force it

If your friend that you’re attracted to has told you that they’re not interested in you in a romantic way, then as we just said, let it go. The worst thing you can do is to build up false hope in your mind that somehow, someday, the friend might change their mind. 

Just accept that you are just meant to be friends with them. Acknowledge that you deserve someone who actually likes you the way you like them. So, never try to convince them to feel otherwise.

3. Have empathy for them

Okay, this sounds like the last thing you want to do. But think about it. It might be difficult to put yourself in their shoes, but if you want to know how to stop being attracted to your friend, try it.

It can’t be easy for them to reject a good friend like you. They probably feel really bad about it. [Read: How to show empathy and learn to understand someone else’s feelings]

You have probably also thought that other people were awesome, but you didn’t have any romantic feelings for them. If that’s how your friend feels, then you can’t blame them. It happens all the time to people.

4. Don’t distance yourself too much

Just because your friend doesn’t have romantic feelings for you, that doesn’t mean that you have to break off the friendship. You might feel like you want to if you’re embarrassed, but that’s not something that is necessarily healthy.

If you’re good friends, then there’s no reason why you can’t try to maintain your friendship. But this person means a lot to you, and vice versa, so you should do your best to remain friendly with them as much as you can.

It takes a mature person to do this, so step up to the plate. [Read: How to deal with rejection from friends and pick yourself back up]

5. Focus on other relationships too

When we’re rejected and feel sad, it’s easy to ignore the other people in our lives. But, don’t ignore your other friends.

If you want to know how to stop being attracted to this friend, either because they rejected you, or you know for certain that they will reject you *because of circumstances*, you need to try to keep everything else in your life moving ahead.

Spend time with your friends and your family. They will remind you of how great of a person you are. When you surround yourself with people who love you, it’s more difficult to feel rejected by that friend you were sexually attracted to.

6. Focus on your good qualities

Let’s face it – your friend does like you, otherwise they wouldn’t be your friend. So, focus on all the things that are awesome about yourself. Have the attitude that “it’s their loss – not yours.” You probably have a lot of great things going on in your life, so don’t let this rejection overwhelm you.

Pamper yourself. Do things you enjoy doing. Go get a massage or hang out with friends. Read a good book. Pick up a new hobby. Do anything you can to make yourself happy and distract yourself. [Read: 34 life-changing steps to fall in love with yourself all over again]

7. Move on

Eventually, you will have to accept the rejection and move on with your life. Just because this friend didn’t have romantic feelings for you doesn’t mean that the right person won’t. So, get back out there and meet new people.

Go on as many dates as you can. Set up the dating apps on your phone, and find someone better for you.

Just because it didn’t work out with your friend doesn’t mean that the right person isn’t out there waiting for you.

[Read: How to be friends with someone you like without losing your mind]

Sometimes, you can find yourself getting attracted to a friend, and that’s something you can’t help or stop yourself from. But learning how to stop having feelings for them doesn’t have to be complicated, that is, unless you let it.

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