6 Common Breakup Clichés – and What They Really Mean
Relationships are always a uniquely personal experience. But, for some reason, when we break one off, we all seem to follow the same script, right down to the tears, the protestations (“You’re so great, really, but…”), the apologies (“You’re just too good for me!”) and the promises (“Of course, we’ll still be friends.”)
If you’ve been on the receiving end of any of these bad breakup clichés, it’s time to know the truth.
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
You suspected it all along. But when your ex says, “it’s not you, it’s me” -- it really is you. But that’s not your fault; you’re just not quite what he or she was looking for. And even though it’s the most annoying breakup cliché of all time, it’s actually a pretty flattering one. If he or she is taking all the blame in the split, it’s a show of respect.
“I’m just so busy these days.”
The reality? He or she just doesn’t care enough about you to make you a priority. This is a perfect example of the now-classic “he’s just not into you.” Yes, he or she may, in fact, be crazy-busy, but the simple truth is that if you were important enough, they’d find a way to fit you into their schedule.
“I can’t give you what you need.”
Translation: “I don’t want to give you what you need.” Here’s a variation on the previous cliché, with a little extra “I’m the victim here!” thrown in for good measure. If he or she really wanted to be with you, there’s probably a way to make it happen. Rather than make the necessary sacrifices, this ‘fraidy-cat would let you think their problems are so unfixable, you should just move on.
“I need space.”
They Mean: “I am freaking out.”
“I need space” is a nice way of saying, “You are freaking me out.” This is the one you’ll hear if you’re spending a little too much time together or if things seem to be moving a little fast, sexually or emotionally. Sometimes, though, that smothered feeling has nothing at all to do with you. The sudden need for space usually happens right around the time the relationship starts getting a little serious. Because falling in love means losing a little control, some folks freak out a little bit at the loss of autonomy.
“I think we should see other people.”
This one is as slimy as it sounds. Basically, this person wants to continue sleeping with you, but also have your permission to sleep around. He or she is still into you – otherwise the relationship would be over completely – but s/he wants to keep fishing for a better offer.
“I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”
Why precisely do people think that making the distinction between “loving” and being “in love” will make getting dumped feel less painful? We have no idea. But if you can overlook the hypocrisy of this cliché, maybe you can take a little comfort in the fact that the person who issues it is genuinely – if poorly! – trying to avoid hurting your feelings.
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