I'm chewing on something, and wanted to see what the sages here at HTF think. You've all proven to have a good range of responses to gender/relationship quandaries, so wanted to pick the collective brain. Here's the situation: A good friend of mine here at work is a terrific person = smart, attractive, culturally with it, etc. - has asked me what I think she could do differently in handling a guy who wants more than a platonic relationship with her. Background: this is a guy she's known for 10 years+. Back in the early 90s, they dated - casually, she says, nothing serious. Because of post-college jobs on different coasts and marriages, they fell out of contact. Last year, this guy moved back to town. Because they were friends before and had many friends in common (they are both now divorced and single), they have spent quite a bit of time together, both with a group and just one-on-one. She was very clear with him when he moved back to town that she had zero interest in having a romantic relationship with him, but she valued his friendship and wanted to remain good friends and all that entails. However, since he's moved back, he's admitted to or shown some things that say he is still very much in the "I wanna date/sleep with/marrry/etc. you" mode. You want examples? He admitted a big part of the reason he moved back to town was her. When I've spent time with the group and they're both present, he gives her a LOT of verbal compliments ("pretty shirt," "great necklace", etc.). She recently had to spend some time in the hospital, and despite her family asking the gang of friends to give her space and distance, he made repeated visits to the hospital and waited for them at her house when they brought her home. He has twice told her he's no longer trying to pursue her. And, as hazy as this may seem, as a male, I can "just tell" he's still pining for her, and that most of his actions are colored by his desire to win her romantic favor. My advice to her was to put some firm, meaningful boundaries to the relationship - no time alone, quell any compliments, and reinforce that she's not going to be his confidante, best friend, etc. I didn't recommend her cutting him out entirely - it's not practical, given the friends they share, nor is it needed - he's not stalker material, just lonely and not accepting the reality of the situation. I actually feel for him - we've all had people that we've had big crushes on or even fallen in love with, and the feeling wasn't returned. But at the same time, my friend asked me what I, as a guy, think about it. She has said that she's afraid of hurting his feelings if she steps back from him as I recommend. Frankly, I think many women are FAR too worried about this. Guys tend to be pretty dumb about this stuff; we need clear, consistent signals. I've told my friend that, IMNSHO, telling him she only wants to be good friends and spending regular time alone with him sends him conflicting signals. This frustrates her, because the time for her is strictly "friend time" with no strings or hidden meanings. I think she wants to think the best of this guy, and struggles with knowing that (again, IMNSHO) he's going to essentially take any gestures from her and reinterpret them to fit his dream. My friend also says she feels like that because he has been a good friend to her (and he has helped her out with quite a few things), that it would be wrong to put that distance between them. I understand and sympathize with that idea, but again, I think a guy who's shown himself to be this ga-ga over her isn't in a place to think clearly about it. What do you guys think? Am I off base? Is she being too nice? I know HTF is heavily male, but would love to hear from the female portion of the viewing audience as well. I'll try to clarify anything I didn't make clear - just ask.