The answer to "do you like me?"

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yukinohana

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello,

Here's the context:

A boy is attracted to me, and asked me "do you like me?". I don't like him as much, but don't dislike (?, I'm also looking for a term fit here) him either, and I
prefer to answer him in a roundabout way, without making it sound very serious (in a kind of joking way). The best option I can think of now is:"I kind of like you.". But still it doesn't sound very ROUNDABOUT to me. :D. The point is I don't want to give an opinion straightaway like,"I like you." - that can very likely be misleading before I figure things out, but meanwhile, I don't want to discourage him by saying something that might sound negative as I think he is OK. What would you suggest me to say?

Thank you very much.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I like you as a friend. :) That will let him know that you're willing to be sociable but not willing to get romantically involved (although things change, of course, so it's not like a forever prediction).

    If he wants to get closer than you like, you can try this: I like you ... at a distance. :D
     

    akakay

    New Member
    Korean
    The solution is ... introduce to him a very great girl enough to forget attachment to you...
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    A boy is attracted to me, and asked me "do you like me?". I don't like him as much, but don't dislike (?, I'm also looking for a term fit here) him either, and I prefer to answer him in a roundabout way, without making it sound very serious (in a kind of joking way). The best option I can think of now is:"I kind of like you.". But still it doesn't sound very ROUNDABOUT to me. :D.

    The point is I don't want to give an opinion straightaway like,"I like you." - that can very likely be misleading before I figure things out, but meanwhile, I don't want to discourage him by saying something that might sound negative as I think he is OK. What would you suggest me to say?
    • Maybe.
    • We'll see.
    • I'm thinking about it.
    Said with a friendly smile, of course! ;)
     

    yukinohana

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    • Maybe.
    • We'll see.
    • I'm thinking about it.
    1. -"Do you like me?"
    -"We'll see."

    2. -"Do you like me?"
    -"I'm thinking about it."

    Sounds like I'm not sure what I have in mind, but that's not true. I know where I'm at, it's just I don't want to give a straight answer. :p I hope I don't sound very shifty here. :D On second thought, I think I might get away with "I don't hate you."? What do you think? Thank you very much.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Yukinohana. I think you would embarrass this guy if you answer "Do you like me?" with "I don't hate you". That sounds pretty insulting. Is that what you're trying to do?

    I think Copyright's suggestion sounds about as polite and neutral as you can be in such a situation: I like you as a friend. This is the standard answer given by many people who don't want to wish to give somebody a false impression. The fellow who hears this will get a clear idea that you're not romantically interested in him.

    Parla's answers sound neutral but ambiguous to me: "Do you like me?" "Maybe/we'll see/I'm thinking about it'. They're not exactly rude, but they're a little unclear.
    Such an answer might encourage the guy to work harder to make you like him. Is that what you wish to do?

    If you really don't know this guy and aren't sure whether you like him or not, then I suggest you answer as honestly as you can: "Do you like me?"" I like you well enough so far, but I don't know you very well". My suggestion, like Parla's suggestions, might have an encouraging effect.'

    Of course, if you really don't like this fellow, then you can't give an honest answer without hurting the his feelings.

    PS Tamerlane's "You're OK" sounds neutral to me. If somebody answered me this way, I'd get roughly the same impression that I do from "I like you as a friend". Tamerlane's "Perhaps" might also have that encouraging effect.
     
    Last edited:

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    yukinohana says "I know where I'm at" and suggests "I don't hate you" as an option -- and she obviously has a feel for nuance, so I'm going to again suggest that I don't hate you is not a bad idea.

    I've heard it many times -- directed at others, of course -- and when it's said the right way -- quickly, lightly, with just a hint of a smile -- it's really rather charming, while being slightly dismissive. Delivered properly, it's not an insult.

    The problem with "I like you as a friend" is that while it keeps someone at a distance, it may not be true at all and you might like that person at an even greater distance.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    yukinohana says "I know where I'm at" and suggests "I don't hate you" as an option -- and she obviously has a feel for nuance, so I'm going to again suggest that I don't hate you is not a bad idea.

    I've heard it many times -- directed at others, of course -- and when it's said the right way -- quickly, lightly, with just a hint of a smile -- it's really rather charming, while being slightly dismissive. Delivered properly, it's not an insult.

    The problem with "I like you as a friend" is that while it keeps someone at a distance, it may not be true at all and you might like that person at an even greater distance.
    I recall that Yukinohana said earlier that she liked him somewhat, but not as much as he likes her. If she really doesn't like him, then the "as a friend" option is dishonest. You, Copyright, have a teasing, humorous style that requires some finesse to pull off. I don't know how well Yukinohana speaks English, so I don't know whether she speaks well enough to use this answer with the right tone and body language. Though I agree that "I don't hate you" could come across as lighthearted and humorous, a slight mistake in delivery could easily turn this answer into a snotty remark. I still think she ought to avoid this answer.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Though I agree that "I don't hate you" could come across as lighthearted and humorous, a slight mistake in delivery could easily turn this answer into a snotty remark. I still think she ought to avoid this answer.
    I agree with owlman. And it could also come across as flirtatious. She'd have to smile to soften the blow of the negative connotation, and who knows? That smile might convey a message she had no intention of sending. Who can predict how guys will interpret anything?

    Copyright, your suggestion, "I like you as a friend." is perfect: courteous and to the point without any excess baggage.
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Hello, Yukinohana. I think you would embarrass this guy if you answer "Do you like me?" with "I don't hate you". That sounds pretty insulting. Is that what you're trying to do?
    Completely agree with this.
    I think the 'as a friend' is the best.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Well, she expressly said she didn't want to drive him away but wants to keep him around while she figures it out. "I like you as a friend" is about the least encouraging thing she could say, in my opinion, kind of a slap in the ego. (Certainly in the libido.)
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Parla,

    Good point. But the friend comment, which I still like the best, can be adjusted.

    If she wants to keep him around while she figures it out, she can just add, "Well, it's pretty early yet, but I do know I like you as a friend." At this point, if she wants to keep him dangling there on her string, she can dip her chin, toss her hair, lean in closer, smile, and add, "But I'm willing to see where it leads."

    All she has to do is adjust how much body language she uses before that last line to match how much she wants to keep him interested.

    Personally, since guys don't listen as much as they look, what she says won't be as nearly effective as what she does.

    What I like about the friend line is it's pretty safe and can mean many things, depending on everything else.

    If flat-out flirtation is yukinohana's goal, I'd offer these suggestions:

    "Do you like me?"

    1. "I like what I see right now."
    2. "Maybe."
    3. "What do you think?"
    4. "Well...ask me again in five minutes."
    If he asks her again, she can tell him, "More than I did five minutes ago."
     
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