Breaking up because you're not worthy of your SO: Selfish or Selfless?

If I break up with someone because I am not in a good place in my life right now and I feel as though i can't give them what they deserve or make them happy like they deserve, even if we love each other so much. Am I being selfish or selfless?
Breaking up because you're not worthy of your SO: Selfish or Selfless?
Updates:
Im not going to date anyone else i still love this person. If it works out in the future i would love for this person to be my future spouse and parent to my future children.
I never expected this question to get as much attention as it did. I asked it from a first person point of view because the man i love did this to me and i still can't get over him and want to fight for him. I want to understand be able to understand him but i dont know what to do.

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Most Helpful Guys

  • I doubt you love him as much as you say you do. Couples who are really in love work together to help one another get through whatever it is they are going through. That is what LOVE is.. Love isn't supposed to be convenient. You aren't even allowing him to love you... the good and the bad. It's not selfish or selfless.. you don't really know what LOVE is.. so until you do it's probably better you do move on so he can find someone who won't give up at the first sign of an issue. He deserves better. Good luck to you.

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    • YOUR UPDATE: Many people use the excuse of "I am not in a good place" so that they can break it off with someone. The real answer is they really don't feel the way they have projected to you in the past and need a way out. So instead of telling you the truth they string you along having you feel sorry for them and wasting your time and life waiting on something that will never happen. So hopefully you do move on and find someone who is willing to love you through thick and thin and not give up when the first obstacle arises if that is even the case. My bet is he doesn't have feelings for you anymore and is a coward using this cheap excuse. This isn't a lifetime movie of the week.. this is your life. You deserve better! Good Luck.

    • from the other standpoint.

      Sometimes people can become depressed and really not in the right mindset. Like me, if I feel like I am being super depressing in a relationship and its just no longer right for the other person, and I am putting them through hell, I would break up with them. It really is not fair to them.

      That was all hypothetical ^

    • @SomeoneBlue gotcha on one end i get it but on the other im broken without him and i just want to be able to love and support him. i dont want him to be alone

  • Let me share with you a story.

    There was a girl that I loved. I thought she was the one for me. One day, her family experienced a massive tragedy when her sister died in an accident. She was in a bad place, but I made sure to be there for her. It was a difficult situation all around. Eventually, she decided to break it off because she wasn't in a good place (understandably). I insisted that she reconsider because the last thing she should do is make such a big decision while grieving.

    I explained to her that I understand what she's going through; not exactly, but I experienced loss first-hand myself. She insisted and broke it off. "I'm not going to be any good for you; you deserve someone who is stronger; someone who is more cheerful... blah blah blah." She then proceeded to unfriend me on facebook and blocked my number on her phone and on WhatsApp.

    I was really heartbroken and disappointed. So, I decided that if she's going to pull the plug on our relationship like that the moment she faces a serious problem, then she's not the one for me. When you experience a tragedy it's a test for your significant other. A SO who sticks by you in your time of need is a keeper, and letting them go because "FEELINGS!" alone, is not enough.

    FYI, a few months later, I had completely moved on and found someone else. She contacted me and asked me to take her back. What am I supposed to do? I was angry with her at first, and while I hold no malice towards her, I finally moved on. It's not right.

    You are beyond "selfless vs. selfish". You're rather being IRRATIONAL to the nth degree!

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Most Helpful Girls

  • Is selfish. Its insecure and totally selfish, not selfless at all. Its an excuse that someone might give because theyre afraid that sooner or later the person they love will realize theyre "worth" and move on to bigger and better thibgs, leaving the insecure person in the dirt. What that insecure person doesn't realize is that its rips away at a persons self esteem when someone basically says "even though your great, and even though your doing everything right, and even though your this amazing person Im going to leave you. Because even when your good, sometimes your too good." It makes a person feel like "damn, I did everything right and still got left?" It makes a person question everything if they can't even trust that being a good man or woman is enough

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  • If you can't take care of you, you can't take care of others. This is not an opinion but a fact. It doesn't mean you have to be perfect, but relationships are work. Full time jobs. You can't do two full time jobs at the same time and be equally successful at both.

    Now if you've already made a committment, you work through it. But if you aren't married i can understand why someone would focus on fixing them first. And it isn't fair to ask you to wait for them to get better. In fact, once they get better you may not want them because they may have changed in a way that doesn't mesh with who you are now.

