If you’ve ever been on the other end of a breakup your executioner probably tossed a bunch of phrases at you to try to explain the situation.
“I just need some space.”
“I’m just not ready for a relationship right now.”
“I just need to focus on…(whatever)”
And of course my personal favorite:
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
I think generally people love using expressions, slogans and catchphrases, no matter how cliched they’ve become. I hear folks drop them in conversations all the time. They’re meant to describe a situation, a point of view, a way of life. And even if they’re used appropriately they’re really not that unique sounding.
Most of us have heard them hundreds of times before. Plus, half the time I wonder if people even understand what they’re meant to mean or how it relates to what they’re telling you, if it’s an appropriate phrase to describe the situation or if they just think they sound deep and philosophical randomly including them in the conversation.
Believe me, most folks aren’t Confucius. If they were, they would be wise enough to come up with their own way of explaining whatever it is they’re talking about instead of relying on a phrase that was ancient in the Bronze Age.
So that brings me to – ‘It’s not you, it’s me’.
You’re in a relationship (well you were, now that’s about to end buddy) and you’re in the middle of that….talk. If you haven’t gotten the hint already that things were history you’re about to receive that wake up call. A quiet, intimate conversation takes place and gradually the explanations come out why you’re getting dumped.
One of the tried and true pieces of the Break Up Arsenal, is hearing ‘It’s not you, it’s me’. This expression has been around for ages. I think it might have gotten started in the late 15th century when it was first said to a smitten blacksmith or something.
The point of this remark is meant to alleviate any negative feelings that what is happening was in any way your fault. You are prefect the way you are. However, as it happens this person is not perfect. They’re possessing some flaw that they’re not ready for a relationship, they don’t live up to what you really deserve having and they are the one to blame for what’s happening.
Well, yeah we knew that! Their the one who wanted to have this conversation in the first place!
This phrase is a complete crock. Despite this phrase attempting to twist around who the reason is as to why this breakup is taking place it fails miserably. YOU are obviously the reason it’s taking place. This person just can’t stand you anymore, but doesn’t want to say that.
Let’s say the genesis as to why all this is happening is because you’re not the flashiest dresser. Well, the way you’re meant to interpret the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ line is that you have your own unique fashion sense, but this other person just doesn’t get it. For some strange reason your Saturday night ensembles just haven’t grown on them. They have the problem, not you.
But in reality they mean – something that seemed cute and endearing in the early stages of the relationship they now view as an annoyance. They’ve finally discovered you’re just a slob. See, it’s not really you, it’s them.
Yeah right. It’s what they think that counts and they’re obviously having negative thoughts about you. If they don’t think you’re the snappiest dresser and are embarrassed being seen with you then who do you think they’re blaming – you or themselves? They have good taste, they know how to dress so they’re blaming you of course! The realization struck them that it’s time to cut ties with this pig!
Now they’re ready to get out of this relationship any way possible, so they’re prepared to let you think they’re the one with the problem not you. Hey, why would they care if you’re left thinking they have issues. They don’t plan on seeing you ever again anyway! Plus, if they use this rationale you’ll be left with some dignity and you won’t go setting your wardrobe on fire.
Unfortunately, despite the nonsensical, doublespeak that this phrase actually is, it’s hung around and is still being used today as a weak crutch in an attempt to ease the breakup pain. Although it really doesn’t.
While you’re reading this some poor sap somewhere is hearing it being recited to him. We should all collectively decide to permanently retire this line of misdirection from the human language. Break ups are going to be tough, but it makes it even more agonizing when the person you cared so much for is throwing you hackneyed lines to end it. Wasn’t your relationship more special than that?
No one likes being in this break up situation, but it makes things worse when this seasoned line is brought up. Its intention is to make you feel better, but really it doesn’t.
It would probably be better if it’s never uttered and you could just allow the one doing the breaking up to just ramble and talk incoherently until you’ve had enough of listening to them babbling and say bye. At least that would provide some final moments of amusement of you seeing this individual look like an idiot.
I think it would be much more comforting to reflect on the fact that getting dumped happens to everyone. It’s sort of like a rite of passage.
It builds character, gives you life experience and you’ll be a better person having endured it. Yeah….it doesn’t make it any easier huh? I don’t blame you.
But it’s got to make you feel better than if you were told ‘we can still be friends’ right?