"It's Not You, It's Me": Truth or an Excuse?

Am I the only one on the planet who doesn't believe that "It's not you, it's me" is an excuse?

Have you been on one side or the other of this line in a break up situation? Does anyone buy this explanation? After it happened to me, I stepped back and asked: Is this what is used by people who have compassion, and just don't want to hurt others, or is it used as a lame excuse that someone uses when they don't want to just say the truth?

While it can be a total load of crap and the person saying it is just trying to get out of the relationship cleanly without hurting anyone’s feelings, sometimes, it’s genuine.

I can, however, almost guarantee you've delivered that line at some point in time. Haven't we all? Don't feel bad; it happens. Sometimes, we don't feel those fireworks or hear the wedding bells with the person to whom we gave our digits last week. Ain’t no shame in that! Not to mention, it’s always easier to avoid hurting feelings, and to avoid talking about whatever the “it’s me” truly is. No one likes to bring insecurities to the surface, so the vaguer, the better.

I believe people should actually use this line to improve a relationship. To replace frustration with equality. I mean does honesty exist? Why do people use this when ending a relationship, instead of using it as an exercise in self improvement? You see, in a break up, no matter what the breakerupper says, the breakupee will pick it apart and analyze every word anyway. Yes maybe this line has been overworked, over used and has become cliche. I had it used on me to simply tear my heart apart. But I still truly believe most people use it when they mean it, but may lack communication skills. The person saying it might actually be taking responsibility for their inability to please you. Most people have an ounce of compassion, and I believe when someone is hurting you, they are actually hurting themselves.

So, again, I don’t understand why the notion of “it’s not you, it’s me” is so vilified.

The people who say it are just “using a line” to get out of a relationship. It’s not just a line — a lot of the time, it’s the truth.

I truly believe those words: " It's not you, it's me" have a deeper meaning, but ultimately, it is up to the person receiving the words to know and decide. Know the person who spoke them to you. Were they a kind soul? Were they a total jerk, who was blowing you off, and truly feeding you a line? Was it a cop-out? I think if you use the line, you need to use it sincerely, and possibly elaborate to give the breakupee more clarity. As the receiver of this line, I have felt as if it was really ME! No matter how hard the person tried to explain that it was them, I saw it as "What is wrong with me?" The bottom line it is rejection, and rejection hurts. We all have a core need for acceptance and belonging, and any rejection hurts.

After looking into this some, and using my own personal feelings, I have found that this line is typically used as an excuse by someone who is emotionally unavailable on some level. So after some time, and picking apart the person who used the line on me, I think first, I have now realized it was NOT me, and second, it will help me to spot someone who may not be able to give me what I want/need in any future relationship.


3|2
1114
miamigirl1970 is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
Who are Editors?

Most Helpful Guy

  • With at least one gal, I had to use "It's not you, it's my enemies." Really. She was putting in very little effort. And there was another guy pining for her whose jealousy was completely absurd - especially since she wasn't his in the least. However, if she was putting in next to nothing, and reaching out to her meant having to put up with that lunatic, then she wasn't worth my time.

    1|0
    0|0

Most Helpful Girl

  • High Schoolish, and Yes, I have Heard this Line coming out of the Mouths of Babes... In the Movies or just from Other girls who have been Told this in Order to Steer Clear Into a Relationship, or Not Want to Be any Longer in One.
    Yes, I would say, lame Duck Dick Excuse Under the Sun, Hun, and my own Line this Time when I don't Want to Get Emotionally Involved is : "I would rather stay Friends."
    What is so Hard about Someone Saying all those Little Words?
    However, I Have Heard "You deserve better" which is True, when someone is Either Playing on my own Heart Strings for me to Feel Pity In this Relationship, or Is an Honest John in Indirectly trying to Say, "I feel Bad, don't be Mad."
    Beautifully Done, hun, Thanks for the kind Invite. xx

    0|0
    0|0

Join the discussion

What Guys Said 13

  • Sometimes people can't handle the truth and sometimes people make up excuses. I would rather have a girl be honest and blunt with me then not having things sugar coated and excuses made. Sometimes people can be confused about what they want.

