Are 'Personal Issues' A Legit Breakup Excuse? As Told By A Nice Guy And A F*ckboy

by Adam Shadows
Kylah Benes-Trapp

Dear Nice Guy and Fuckboy,

Hi, my name is Ashley* and I'm 26. I was seeing this guy I met online; he's a few years older than me.

Things were going really well. We went on two dates, and spoke every day, all day. This was going on for about a month. Then one day, I stopped hearing from him.

I was really concerned and reached out to him. He answered, but really wasn't treating me the same as he had been.

A few days later, I decided to text him and ask what was going on. He told me he didn't think he wanted to be in a relationship anymore and that he really wasn't ready to date.

He said he really enjoyed his time with me and wanted to remain friends. I had heard this excuse so many times before, and it really pissed me off. I let it go.

A few days later, I drunkenly texted him and told him I was upset that things were going so well, and that out of the blue he gave me some lame-ass excuse about how he no longer wanted a relationship. I told him that if [he] wasn't interested in me or that he was seeing other girls, he should have just told me.

To my surprise, he replied with paragraphs going into detail about why he just couldn't date for the time being. He was dealing with personal issues (that he fully explained), and just needed some time to figure things out.

He did tell me he was very much interested in me and that he did care. He had said that if he didn't care all that much, he could've just ignored me and never answered.

Hearing him explain this all made me feel a little better. But in the back of my mind, I cant help but think maybe it was a lie, and maybe he is still seeing someone else.

He checks in every now and then, but there are times when he just ignores me. It seems like every time I bring up seeing each other, he avoids it.

I hate having this hope that he's eventually going to come back and we will be back to where we were.

What do you guys think? Do you think it's just some excuse? Or do you think he is a good guy going through some stuff, and he needs time to get it together?

Thank you for your help!


Kylah Benes-Trapp

Hi Ashley,

Let me start this off by being rather blunt: Does it matter what we think?

Whether his narrative is the truth or not, he's saying he doesn't want to be with you now, which means you need to move on.

You're a 26-year-old woman who can articulately express your feelings. Don't waste time on some dude who doesn't see your potential.

If this was indeed the real deal, I, as a romantic, would like to believe he'd want to be with you whether the timing was right or not. I mean, the dude's approaching 30. Is there any better time to settle down with a lady?

Whether his narrative is the truth or not, he's saying he doesn't want to be with you now.

A really good friend of mine (one of my groomsmen, actually) recently went through this exact same situation.

He and his short-term girlfriend went to a week-long music festival and had a “fucking blast” (his review, condensed). The guy couldn't say enough good things about it.

Just a few weeks after this event, though, he received a text saying she needed to “figure some things out,” and that she couldn't be in a relationship right now.

He was devastated, and he still is.

I'm positive he's choosing to wait for her (despite him telling us otherwise). While that's not what I advise for you or him, I have no idea what is keeping your man or my buddy's ex from pursuing these relationships. And that's some pertinent information, in these cases.

That being said, I totally understand why you left this information out. It's none of our business.

But, you mention having “hope” that these interactions will blossom into a relationship. I reluctantly recommend you abandon this hope.

As a man who's closer to 30 than 20, I've been told the whole, “I'm not ready to pursue a relationship right now,” narrative from women. You know what happened with ALL of these women in my similar situations? Nothing.

I wasn't right for them. They appreciated the attention I provided, but when I got too invested, they had to tell me as it was. Their confession wasn't as straightforward as it could or should have been, but I read between the lines.

So, do as I did: Don't wait around for him. It's not fair to you. Keep in touch, but don't close yourself off from outside opportunities.

Continue swiping on dating sites and replying to messages, and find something more promising and attainable. It's out there.

Best of luck, Bobby

Kylah Benes-Trapp


You need to listen to what he's saying. Not just hear it, but listen. Whether he's lying or not, sooner or later, you're going to have to resign yourself to the fact that he doesn't want you in his life.

He doesn't want to date you. Worst-case scenario: never. Best-case scenario: not right now.

You have to respect his wishes and not push the envelope for a while. Maybe try reconnecting in a few months. But for now, show him that you're mature enough to walk away.

I understand your confusion, and I understand wanting an explanation. When you get into a relationship that engrossing, even if it's just short-term, you trade a certain amount of yourself for some... let's call it, "informational capital."

You share enough of yourself with someone, and you expect them to tell you why they don't want any more of it. So, you ask for an explanation and he gives you one. Should you believe it?

Well, maybe ask yourself these questions first: Is he trustworthy? Are you so amazing and perfect you can't fathom somebody not liking you? Have you never had personal issues?

Or, if he's a liar and doesn't have the personal issues he's saying he does, and instead has issues with you, would you really want to know? If he told you them, wouldn't he be an asshole all the same?

If he's a liar, and instead has issues with you, would you really want to know?

I don't want to belittle your experience because I'm sure it's confusing and no fun right now. But it's also not all that uncommon or strange.

Texting burnouts are the single most pernicious relationship epidemic of our time. Two dates and a month of texting is more than enough time to make a decision on someone. It's more than enough time to decide not to spend any more time on them.

Either way, I'm not very bullish about spending days pining for a particular love that'll never come. It's not that I haven't done it before. Trust me, I have.

But it does little more than foster an incredible and corrosive sadness.

That being said, I'm also not much of a believer in closing any door entirely, especially if reconciliation is at least possible, and anger isn't the thing that drove you apart in the first place.

There are so many other circumstances responsible for creating gaps between people — widening slowly, almost tectonically, every day. Time sometimes mends those gaps, so maybe try again later.

But make sure it's actually later.

If you do, you'll be the cool girl who listened and he'll respect you for that. If not, you'll really never have a chance with him.

Either way, you need to let him go, at least for the time being.

Unfaithfully yours,