Silly Things Guys Say During A Breakup, Interpreted

No two breakups are exactly the same, but that doesn’t mean they don’t follow the same general outline. One person initiates the dreaded “talk” and the other reacts by bursting into tears, demanding to know if there’s someone else, or maybe handling it well because it was a long time coming. Sometimes breakups last hours, sometimes only 10 minutes. However it goes down, there’s always a few things that guys think they’re “supposed” to say to make it easier, even if it’s not exactly the whole truth.

  1. “It’s not you, it’s me.” A classic. He doesn’t even have to say these exact words for you to get the gist. He’s taking on the full weight of responsibility for the breakup in an attempt to let you out of your commitment free and clear. Either that, or he’s terrified of confrontation and the truth isn’t worth the freak out he assumes will follow.
  2. “I don’t have time for a relationship.” Usually accompanied by, “I don’t want to be unfair to you,” this one makes it seem like he’s doing you a favor. He’ll never be around anyway, and whatever free time he does have, he would prefer not to spend it with you.
  3. “I’m not ready for a serious relationship.” Sure, he may regret letting you go six months from now when he wants more than casual hookups, but that’s not your problem. If he doesn’t want to commit right now, be grateful he was honest about it and didn’t string you along when his heart wasn’t really in it. You deserve a guy who wants the same things as you.
  4. “We should stay friends, though.” Friends? Right. You mean the kind of friends that text each other “u up?” at 1am? He’s just keeping his hook up options open here, so if you’re cool with that, “friends” is a great direction to go after a breakup!
  5. “I don’t deserve you.” Well clearly not if that’s his reason for dumping you. This is just a non-compliment dropped for the purpose of distracting you from the fact that you’re currently being dumped which means, to him, you aren’t good enough.
  6. “I need space.” He’s easing out of the relationship instead of ripping the band-aid off. He wants to make sure he’s really okay with being single again before he commits to it. Or maybe you’ve really been smothering him and backing away a little bit will make all the difference. Probably not, though. “Space” is the first step towards a full on breakup.
  7. “I think we should see other people.” He’s already met someone and he wants to spend all his time with her, but his relationship with you is holding him back.
  8. “Unless you’re up for an open relationship…” He probably knows you aren’t going to agree to this, so there’s no harm in throwing it out there. At this point he’s already out, but if you’re willing to let him sleep with other people, he might be up for letting you keep pretending you’re together.
  9. “I don’t think we’re right for each other.” This is basically just another way of saying he’s not that into you, and chances are if you’re being honest with yourself, you probably aren’t that into him, either. You were missing that spark, and it’s probably better to be single than waste your time with this dead end relationship.
  10. Radio silence. So he never actually said he wanted to break up. He just stopped responding to your messages, blocked you from social media, and changed his phone number. He’s either ghosted you because he’s a jerk who can’t just be honest about wanting to break up, or you’ve been stalking him and this is his last resort before he takes out a restraining order. Might be time to just let this one go.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to, contributes regularly to, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.