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You go out and do something with someone on a fairly frequent basis. You have your half-hour phone calls about how their day was, and how things are going in your life. You typically go to this person for advice when something is troubling you. This person is, in all considerations, your FRIEND.

But what happens when this person starts to gain feelings for you? When your friend wants to be something *more* than friends? In the average high school, there are I'm sure dozens upon dozens of students who like other students... who don't like them!

Most of us have probably been shot down at least once in our high school days. Many of us have perhaps even done the shooting, and just flat out told someone we were not interested. I have been on both the giving and receiving end of this little scenario, and I will say that while neither feels exactly pleasant; the giving end certainly puts a smaller dent in your good mood than being shot down does. But you get over it, and you assume the person you just rejected will as well. After all, there are lots of fish in the sea, right? Perhaps you think that way, but this person may have their heart set on you. Now, many people I know who have been rejected do exactly what I do in their case- they avoid this person who just flat out told them "NO". Find a new seat in class, a new spot in the morning, a new lunch table. Whatever it takes. It won't impact the shooter's life much in most cases.

What about when the person is your friend? A good friend. You are somewhat more concerned with their feelings than you are with those of others. Still, you do not wish to be in a relationship with them. So, you turn them down in the nicest possibly way you can think of. The result can be one of a few things:

< The friendship between you and this person will crumble. This friend you do not wish to pursue a relationship with will assume that you don't like them at all, since you don't want to date them.

< Your friend will continue to pursue you on a secretive basis. They will do little nice things for you that they normally wouldn't do, and try to convince you that they are worth dating. You may or may not pick up these signals. Your friend will read more into your actions towards them, seeing the things they want to see. A simply friendly hug can be taken as more than you meant it to be.

< If your friendship is strong enough, and you are both sensible people...nothing will happen and things will go on as before. There may be a bit of initial tension, but it will subside.

I suppose it all comes down to how strong of a friendship you have with the person. But putting all of that aside, it really is uncomfortable to have a friend start wanting to be more than "just friends" *IF* you do not feel the same towards them. Many wonderful couples have come as a result of something that started as nothing more than a simple friendship...and friendship is a requirement to a good, healthy relationship. But when your friend wants something that you don't...you really have to sit down and ask yourself how much does this friendship mean to you, and is it possible to continue it on unwierd terms?

All in all, relationships can do one of two things for a friendship...make it stronger, or crush it to death.