My boyfriend broke up with me a few weeks ago and said it was because he felt like he doesn’t deserve me and I’m too good for him. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that… is this a legit excuse or is it just something guys say?
The ol’ “it’s not you – it’s me,” eh? I’ve heard that one before. In fact, I might have even dished it out myself before (don’t worry, I’ve adopted much more straightforward break-up methods since then).
The main reason you’re so suspicious of his “justification” is because it doesn’t really explain anything. What does it mean to be “too good” for someone, anyway? (Indulge my 11th Grade Philosophy class for a sec.) If “good girlfriends” bake cookies and “bad boyfriends” forget anniversaries, then sure, some of us are better than others at maintaining relationships. But anyone can learn to be less selfish and more thoughtful – it even happens naturally as we mature and become more experienced. And no one is simply inherently better than anyone else. If that were the case, people would choose partners based on levels of virtuousness rather than emotion.
Although it might initially sting, wouldn’t it be easier to let this guy go if he’d just say “I’m sorry, but I’m just not feeling it enough to continue?” He probably thinks he’s letting you down easy, when really, he’s only causing more confusion. “But you’re great,” you might think. Followed by “Well, maybe he just needs time to himself for a little bit…” All of which drags out a relationship that needs to end.
See, if he’s claiming that he “doesn’t deserve you,” he’s telling the truth simply by uttering such a phrase. If it’s just a lame excuse, then this claim is a self-fulfilling prophecy and an easy way out. If he believes it’s true, then he’s got some self-esteem issues that simply aren’t your problem – there’s nothing you can do to make him feel worthy. Either way, he – and anyone else who has leaned on the phrase – is right: he isn’t worthy of your affection.
Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of ActualConversation.com. For more on Ethan, visit EthanFixell.com…or call his mom, Robin.