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What Guys Said 51

  • I won't lie, I have done this a couple times for the same reasons you've stated. I always believed it was selfless. A way to protect her from being dragged down with me. Offering her the last seat on the row boat from the Titanic. To me it always felt as if I was doing something selfless. It wasn't until the last woman I dated made me realize how selfish it was. And it is selfish in many ways and the first is not caring about her opinion. She can make her own decisions and just because I felt one thing was gunna happen, doesn't mean it would. The second is ultimately you're saying the relationship isn't worth trying for and this is a way out. If you truly loved someone, you wouldn't back out for any reason. Struggles happen in relationships. Whether it's on one party or both. Sticking together through those struggles make a relationship stronger. Ultimately what it comes down to is being scared of what happens when the other person witnesses our shortcomings and we need to find a way out. So we try to act selfless by protecting them, and that what we tell ourselves, but we act selfishly by only making it about us as an individual. Instead of working on it together as a team.

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  • If they say you're "not worthy" of them, then you break up - and break any part of them within reach as well.

    BUT...

    YOU don't get to say that you are not "worthy" of being loved.

    Every person on the planet will likely go through a time in their life when they feel as though they can't give what their SO deserves. That's EVERY person.

    Being in a relationship means you let the other person love you. Even when it's uncomfortable to do so.

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  • Been on the receiving end of this, and it really sucks and messes you up. It didn't matter to me if they were able to love me, i loved and cared for them and be there for them as best as i could be. Thing is i don't even know if they just didn't want to be with me and used the whole I'm not worthy thing as an excuse to get rid of me.

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  • She broke up with me for something similar... Its been a year i still find it selfish, silly, stupid.. And childish behavior, and i never fully forgave her for it.. If i love you It means I'm with you for better or worse so don't be a **** and leave me out of your silly insecurities

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    • That's why they say to love yourself before you start loving others.. So you don't do stupid shit like this

  • Cowardly, because you're betting against yourself.

    You're not good enough? Get better, you lazy little shit!

    78.media.tumblr.com/.../...l4YFnt1uuj1vto1_500.gif

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  • Neither , it's stupidity. Obviously if they are sticking with you it's because they see something in you.
    Seeing yourself as not worthy is a terrible attitude as they still want to be with you and that makes you worthy.

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  • You shouldn't break up with the other person just because you're not in a good place in your life, thats just being selfish because think about the other person's feelings.
    Instead you should talk to the other person about your problem and come up with a solution together.

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  • It's selfish with a bit of selflessness mixed in there somewhere. Because you both love each other and when you say you love them but leave anyway you're just stringing them along, giving them hope and refusing to let them move on. Be with them or don't. This situation is nothing but a big, fat "maybe", and even if it wasn't meant to, it's just asking for heartbreak

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  • Wow, that has to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. If you love someone and you're with them, and they love you, and you DUMP THAT PERSON supposedly because "I'm just not good for you right now" talk about a savage shiv. I'm a cold hearted guy but that just seems too nasty to me.

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  • I would say selfish
    You are deciding for your partner making a choice for them and you really have no right to do that
    If you wish you could explain how you feel and let them decide for themselves

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  • You're projecting your insecurities onto the other person and that is selfish. You're deciding for the partner. It is not about them at all... you're making it all about you disguised as love for them.

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  • I think it's both.

    I've personally avoided relationships because I thought I wasn't good enough and felt we would've broken up soon after.

    The 2 relationships that I've had I wonder if it was incompatibility or just me not feeling good enough and that led to subconscious things that led to the break up.

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  • How does your SO feel? Have you talked to your SO about it? If so what was their reaction?

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    • He is in a low place in his life. He honestly thinks that you will have a better life without him because he feels like he will never be able to give you a happy life that he wants to give you. In other words he wants to give you the world to make you happy but he really feels like he will never come close to giving you anything close to that.

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    • what if he doesn't pick up?

    • If you can't get him to answer your call and he doesn't seem to call back then it wasn't meant to be. You deserve the time to be heard and let known what you want

  • Have you sit down and talk with your significant other are you made this decision on your own and you're just going to do this by your decision then I call that selfie I can understand having problems and needing to work them out but he should know that too maybe he would want to help you

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  • Most of the time this is Said because of the good will of the person with another issue that they cannot bring up. Usually because they can’t solve the issue so the person walks away.

    This is actually because of the good willl of the person breaking up to spare the person from emotional trauma and keep the mind free of regret.

