What He Really Means When He Says He’s Not Good Enough For You

We all know that people can come up with the lamest excuses for breakups. One of my exes didn’t actually break up with me. He just straight ghosted. Seriously, we never had a breakup. I figured though once I stopped hearing from him and when he wasn’t returning my texts or calls that it was over. I laughed out loud when he called me two years later and was all “You know we never officially broke up.” Right, bro.

Anyway, from Post-It notes to finding out you’ve been dumped on Facebook, there are some pretty horrible breakup stories. And there are a ton of equally horrible excuses. I’m actually not above the bad breakup. I went on a break with my college boyfriend because I “wanted time to focus on my internship,” when really I just wanted time apart from him. But I didn’t want to tell him that. We got back together for another two years, but I regret lying about it because that was not okay.

One of my friends recently ended things with her sort-of boyfriend (I don’t really know what they were and neither did they) because he went on this whole thing about how he wasn’t good enough for her. He was going on about how he was a bad guy and was just going to hurt her in the long run. He was saving her the trouble, how noble! Ethan’s addressed this before, and the reality is still the same.

In reality, this guy sucks. They were sort of friends with benefits, but he wanted to be exclusive without being in a relationship (red flag #1). Then he kept telling her he hoped that she was seeing other people because he would be a bad boyfriend (red flag #2). Then he pulled this nonsense about not being good enough for her (red flag #3).

Apparently his last relationship was really crappy, and he was still carrying around a lot of baggage from it. My friend responded to his freak-out by letting him know that if he ever needed to talk about anything that she was there for him. She told him that he was pushing her away, and she was right. That’s exactly what he was doing.

He freaked out because he didn’t actually want to commit to something. So he pulled the “it’s not you, it’s me” card and ran away. It’s a cowardly move, and it’s really annoying. Just be honest and say that you don’t want anything more. That’s all it takes.

If a guy is telling you that he’s not good enough for you, he thinks he’s making things easy. But you’re left wondering what’s really going on. You’re thinking about how to make him feel worthy or what happened in his past to make him feel that way. You see the good in him because you like him so you don’t understand why he feels unworthy of your affection.

Honestly, he’s just not brave enough to end it.
Has a guy ever said this to you? Have you ever used this on someone else? Tell us in the comments!

Here are 10 thoughts you’ll have if you’ve been cheated on

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  • shortbutsweet14

    I completely understand what you’re going through with this. This really sweet guy that I’ve just started seeing keeps telling me how he isn’t good for me and how he feels like I might be disappointed, if he can’t be there 24/7.

    I simply keep telling him that I want him and to see what happens between us, because I like him and he’s such a good man. We’re friends. He’s a good father to his little girl, he goes on the road for work. I know that he has a lot in his life. But, I wish he would know that I would never push him to commit too fast.


  • Wardemon

    Its not always just a line though. From a guys perspective if you look at women’s dating profiles and talk to women about what they want in a man the majority of them will be an ideal picture of a guy that isn’t technically perfect but just as close as you can be while still keeping plausible deniability when someone tells them they are looking for perfect. Some men take all that feedback from women to heart and actually try to live up to those impossible ideals.

    • Dolly W

      Even when you tell him how amazing he is and how perfect he is for you? Women are very vocal about these things. My ex never had to second-guess how I felt.

  • kelly

    After few years, im still confused and still can not figure it out. He did a lot for me, was there for me when I needed help and etc etc. But when I’m slowly starting to be more open to him, he told me “Don’t come looking for me. You should be with someone better”. To be honest, he’s just nice for me…

  • Jess

    I met this guy at a party and I knew he was somekind of a manslut. He danced with me and somewhat flirted with me. He gently kissed my forehead and we ended up kissing each other only for him to tell me “you’re too beautiful to be alone, go snog some guys but not me because I’m no good” one last kiss and he was gone.. wtf? And my first thought was “do I look that innocent? ?”

  • Becca

    My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year, but go back a bit further than that. He has always told me he doesn’t feel good enough, which aggravates me to no end. However, whilst saying this he continues to show me how much he loves me. I think when a man is being distant while saying you deserve better then you need to do exactly that. But in my case he genuinely cares for me and our relationship, but expresses that I’m valuable. It can be taken either way depending on use of the phrase.

  • nelly

    Here what one guy that i really liked wrote me down ( and i did iked him a lot ) :

    I am not sure I will ever be healthy and happy…. and I think that maybe you should try to forget me as a lover. This is not because I do not think you are great but because I have been alone for so long. I can be almost certain that there is a man for you that is better than me. I lived a very crazy life and I usually make very strange music with underground connotations. I think the internet in general has done me a lot of damage and nearly everyone on it has about 9032 options for lovers… I wonder if any one is capable of a relationship any more or if they will always need a computer to talk to others. Me and you have good western astrology, Libra and Taurus…. but on the other hand we have the worst chinese astrology = Goat and Ox , 2 of my past girlfriends have been an Ox and it was hell, even though we tried it ended badly and had arguments. Now another summer is here and i must try and get outside to see people… its been 7 years since I saw a summer… last year i went out once in the sun… its been very sad for me and in fact, my whole life has been really fucked up.. I am always depressed and anxious and always on my own… if I were to meet a girl in real life here I cannot be expected to turn her down over you… It would be crazy.. I haven’t met a girl but I should not promise you anything.. I believe you have love for me as I do you… we are attracted to each other., but this is not the most important thing… now I am not stoned for so long I can see things more clearly , even If I was very healthy I expect you would not like me in real life as much as you think you would… I am way too skinny and unhealthy and you could find a much better , stable man. There is one for you somewhere . I always hope you are well of course and wish for you to be happy , I just do not know what else to say.

    now. what you think guys .. did he ever loved me or not?