    1|0
    0|0
  • In these cases past, marking these either M (me) or T (them)
    1. T
    2. T
    3. M
    4. T
    5. T-M-T
    6. T
    7. M
    8. Current, keeping my fingers crossed but will have to be... T

    1|0
    0|0
  • I said this once when I broke with a woman, and I truly meant it. We were both in our 20s and dealing with/expanding upon our own issues. I felt like I was gonna implode and I didn't want to hurt her in the process. So we broke up, had bad relationships, and are now married lol Still though, if we're watching a tv show and I hear someone say this I cringe a little inside. She probably does too.. Haha

    But yeah... You've found that the 'line' (cringes) is used as an 'excuse' when someone isn't emotionally available... But if you're 'emotionally unavailable' there is something going on with you independently... So then is it not the truth because it really isn't YOU, it is actually ME? Anyway, thanks for the 'cringey' trip down a dark alley off memory lane! lol

    0|0
    0|0
    • So wait, you are now married to the one person you used this line on? How interesting if so... I am still trying to figure out if I want to confront my person from the past, just to gain my own personal closure. I know closure seems cliche, but actually I am the type of person who needs to see someone, look them in the eye, say what I have to say factually, and then leave with a clean mind and heart. Then and only then, do I accept it as over! What is your take on that?

    • Yeah that's exactly how it happened, I never said it to anyone else and we've been married for 7 years now.
      Sure of course, if it's bothering you and you want to wrap it up how YOU want to wrap it up then by all means, this is 'your story' and they were only in it for a period of time. I guess what I'm saying is don't let things eat away at your brain just because it might affect someone else poorly kinda thing, you know? If you can get closure then go for it.
      You mentioned this person is in your past, and you're obviously still 'bugged' about it, so either get comfortable with it popping into your head, or go after that closure. So long as it is closure you truly want and you're not just telling yourself that.. I don't want to go advising you to walk into a fire of pain if you're looking for something from this person lol Good luck whatever you choose!

    • @Didums, thank you for sharing your story, I think it is neat you are now married! Thank you for the advice, I guess I am not the only person that sees it that way. Most people say "closure only comes from oneself" but I believe that those thoughts will keep "popping" into my head until I close the door. And yes, true closure is what I want. Don't want to use open ended questions. I want to make my statement known, and look him in the eye, and walk on... thanks again!

  • Depends on the person and situation, sometimes it's Bs sometimes it's true, either way work on the relationship will be needed if pursued, whether from high expectations or lack of something, or whether or not the timing is bad, hope it makes sense, dead tired at the moment and can't think fully

    1|0
    0|0
  • 1|0
    0|0
    • NO message came through, was there supposed to be a message above?

    • Show All
    • @kneehow it is just my work computer! Thanks for letting us know, I will look tonight when I get to my home computer or phone!

    • That is GREAT! Funny thing is, I think I remember that episode! Loved Seinfeld

  • I think that is to try to make the person you're breaking up with feel better about the breakup. I don't think it's ever really honest.

    1|0
    0|0
  • You bet.. in my teen years, girls weren't lying about not being ready for a serious relationship... in my 20's, they were mostly interested in older, wealthier guys, and the problem was indeed them, not me.

    Like a lot of guys, I consider myself lucky to have found a foreign woman, not venal and manipulative like modern US women. Yes, the problem is quite often THEM.. not me...

    0|0
    0|0
  • An excuse, and a cheesy cliche at that. Just have the respect for someone to tell them the truth. I've done this before: it's not easy, but it's much better.

    1|0
    0|0
  • No it's Them not knowing what they want out of life nor out of a relationship. It wasn't me.

    1|0
    0|0
  • Well I broke up with my.. Ex. Indeed it had nothing to do with her, my situation is not the best, the two of us isn´t working, we live in different countries. I just tought I had to put my life in order.

    0|0
    0|0
  • Some use it to back out of a relationship that has an abusive for a man , it 's more used men than women.