    The few majority might actually be doing it for this actual reason but safe to say both parties are right in their own way

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  • I've always thought this was a bullshit excuse. If it's true and you are in a 'bad place' why would u you get into a relationship to begin with? Doesn't even make sense.

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  • Its selfish. You won't realize it until its too late. You think you're doing them a favor but in reality your robbing them of the chance to help you which just makes them think you dont need them at all. So when you come back, they want nothing to do with you

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  • So the way I'd decide is if they're putting in the effort to be with you. If not, you're the only one who's going to get hurt in the end. Just do what makes you happy, you'll find someone that's going to care for you more than they care about themselves.

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  • Of the two choices, the answer is : selfish. That person is dumping the other one and using that 'I'm not worthy" as an excuse. It's no different than breaking up with someone and saying "it's not you, it's me." Bottom line, one person is breaking up with another because they no longer wish to be with them.

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  • *Maybe* there's circumstances where this makes sense, but the majority of the time it's nonsense.

    I'd say selfish for deciding what other people feel *on their behalf* and going on to indulge in insecurities after that.

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What Girls Said 32

  • Sorry, I say selfish. I was going to say something similar to what NineBreaker said, I agree with him wholeheartedly. Basically yeah, sure, you think you're doing something right. But you are missing one teeny tiny little detail: Your S. O. can very well move on while you're "working" on yourself (f***ing around if you ask me). It's irrational.

    Your partner is there to share your thoughts and grievances, and to encourage you. You two are meant to grow TOGETHER. Not apart. Except in cases where it is simply not meant to be. Which may very well be your case, soon. They were there because they saw something in you. Otherwise they would have dumped you long ago. Have faith in that.

    I have a somewhat similar story, though not near as detailed. Basically when I dated my ex (dated almost 10 months) he'd tell me time and again how I'm the best woman he's ever been with. Yet when we broke up it's because he felt like he didn't deserve me and can't provide for me like he should, etc. Of course I tried to tell him he was enough for me and that I'll be there for him, you know, the usual. But he wanted this, so I didn't argue further. And he gave a "what if" scenario of us getting back together, yada yada. And we went our separate ways. We haven't talked since then and it's been 8 months since the breakup.

    Well today he's dating someone who I hear gives him constant hell. Always texting and calling him wanting to know what he's doing like she doesn't trust him, and is supposedly the kind that 'gets around' if you know what I mean. Note that I don't know who she is, it's only what I've heard about her and their relationship. Basically she's the complete opposite of who I was to him.

    If he ever comes back I would probably be too pissed off to even want to talk to him. Because he wouldn't know what good he had if a wrecking ball hit him. While I don't hold any ill will towards him. I'm not going to waste my time on someone who doesn't know what they want.

    I'm telling you right now, and it's going to be a big pill to swallow. If you truly feel that way, and you want this person to be your future spouse. You need to rectify your relationship RIGHT NOW, before it's too late. I guarantee you they WILL NOT put their life on hold and wait for you to pull your head out of your arse. They will eventually get fed up with you and move on to someone who ACTUALLY wants them. Your actions right now say you don't want them. And obviously, it's not an attractive trait in a partner.

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  • I don’t really think it’s either. It sounds more insecure and martyr-esque than selfish or selfless. Being perfect 24/7 is not realistic, and while I do encourage people to be in the right place mentally *before* getting into a relationship, I don’t quite understand breaking up because you’re going through a hard time. In my opinion it has to be extremely bad to get to that point. Breaking up shouldn’t be the first and only solution. Being in a relationship is also about dealing with each other’s ups and downs and doing everything you can to help each other. If your first instinct is to break up, I’d question your motives and whether you’re genuinely doing this to have more time to work on yourself, or if you’re doing it because you feel sorry for yourself and you don’t want to ”burden” your partner (hint: they should be able to handle your downs).
    Based on the little info you gave here, it seems like the latter maybe applies to you a bit more, because you’re talking about how they deserve better and deserve to be happy.

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  • I have been told I am too good for them and they aren't worthy for me. It hurt more because they didn't let me decide at all. It hurts when someone breaks up with you, but it hurts even more if they do it just because they are insecure and think the other person is something perfect ad doesn't let them decide. Everyone has their faults and problems, and if you truly love someone you wanna help them and stand by their side.

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  • Selfish. I hate when someone decides they're not good enough for the other person and proves it by breaking their heart. It's not your decision to make if you're not good enough, if your partner loves you and thinks you're amazing, that's all that matters.

