Most of us feel awkward (and most of the time, scared) when the question “Ano ba tayo?” pops up with a close friend, someone we're casually dating, or a person we're just hooking up with. It's such a drag to know that you might hurt (or are already hurting) someone, especially if that woman is someone that you don’t want to lose. Of course, it’s unintentional, you didn’t plan to lead her feelings in that direction, but then, it just happens—unplanned and unexpectedly.
So before anything else, and if you’re not planning to be in a commitment with her, prevention is better than the cure. Here are some ways to keep her feelings at bay to avoid having that dreaded talk.
IF YOU’RE FRIENDS…
Say the word “friend” regularly
The easiest way to let someone know that you're just friends is by saying it. Make sure that you have no plans of ever taking the relationship to the next level. Try to insert the word “friend” in your daily conversations. We know it sounds stupid, but believe us—women take words and analyze your messages seriously. So if you feel like sending her a cheesy message, but you’re afraid she’ll misinterpret it, again, just insert “friend” (or any other barkada endearment) here and there and she’ll surely get it.
Let her know that you’re interested in someone else
Another way to let your friend know that she’s, well, just a friend is by letting her know that you actually like someone else. And since you’re friends, you can also open up to her about your feelings towards that other woman, or you can also ask for advice. If you're aware, however, that she has feelings for you, don't be a douche. Rubbing salt in the wound is the easiest way to be branded an asshole.
Don’t treat her differently from the way you treat other women
If you’re acting sweet and caring, chances are, she might get the wrong idea. Your consistent “good mornings” and “good nights” (whether through calls or messages) can be misinterpreted as romantic. If you’re acting like she’s special, she might think that you're making some special intentions known.
IF YOU’RE JUST DATING…
“COCOL,” “MOMOL,” whatever it is, label it
Meanwhile, if you’re dating someone and just want to keep it casual (with or without the, ehem, benefits), what you can do is—first and foremost—to let the woman know your true intentions. If you’re just looking for someone to have coffee or movie with, say it. If you just want someone to fool around with, say it. Trust, she’ll appreciate your honesty. Don't expect, however, that women will reciprocate your forward ways. But who knows, maybe you’re on the same boat and she just wants to, err, rock that boat with you.
Let her know if you’re dating someone else
Please, even if you agreed to the casual setup, have the decency to let her know that you’re dating someone else. Letting her know that there are other chicks on the side so she can evaluate the situation.
Never let yourself be introduced to her friends (and vice-versa)
Once a woman introduces a man to her set of friends, you know it’s something serious. If you’re not planning anything long term, don’t ever let yourself be introduced to her friends, best friends, and—heck!—even her pets. Most importantly, stay away from her family members. You might fall in love with them and then you're done for.
THESE APPLY FOR BOTH SITUATIONS ABOVE
No cuddles, no sleepovers, and no gifts
To make a long story short, sleepovers, cuddling, and giving gifts should be reserved for your official partner only. If you keep on crashing into her condo, cuddling complete with cheesy talk, and giving gifts for no reason at all, it's safe for her to assume that you’re into a relationship with her already.
If you don’t want to commit, don’t act like a boyfriend
If you feel like a woman’s falling for you, and you’re not sure if you'd like to make her your official girlfriend, then stop being dependable. Dependable in the sense that you’re always there for her—physically and emotionally, just like a boyfriend. So if you’re not certain what you’re feeling (yet), please stop acting like a reliable boyfriend.
Wear the “I love being single shirt” figuratively
It’ll also be great if you reiterate from time to time how much you love being single, or that you don’t have plans to be in a relationship any time soon. Better yet, say it to her face—in a nice way of course. Tell her that you’re just dating and just enjoying each other’s company. That's it. You'll be surprised how most women are single and happy and will agree to that setup.