What a crock! Hands up if you’ve heard this line before? I bet if we were all in a room together there would not be many of us sitting smugly with our hands down. Well, unless you’re the one that uses this cliché as your out in your relationships. Ok, ok, sure, there are some out there that legitimately realize that there’s an issue within them that prevents them from a healthy relationship, or a realization of a difference that could lead to potential relationship problems down the road. But for the love of all that is holy in this world, tell the truth! Just using the blanket statement of “it’s not you, it’s me” and that’s it, is a total cop out and really unfair to the receiving party. Now I know there are some of us out there that believe this is “the nice way” of doing things, using such a vague statement is meant to make the receiving party feel that it’s really nothing that they did or could’ve done and you don’t have to have an icky, uncomfortable conversation of what didn’t work in the relationship and can maybe stay friends because they can’t call you a “jerk” for taking the sole blame of the relationship ending on your shoulders, right?
I’ve experienced this first hand in the recent few months. A fairly serious relationship at that and I get a phone call while they’re away across the country and the words you never want to hear from your partner when the relationship is going seemingly well, “this isn’t working, and has to end”. Now, I give myself credit in this department, and it has to be said I think I am quite level headed when it comes to relationships ending. This isn’t my first rodeo; sometimes I’ve had to end relationships, sometimes it’s been mutually ended, and yes I’ve even been on the receiving end of the “this isn’t working” conversation (though, who in their right mind would give up this, right? –note: this is not arrogance folks, I am a good catch, this is called confidence and knowing one’s self). So, while I’m gobsmacked from this seemingly wonderful relationship all of a sudden ending, mustering composure, I ask, why? What happened?…..I don’t go off the handle, I don’t scream, I don’t start throwing things, I don’t break his things, I don’t toss his clothing out of the nearest window, I do not throw a tantrum that a two year old could be proud of (you laugh, but I have known grown women to go totally off the deep end when a break up happens, we’re an emotional gender and it can happen before we even realize it’s going on to reign it in). I’m still ever learning at this relationship thing, I want to know what went wrong, was it something I did, was it something he did, something that I should’ve looked for, was it something that was out of my control, too fast, too slow, someone else, incompatibility, what???? I was told no solid reason, he responded with, that’s right, you guessed it: “it’s not you, it’s me”. I’m in shock at this point, someone who claimed to love me in every way just used the biggest break up cliché in the world on me! There’s silence on the line, and he chooses to continue on the same line of reasoning, “you’re wonderful, and you’ve done nothing wrong”, this snaps me back to the conversation at hand, “oh I know, I was a good partner”, I responded strongly. More silence, I’m not sure that’s the response he expected, I think he was more prepared to argue with/convince me that I did nothing wrong. “Well, good I’m glad you know that”, he finally said. I have to admit, my ex was an inherent people pleaser and had a personality trait of wanting everyone to like him and think he was a nice guy, and keeping true to this personality I’m thinking that’s why he chose his verbiage as such. And, in the past for him, when he’s ended relationships this way, I’m sure the women have sniffled an understanding and let the conversation end at this, and part ways in a friendly manner letting him take full blame, but the blame for what not ever be quite sure.
Before I continue, I should explain something about myself for those who don’t know me and are new to me as they’ve stumbled across this blog. I am a wonderfully communicative person, I try to be reasonable and understanding towards most, and I am brutally honest, almost to a fault; and I appreciate all of these qualities in someone when they are dealing with me as well…
So, did I let this poor lad off with the uncomplicated and self sacrificing ending that he probably wanted? Nope! I wanted to understand, I wanted to know what the problem was, no matter who that problem was with! So in this circumstance “it’s not you, it’s me” wasn’t an appropriate ending note. We talked, and talked, I asked any question I could to try and understand what was happening. I gave him total absolution of any ill will toward him, as long as he was honest. By occupation I sometimes have to take the role of a teacher/facilitator, and I even tried incorporating useful traits from this into my personal life at this point; I asked probing questions, I offered scenarios, I empathized even, all to try and get some actual reasoning for this relationship coming to an end. Unfortunately, he was stubborn and thoroughly convinced that “it’s not you, it’s me” was the way to go, despite how I explained a need for closure and how a reason would actually help me, I never got it….
In my opinion, any relationship ending when you don’t want it to is going to hurt, but it would’ve helped me to process that hurt a little quicker and more easily if I could’ve gotten some honesty and a lesson learned out of it perhaps. I understand some of those “nice people” out there, that don’t want to hurt feelings, and want to shoulder the entire brunt of the relationship ending to avoid hurting another person. Or, maybe there are those out there that don’t want to admit to another person the actual issues they have, and just use this blanket statement to try and avoid expressing their vulnerabilities. But the person that is on the receiving end of “it’s not you, it’s me”, are you doing them any favours? Closure is such a hard thing to come to on your own without any solid reasoning, and being a person that processes things factually when there is not fact given or nothing to learn, it’s a challenge. Now this is not a challenge that cannot be overcome, it’s just a challenge, and in my view, perhaps an unnecessary one this time.
As I’ve explained previously, I love me, and I’m honest with me; that gave me my closure. I tried my best in my relationship with honesty and love, and there was never a mistake of what I wanted in my relationship; and that is how I sleep at night. As for it not being me, it was him; it probably was him and whether he didn’t want to admit to me (or himself for that matter) what the issue was, he lost a good woman. I am a catch 😉