  • Nana Chadwick

    This is exactly what I’m going through right now. Theirs this guy who I have liked for 5 years now and he liked me too. Recently I told him how I feel and he said he felt to same way but he didn’t want to hurt me. But I too the risk because I really like him. We lasted 2 months and during that time he never put forth any effort. I always asked him out and texted first. He would flirt with me when we where around each other but other than that nothing. So one day I finally told him that I wanted to brake up because it seams like he doesn’t care. Then he said that he understood and that he saw it coming that I would be better off with someone better than him. (so not what I was expecting) Then I asked him why he never seamed to act like he cares about our relationship and is it because of me. He said that it was because of him and there is some secret that he cant tell me yet. But he really likes me and didn’t want to hurt me and that he isn’t good enough for me. Now I’m trying to figure out what the secret is and how to be there for what he is going through.

  • Mmm

    I was dumped the day after Valentines day. He said he was “unworthy of my love”. I spent the next couple of weeks wondering what I could of done or said differently and was really confused. This guy put on a really good show and come on strong (had my family fooled too). No one deserves a COWARD. All the bull about “I love you but you’re not the one”…”it’s me not you” is an excuse. This is typical of a man with low self-esteem, he can’t stand the thought of being hated so makes a lame excuse for you to question yourself to get him off the hook. Chances are he met someone else. Ladies, please save yourself the trouble of dealing with this B-type of men. The age of online dating is here. It’s so easy to find another replacement. I am bitter but that’s because I wasted 3 weeks of my life moping around and questioning my worth. I just feel like if someone doesn’t have the decency to tell you the truth, they are not worth your time.

  • Elizabeth

    I met this guy at a party and we really hit it off, had such a good time and in the morning he messaged me and was being all flirty and what not and i didnt flirt back and to this day i still really havnt, he was asking me to hangout everyday for a week but he never showed up? Wed talk on facebook for hours about nothing and he liked my pictures and this was going on for two weeks lol, I know its not long AT ALL but then the last day I asked him why he kept making these plans with me and not showing up and he said it was because he would never have time for me and that he doesnt want me waiting on my life goals and that hes a bad person to be hanging out with? I was so confused and i still dont understand, half of me wants to message him and half of me doesnt, because after reading your column.. does he not want anything to do with ME? or what? i dont get it!! Hes not even a bad person either :/

  • Abby

    This girl and I met online trough Skout. I was really attracted to his eyes. We met in June saw one another in July on the fourth. He looked different in person but we connected very well. He claim he wanted a relationship, and be in love. He said I love you first and he knew I was not big on that. I said what the heck you only live once so I guess my infatuation was really love.Soon he became distant after 6 months. He was talking to someone else the whole time started telling me he was single the whole time how I chased him which was the other way around. He made up all these lies and chewed me out over his new girl. He even let her tell me some words too. But later he apologized and come to find out it was because he had found a new girl that told him to apologize. He claimed he wasn’t any good for a female he had no sexual desires not sleeping with the girl he left me for but living with her.which I came to find out was true he isn’t good for himself too.He is so sorry for playing emotional games when he could have been honest upfront. He lied about ever saying he loved me and said he slept with 30 women on skout. His name is Artaveous Derrick Purvis. A know loser.

    • mspurvis

      Damn life goes on. …what he did was cowardly or maybe you weren’t the one. Shit happens..and people change. Artaveous Purvis is a known liar but real recognize real… he’ll get what’s coming to him. Don’t get attached to anyone these days. ..especially someone you meet online. They all lie…you just have to be better at it…

  • Gabbie

    My current boyfriend tells me this when he doesn’t make time for me
    (which is pretty much all the time). And it makes me feel like crap when he does. It makes me feel like I’m asking too much from him or I’m being too needy. It really bothers me when he does this. And when I ask him to talk to me or spend time with me and he doesn’t, he gets mad and says I don’t respect his busy lifestyle….which I do I just wish he would put a little bit more effort into making time for me. But maybe I am asking for too much?

  • seoighe08

    Yeah same thing’s going on for me at the moment. He doesn’t think he’s good enough or he thinks someone else could make me happier but he is one of the kindest, most generous, most understanding people I’ve ever met and I love him to bits. He’s not in a good mindset though but I just feel I want to make him feel that he’s more than enough for me. If anything I feel I’m not good enough for him but I know he loves me. It’s tough.

  • Ashley

    This happened to me, the guy i was talking and I knew he wasn’t good, he smoked, drugs, dranked. and he told me he was bad for me, that we should just be friends. It hurts me so much, i just want to see the good but I know I have to face reality.