Relationships are weird.
And probably the only thing weirder than a relationship is the end of one.
The fact is we make them weird. We’re people. We’re unique, and quirky, and different – and we’re supposed to be loved for our originality. But, for all that originality we’re far from “original” when it comes to ending relationships.
Face it: Sometimes relationships just don’t work. People aren’t who we think they are, and over time we realize that while we may have originally been attracted to their obsessive behavior, or awkwardly deficient habits, it wears off and we want out. Originally, I thought calling this “things my exes have said” would be perfect, but then I realized I am absolutely just as disastrously awful at executing a breakup.
And I guess we shouldn’t be good at it, but I definitely think a little more grace and honesty couldn’t hurt to help avoid some of the weird awkwardness that ensues after we drop the “it’s not you it’s me,” line that no one wants to hear.
Here are some of my personal favorites:
(1) “I just can’t commit right now. I have too much going on in my life.” This one is usually dropped after the second or third date, when things have begun to take a serious turn. There are a million reasons for this one. Maybe things got serious with someone else, or maybe things were never not serious with someone else. Or maybe, you were just an impulsive filler, to kill some time while Mr/Mrs Right, got their head out of their ass.
(2) “I still have feelings for someone else.” “Someone else” meaning [their ex] probably was notified by a friend, status update, or tweet that a certain someone was trying to move on. Hell, maybe they were notified directly. It doesn’t matter, because you’re out and they’re in.
(3) “I just need some space, and time to ‘do me.’” Translation: You can’t be Mr. or Mrs. Right. If you are I’d rather live life alone, and risk losing you, than settle down for the rest of time with you.
(4) “I’m too young to settle down.” Maybe if I were five years older, and five years more desperate I’d be more willing to settle for you. I’m not now though. I’m definitely not now.
(5) “You deserve someone better than me.” I have done things that as result, I can barely stand looking myself in the mirror. One of the VERY rare circumstances where it’s not you, it’s me applies beyond any shadow of a doubt.
(6) “I can’t handle a long distance relationship.” Correction: You can’t handle being committed in a long distance relationship, OR you’re already committed to the prospect of not being committed anymore.
(7) “We both need a break for us. We’ll be better for it.” Translation: Would you by any chance be interested in accepting that I am going to hook up with other people, and in turn I’ll grant you the same freedom to do so, until I deem I no longer want to explore the genitalia of other individuals? Yeah, it’s not for us, and it’s not a break. Goodbye.
(8) “I need to find myself.” What? Are you lost in the Amazon? You’re here. Right now. Living. Breathing. Doing everything you need to do. You just don’t want this anymore. Which actually, is just fine because you can’t date someone who isn’t aware of where they are.
(9) “I don’t want to hold you back.” If I’ve rationalized myself staying with you, as holding you back – I’m doing you a greater disservice than you’ll probably ever understand. Run away!
(10) “It’s not you, it’s me.” Fitting that this be the last example, because it almost always is you. This is just a desperate attempt at being polite, or avoiding the conflict of telling someone “sorry not sorry.” It’s okay. Really, they’re all okay. Life goes on, and in truth not everyone is intended for the first person they lay eyes on, and have an interest in. Sometimes people regret letting others go, and sometimes people let things go so they can come back together again later in life.
Regardless of what the reason is you can’t forget that it’s very okay to be that reason. It’s not your fault your quirks drove them to leave you, and possibly develop a debilitating habit. It’s life, and we all have issues. Just try to be a little more honest with yourself, and the people around you next time you’re faced with the choice.
Hell, maybe I’m alone – but I’d certainly appreciate hearing “You know, I can do a lot better than you. You’re just not quite what I’m looking for, and if I at any point need to settle down, and I feel as though I’ve exasperated all other options – I’ll be sure to give you a call.”
I certainly wouldn’t be settling down with any of these people, but in the end do you ever really settle down with any of the people you’ve said any of these things to?