If you haven’t received the whole “It’s not you, it's me,” spiel, consider yourself lucky or in denial.
I can, however, almost guarantee you’ve delivered that line at some point in time. Haven’t we all? Don’t feel bad; it happens. Sometimes, we don’t feel those fireworks or hear the wedding bells with the person to whom we gave our digits last week.
Ain't no shame in that! Not to mention, it's always easier to avoid hurting feelings, and to avoid talking about whatever the "it's me" truly is. No one likes to bring insecurities to the surface, so the vaguer, the better.
Sometimes, our insecurities and fears left unsaid lead to the downfalls of our potential relationships. As soon as we feel uncomfortable or scared, we pull out the "it's not you, it's me" to avoid any questions, answers or embarrassment.
We’re so quick to come up with excuses to run away from potential mates that we blame ourselves without truly knowing why we made the excuses initially.
What is it about the idea of “it’s not you, it’s me,” that makes us feel safe and in the clear? It’s become the relationship scapegoat. If it is, indeed, “me,” we ought to at least know what the “me,” is and how to embrace it.
We could go a lifetime blindly blaming ourselves for sabotaging our own love lives, but do we know why we do it? It’s time to claim our imperfections, fears and our “it’s me” excuses to figure out the true translation so we can put an end to our blame game.
Here are a few “it’s me” excuses we would never dare admit, but deep down, they exist, and they are the enemies of our own happily ever after.
It’s not you, it’s me. I’m just…
1. Not good enough for you:
We all know the girls who claim to fall for the bad boys and who love the assh*les. Newsflash: We have all been those girls before. We blow off guys because they don't ignore our texts or play mind games. I get it. I love a good chase. But, to be honest, I’m getting pretty tired of running without the sight of a finish line.
The guy you’re about to blow off is kind, polite and talks about his family and… oh my God, he just opened the car door for you! Abort!
We freak out too easily with the nice guy and begin to mistake his manners for being a pushover. When the hell did “he’s just too nice” become a bad thing? The sad truth is, we make that excuse, which translates to the twisted idea that we may not feel we deserve such treatment.
Or maybe, we think that mother dearest would never approve a girl like us. Let him wine and dine you and open the door for you.
Learn to feel comfortable with his good morning texts, with the understanding that you are worth the sweet, nice guy. The pricks and the bad boys who we’ve all drooled over are far overrated anyway.
You are good enough.
2. Not committed and I Tinder three times a day:
We live in a time of instant gratification with a fast-paced, speed dating mentality. It’s almost impossible to initiate a healthy relationship when you have a slew of other gentleman callers, just in case this one doesn’t work out.
Your iPhone is drowning in missed notifications from John, Tyler, Brent, Mike and Steven. Meanwhile, you’re at the park with Troy.
And, you like Troy — or do you? Wasn’t he the one who shared your love for whales and the dream to travel to Ireland? Who knows! Or, maybe, that was John.
You can’t get to know anyone with the mindset that there is always another waiting in line once the current relationship fails. Take the time to get to know the new guy and focus your attention on one rather than pretending you're "The Bachelorette."
By the way, your secretary has Brent on line two and Mike is on line three. Good luck with that.
3. Busy creating a Ryan-Gosling-Rachel-McAdams-inspired fairytale in my head, and it’s not going as planned:
We tend to set a timeline as to if and when we should hold hands, kiss for the first time, make intense eye contact, say “I love you” and open ourselves up emotionally or mentally. There is no timeline.
We get caught up overanalyzing every detail of the conversation and every move he makes during the first date. Instead of acting based on how we feel, we act based on how society teaches us to handle a relationship.
You don’t have to kiss him after the first date and you shouldn’t expect to change your Facebook relationship status after the second coffee rendezvous. You sure as hell don’t have to invite him upstairs for “coffee” after the third dinner when he drops you off at home.
Really? Coffee at 10:30 pm? Come on.