    0|0
    0|0
  • I've never gotten that from anyone, not those exact words at least, but I think the worst explanation you can get is none at all. It leads to over analyzing and you don't know how to improve going forward in the future.

    Or you get the non explanations like "you're nice... but i didn't feel it" even if they showed interest or they just say I don't wanna see you anymore without any explanation. That can fuck you up because you feel like everything is wrong with you and not to blame one party or another entirely, depending on the situation, but I'd much rather know the harsh truth then be in the dark and make that same mistake going forward.

    0|0
    0|0
    • I totally agree with you. The truth might hurt me to the core, but at least I can deal with it, not knowing truly, hurts and makes you doubt yourself for like EVER!!!

    • Exactly and even if the person's claim for leaving/flaking is unwarranted and they're in the wrong, you at least know.

      Worst times have been when I was rebounded. Especially when they'd show interest or even ask to see me again only to ditch without explanation afterwards.

What Girls Said 10

  • I agree. I have used this line and had it used on me. And there have been some guys who kept pushing when I told them I dont want a relationship, my life is to hectic just to want to focus on my goals. And its not really an excuse. Its the truth, and they will keep being pushy. Its very annoying. But honestly in the past, I use to be pushy and overbearing. So I know the feeling of someone ignoring you and not wanting to be bothered with you without any explanation whatsoever.

    1|0
    0|0
  • i dont think any excuse/ lie is ever bc of 'compassion'.

    i think people who use excuses are the ones who can't handle reality, and the excuse to lie is the other person can't handle it. but they'll have to handle it no matter what is said. . if someone is going to be hurt they'll be hurt o matter what you say. but its hard to be honest, and thats why people lie. not to be 'nice'. bc being nice involves respect. lying is demeaning not respectful. you can be kind and honest. you can't be respectful and lie.

    i think its not you its me is said anytime someone honestly apologizes in a relationship. i think its an useful thing to say ending a relationship bc relationships involve two people. saying its not you its me is basically like saying the other person is totally inconsequential. anyhow its a platitude so even if its honest it will nit deliver a clear meaning. the best way to explain ones self is to explain ones self. everything else--self inflation & cowardice. in my opinion.

    1|0
    0|0
  • A lot of people can't handle the truth or facing reality like an adult when their feelings are hurt, so it's a cringey cliche but sometimes it has to be used:( I'd rather be completely honest but that also gives the person the feeling of constructive criticism like the problem can somehow be worked out. Some people just don't get things or don't want to listen so you have to put that absolute no or else they create false hope in their minds.

    1|0
    0|0
  • I think it's a little bit of both. It is you, but it's also because of them. Maybe they did something that made you lose the spark. So they made you lose the spark, but you end it because you don't feel it anymore.

    0|0
    0|0
  • it can be honest

    1|0
    0|0
    • For me, I found someone I really enjoy as a person for probably the first time in my life, but I am glad to just be friends because I am not ready and I may never be to be in a relationship and that is nothing about him, because really he is the most wonderful man on earth I have met, it is about me and where I am at

  • Personally I've only used that as an excuse

    1|0
    0|1
  • I think it's only said when the person who's saying it has no balls or sincerity to say what the really feel

    1|0
    0|0
  • i used to know someone that couldnt get that atraction feeling any more... she didn't know what was wrong b/c he was the perfect guy, but she just wasn't atracted anymore... it wasn't his fault or her fault... but since she wants to break it of and she still wants him to be the perfect guy he is she told him... its not you, its me... by the way before someone tells me im young this was my friend she's about 20

    0|1
    0|0
  • fefinetely an excuse

    0|0
    0|0
  • When I say that, it is the truth. I have such low self-esteem and if I used to always sabotage relationships or something because I am scared to get close to someone. It's never them. It's why I don't date anymore because that's just leading someone on. I gave up a five years ago. I just have a lot of self-hatred and low self-esteem, so if I say that, I really mean it. Although I always explain it. I don't just use: "It's not you, it's me." I explain exactly why it's me and not them.

    1|0
    0|0
Loading...