Here’s Why ‘You’re Too Good For Me’ Is Not Actually A Compliment

“You’re too good for me.”

The first time someone said these words to me was back in 2013. I’d been seeing this guy for once a week over 6 months and I’d reached the point where I wanted to know where our relationship (*cough* friends with benefits situation *cough*) was going.

I asked over text and an hour later received, “You’re a great girl, but you’re too good for me”

“Of course I’m not,” was my instant reply, before listing around 10 reasons why what he’d said was untrue.

“You’re kinder than me.”

“You always make me smile when I’m grumpy for no reason.”

“You put up with me.”

I thought I was helping by saying these things to him. I assumed he must not have a lot of self-confidence and it was up to me to help him gain some. I didn’t realise at the time that I was putting myself down in the process of raising him up.

I heard the words ‘you deserve better,’ and ‘you’re too good for me’ a few more times over the following years, and I usually responded the same way:

“You are more than good enough for me”

“I don’t deserve better, not when I have you.”

Silly, naive me. I still cringe to this day.

The last time someone told me I deserved better was four months ago.

We had been texting for a while before hooking up for a few months. I didn’t mind being casual at first. It was simple. It was easy. One text and he’d be at mine within 20 minutes.

It was fun… until it wasn’t anymore.

In the beginning, we’d text often and at length. But three months in, the texts only came when he wanted to arrange the next meet up. The chats after sex became shorter, the cuddles became nonexistent.

I didn’t enjoy his company anymore. A short sex session wasn’t worth how worthless I felt afterwards. So, after a month of reluctance and fear, I threw away my pride and finally texted him two days after I’d last seen him.

“I’m not comfortable being a hook-up anymore. I’m not ready for a relationship, but I deserve more than just sex, and I’d love us to get drinks and get to know each other more.”

As soon as I sent the text, I shrieked and threw the phone across the room onto the sofa, because that’s normal… right?

Truthfully, I never wanted a relationship with this guy (he was 31, complained about everything, lived with his parents, and his mum still did his laundry), but I did want to get to know the man I was sleeping with.

I couldn’t be a booty call anymore. I wanted someone I could hang out with for more than half an hour. I wanted someone I could laugh and debate with while also enjoying the benefits of sex. I wanted sex with a friend, not a stranger.

Ten minutes later, after waiting with nothing but anxiety, my phone vibrated. He had replied.

“I think you do deserve better but I only want casual, so I’ll have to wish you all the best.”

My heart sank. I had been dismissed quickly and with ease. After I’d made it clear that I still only wanted something casual, just with a little extra time and conversation, he was done with me.

And that’s when it really hit me.

He didn’t think I was even worth a conversation.

Later that night, I sat at my patio table cradling a glass of wine while reflecting on every time I’d heard the words “You deserve better.”

“If I deserve better, why don’t YOU give me better?” I now wanted to yell at every man who had ever uttered those words to me. “If I’m too good for you, why don’t you come up here and join me on my GOOD level?”

I was confused, and in my tipsy state, I realized something else. I didn’t even want to get to know my latest fling that badly. We weren’t compatible and I barely knew him. No, the reason I asked him for more than he was giving me was because I believed if he wanted to get to know me, it must mean I’m worthy of knowing.

It must mean I’m good enough to get to know. That I’m deserving of a man’s company and conversation.

I’d spent so many years putting myself down for these types of men that I had started to believe my words myself. What I thought I was only saying to them out of compassion had become a reality.

I didn’t feel good enough or deserving.

I’d spent years dating the ones with low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. The broken ones. The ones who needed validation and love. I’d try to fix them, genuinely believing I could (you can’t) and that I should (you shouldn’t). I’d destroyed my own self-esteem by trying to help men who could only help themselves. I’d poured all of my energy into them, only to be told, “You deserve better,” with no explanation as to why.

But still sitting at that patio table, and after another two glasses of wine, it dawned on me.

When a man says you’re too good for him, what he’s really saying is, “I can’t give you what you want. In fact, I REFUSE to give you what you want.”

He is telling you that he isn’t ready to become a better person for you.

He is telling you he can’t give you the time, effort or commitment he knows you want and deserve.

He is telling you that he is not ready or willing to give you any more than he already has.

He is telling you that if you continue to see him, he is not going to put in much effort.

He is telling you to move on, because he doesn’t care enough or want to be better for you.

Plus, the whole “you’re too good for me” thing is a great excuse to use when they fuck you over.

I say WHEN, not IF.

You’ll ask him why he slept with another woman. He’ll shrug and say, ”Well, I did tell you you’re too good for me.”

You’ll ask why he pulled away and ghosted on you. He’ll shrug and say, “Well, I did tell you that you deserved better.”

This is a way of them letting go of all responsibility and shifting the blame onto you. And trust me, you will blame yourself.

I don’t remember much after finishing that bottle of wine and climbing into bed, but I do remember smiling to myself as I blocked and deleted his number without replying.

I knew I’d be okay. For the first time ever, I didn’t try to convince somebody they deserved me. Because if they did, they wouldn’t let me go.

I finally knew I was, and I always will be, good enough.

So if a man ever says you’re too good for them or you deserve better, smile in his face or send that smiley-face emoji and say, “You know what? I think you’re right.”

Then block that undeserving, not-good-enough, time-wasting, foolish ass’s number. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Lauren likes writing about relationships and self-improvement.

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