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    • UPDATE: I just read the description and if it's because of the place you're in and you can't be there for them that's being selfless.

  • I think that person would need to work on self-love and have confidence in his or herself. I see that person as giving up on themselves and yeah being selfish. I would just pray to God for help in the relationship ( Hebrews 13:6) and remember that I can do all things through my Lord, who gives me strength (phillipians 4:13)

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  • Been there. Rejected a guy despite liking him back because I was so depressed, stressed, broken from previous relationships, overly worried, stressed, and what not. I thought I was just not for for the relationship.

    Lemme just you this. Any guy who loves you, will love you even when you are going through bad times. Don't have a negative attitude towards life and permanently ending a relationship should not be the solution to a temporary worldly problem.

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  • That isn't selfish in anyway. However I think you should really talk to this person about how you feel. If you talk to them about this and how you are feeling about other things in life, if they are the right person for you they will fight to be with you. "The couple's that are "meant to be" go through everything that is meant to tear them apart and come out even stronger than before."

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  • Atticus has a poem about this:
    I let her go
    because I knew she could do better
    and now she’s gone
    I wonder
    if I should’ve
    just been better.

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  • Dont do the mistake of ending relationship because of what you feel right now that u can't give him what he deserves instead just communicate with him and open up about your fear but dont make the mistake of breaking up with that guy because later u will regret that why did i let him go just because of present temperory situation thats my advice because its rare chance u meet someone who actually loves you for who you are so my advice is to take wise decision

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  • it's a selfless act. i get why people say it's stupid, but i understand why some people think this way. it's their mentality and it's difficult to change. sometimes you feel like there is no way out and nobody can help so you rather not inflict any negativity on others, especially the ones you love

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  • Both and none bc if they feel they need you your selfish. If your 100% sure none it was meant to be and they should find someone who loves them as much as they could love than selfless. We only give the love we think we should receive, so I once heard.🙄

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  • It's neither selfish or selfless. You need time to heal yourself. You need time for YOU. Being selfish would be wanting everything just for your own being. Take the time to rest and heal. You will feel so much better.

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  • Sounds selfless to me. If you know you’re gonna fuck up their life, then you’re doing them a favor by breaking up. It may not be something they want. But it’s still a smart decision

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  • How about you explain to him what you're going through and let him decide whether he wants to stay by you and support you or if the burden's too much for him?

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  • It's selfless I've done that already didn't went so well luckily we are still together but, your giving up your love so that he can be happy and that's how your thinking right now.

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  • I'm in this situation right now, my boyfriend broke up with me because he felt like he wasn't in a place in his life where he could give me what I deserve, it still breaks my heart, but I try to understand

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  • Neither. It just means you're not mature enough for a relationship yet.

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  • so many communication problems with this... You never know if they are saying that to get rid of you or bc they want you to prove you want them. sometimes they are just insecure and need encouragement, other times its a line meant to let you down 'gently;' and sometimes they really just don't like 'me' but you never know why people say things. if someone wants to be with you they should try bc everything else isa mind fuck even if unintentional.

    I've been on both sides of this and no matter what it will always feel like if you really cared and they really want you, youd try. everything else feels like bullshit. unfortunately.

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    • its also patronizing. if a person does not want a relationship OK thats their choice. BUT they do not have a right to decide for someone else. its really weak to project your issue on another person. if you do not want a relationship say so. but if the other person wants you that is their choice.

  • If you're going to break up with someone simply because you think you can't give them what they need, that's not really fair. In all reality, you are not a mind reader and you do not know if you can give them what they deserve or if they are perfectly happy with you and if you just assume that you're not enough and leave them, that's kind of taking away their choice. Now if you are breaking up with them because you feel you need some time alone to work on yourself and become a better person so that you can be a good partner, that is okay.

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  • That’s pretty tough to decide. I think I may be leaning towards selfless. Because think about it, wouldn’t it be selfish to keep the person who wants to leave? I used to be with someone I loved a lot, they had a lot of hard times and although they told me about it and tried to help them out they were still having troubles. Then they told me that they have depression and it all made sense to me. When a person is overwhelmed, sometimes a person can’t really save them from it. They need time for themselves and probably feel like suffocating when in a relationship. I of course tried to be there for them at all times but then they decided to break up. I let them go because i thought it would be selfish to keep them. You can’t force someone to stay with you and you have to do what’s best for them

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