“It’s not you, it’s me.” We’ve all heard that line. Various films and books use this particular line to break their strong heroines into messy wrecks of tears. In fact, you might have been at the receiving line of this five-word cliché.
Opinions about this overused reason differ from one person to another. Some think of it as a valid excuse; after all, the guy is pointing his part for the relationship’s end. He has his reasons and we should respect it.
Others beg to differ. Why say “it’s not you, it’s me” when the reasons for breaking up seem to contradict this claim?
The iconic line can be used as a coverup for the painful truth. Some guys utilize this line to hide their true intentions and to keep a breakup clean, minus the drama. Others just want to lessen our pain. They think that by blaming themselves, they console us in a way. The truth hurts and so is a breakup—so why maximize the pain?
Read Also: 5 Breakup Lines that are Total BS
Rather than lie with the standard “it’s not you, it’s me” line, we want guys to be upfront and real. Has a guy used this line on you? Here are the things he could really be saying instead:
1. “It’s really your fault but I don’t want to hurt your feelings by saying so.”
It takes two to tango and most certainly to keep a relationship healthy. When both fail, it’s doomed to crash. Some guys don’t see this; they feel that everything is the girl’s fault. If you weren’t such a nagging and insecure girlfriend, you’d still be together.
Breaking up with a girl is already hard; telling her it’s probably her fault is harder. He sees you as the beginning of the end. But he won’t say that straight to your face. Rather than blame you for everything verbally, he’ll just take the blame and make a graceful exit. The problem is this won’t help you learn or grow, so you may need to do some soul searching or consult outside parties as to their opinions regarding what went wrong.
2. “I’m not interested in anything serious right now.”
Some guys panic at the thought of a serious relationship. He enjoys being with you and cuddling at nights, but he’s not ready for a commitment. How does he tell a girl who’s already emotionally attached that he’s not into that kind of long-term deal?
This dilemma has many a man falling back on the good old “it’s not you, it’s me,” which sounds better than admitting to lack of interest or commitment phobia. The good news is that when this is what a guy means, that cliched line isn’t actually a lie. He really might not be ready to accept all you have to offer. Accept this and move on with your life. Either he’ll realize you were the best thing that ever happened to him and come chasing after you, or you’ll find yourself more open to finding someone who can commit to you.
3. “I want to find myself.”
Maybe he wants to discover himself outside of your relationship, especially if you’ve been together a long time. Guys with this excuse crave finding the meaning of life minus the girlfriend, which is you. Again, if this is what he means when he says “it’s not you, it’s me,” he isn’t actually lying.
You have to understand that some guys prefer to keep it short and simple, and they often shy away from talking about how they really feel. When a guy says that he wants to “find himself,” we have this tendency of asking him countless whys, which isn’t what he signed up for. So instead of going into detail, he’ll just pull out that old ragged line—”it’s not you, it’s me.” As with the situation above, give him his space, but don’t expect anything or make him any promises. It’s not fair for you to wait ages to see if the self he finds is someone who wants to be with you. But if his long journey to self-realization circles back to you and you find you still love him after all of that, then why not?
4. “I just don’t have time for this.”
Busy, busy, busy—that’s how you, or anyone, would describe his life. He may be the type of guy who juggles you with three different business meetings and friends. With all these demands, he might be having a hard time keeping up with the effort of maintaining a relationship. So he resorts to breaking up with you.
Telling a girl you have no time for her suggests that work matters more than her, which is why some guys edge away from this excuse. But the truth is, a guy who has you high on his priority list will find a way, especially if you’re willing to work with him to make sure your schedules mesh.
When he tells you “It’s not you, it’s me,” know that there are several underlying reasons behind his decision. But whatever that is, pay it no mind. Yes it hurts and it’s also confusing, but if a guy wants space, let him be. Don’t blame yourself. After all, he said it himself: it’s not you, it’s him.