‘It’s not you, it’s me’ and why it’s a harmful thing to say.

I’ve never actually heard the above words exactly like that, but I’ve heard variations. Today’s variation was ‘I don’t think I’m the person for you’

No. No, what I think you mean is ‘You’re not right for me’, which is all round a much healthier statement to make.

Okay, you might not be the person for me, but that is my call to make. You can only control who you like or who you don’t, so don’t presume to speak from my perspective. It’s just rude to assume that you know what’s best for me. You don’t know my head (okay, I might not always know my head, but you certainly don’t know it). You don’t know if you’re right for me or not.

It’s also just harmful to yourself to phrase things like this. It’s worryingly close to putting yourself down. If you make yourself the problem in the statement, you might start to believe that you are the problem. It’s like CBT – repeat something enough and you’ll start to believe it.

Instead, lets be a little bit selfish in romance and relationships, okay? Lets admit ‘Sorry, but I don’t want to be with you.’ ‘Sorry, this isn’t working out.’ Lets not try to take the blame for something which isn’t really the fault of either of us.

People aren’t always suited – that’s just how it works, and denying that is harmful. You can’t put a square peg in a round hole. You may as well try to argue against the laws of physics as force together two people who aren’t suited. So there’s no need to take the blame.

Now, maybe these kinds of statements are indicative of a problem in how people react when being broken up with. So lets all agree to also take the news of a break-up a bit better – or at least try to. Then maybe we won’t have to lie to one another or fluff things up to cushion the blow.

While we’re at it, lets be really selfish. Lets admit that we all deserve the right partner for us. Lets own that, and not settle for someone who we don’t really like, just for the sake of being with someone.

Lets all just step back from these bullshit phrases and platitudes, and accept that love is a messy, difficult, weird process, but that we’re going to keep on trying – and, often, failing. And that’s just how it is.


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