Don’t set a schedule because you’re probably just setting yourself up for disappointment. Allow the time spent together to flow and then make your move whenever you feel the time is right. Go ahead and trash that Excel sheet you created for Randy last week.
4. Laying out my life story in grueling detail for you to enjoy:
You’ve only hung out with him a couple of times and then, all of a sudden, you think it's appropriate to say, “Hey, wouldn’t you love to hear about my four long years of emotional struggle and get up to date on my daddy issues?” Absolutely not! Do NOT unload your dirty laundry when you’re first getting to know someone.
We need to understand that it’s the present that matters. The future can easily drag us backward when we begin new relationships.
Instead of highlighting past exes and bad times or the disaster that transpired three years ago, focus on now and why you are hanging out with this new person at all.
There is a time and a place to unravel your past to someone you love and care about because he will, in turn, show how much he loves and cares about you. He’ll understand your past, and despite whatever struggle previously plagued you, he will look toward the future.
5. Inviting you upstairs for that “coffee,” too soon, and now it’s awkward:
I’m not saying all relationships that start with a frivolous one-night stand, or sex after the first date always ends in peril. But, it’s pretty rare to find a couple that drunkenly hooked up before even knowing each other’s last names and then lived happily ever after.
We can easily destroy something positive by having sex just too soon. Sex is thrown around far too often, and if you find yourself throwing in the towel, or in this case, your panties, before even getting to know him, it can lead to a new hook-up buddy.
If that’s what you’re in the market for, then great! Come claim your prize. Know your body and don’t feel pressure on anyone’s account if you are not ready. It will almost surely turn the relationship sour if you take the plunge without the right mindset.
6. Assuming you're a mind-reader, so I never clarified my intentions:
Now, before you flip your sh*t over his mixed signals and lack of PDA, ask yourself this: “Did I read him the fine print of what I want out of this, or did I just expect him to miraculously know I wanted a serious relationship?”
Since your flavor of the week probably doesn’t receive telepathic messages from your brain, use your words. It’s a good idea to speak up and initiate the conversation about where this relationship is headed so both parties are on the same page. It’s much more productive than jumping to conclusions and assuming a title.
7. Locked away in a dungeon of “what ifs” and am emotionally unavailable:
We take the easy way out and run from our insecurities once we step out of our comfort zones. We immediately realize, “Hey, this could be something worthwhile, and I might actually date this person,” and it scares the living sh*t out of us.
Instead of allowing the person in, and accepting and confronting vulnerability, we find it much more logical to cut the relationship off immediately. After all, it’s much easier to close him out and pull the plug rather than accept the possibility of being hurt or rejected, right? Wrong.
You can still protect your damaged heart while you get to know the newbie. But, never close yourself off from emotions or feelings. The one guy you cut short because you were afraid may have been your Ryan Gosling. Take a chance on love and people.
8. Not into your type, so obviously, this just will not work out:
What is a “type,” anyway? I mean, yeah, we all have certain traits that drive us wild. But, are you telling me that you’re going to pull, “It’s not you, it’s me,” because he has brown hair instead of blonde, and he doesn’t like the same music genre as you? Not so fast!
Leave yourself open to someone who is out of the norm or someone who isn’t necessarily your type. You may find that even though he hates The Beatles, he loves the classic films you binge-watch every Saturday while nursing your hangover.
Don’t close up shop based on “types” or the silly stereotypes we place on individuals we’ve yet to truly get to know. Take the opportunity to be surprised at what you may find after a few weeks of indulging in each other’s tastes and style.
Before expecting anyone else to be honest with us, we have to first be honest with ourselves. We must come to terms with the idea that we’re only human, and yes, we have fears, doubts and insecurities. We allow ourselves to be the bad guy and ruin attempts at intimacy out of fear.
Realistically, if we simply looked at ourselves and pin-pointed the fear most toxic to our relationships, we may find that it’s not so scary after all. Once we identify our weakness that stands in the way of our love lives, we can tackle the “it’s me,” and continue on our journey for a soul mate.