Hi Rules Girl,
So question: Is it true that if you tell a guy you're not interested, but you keep emailing/chatting with/calling him, he'll keep thinking he has a chance? What are the rules for staying friends with someone that keeps trying to pursue you when you're only interested in being friends?
You seem to be sending some mixed signals. Maybe you should ask yourself WHY you keep wanting to talk to them? Do you like them? Why don't you want to date them? Do you like the attention? There are situations where you can keep talking to people you aren't interested and can stay friends, but in general, it's not fair to them because you're wasting their time. If you've clearly explained to them that you just value their friendship and want to be friends with them, and they are ok with still being friends... then you have done what you should do and are ok to continue talking to them. However, are YOU initiating the conversations? If so, you might be sending mixed signals. What if the tables were turned?
I don't know you're specific situation, but please ask yourself, "What IS my motive?" and be completly honest with yourself and them. Do you in fact like them but are scared? Do you not like them but want attention? Are you scared to lose them as a friend?
As always, there are exceptions depending on your specific situation (don't take that as an excuse to not do the best thing for both of you), but generally I would advise cutting them loose if you aren't interested so you can both move along.