Monday, September 13, 2010

"We need to talk" and other signs a break up is near


Every one knows that "We need to talk" means two things: either someone actually needs to talk or someone is about to get placed curbside. But let's take a look at a few other phrases that might spell doom for a relationship:

I'm trying not to hurt you - This is generally uttered by someone (male or female) who has already hurt the hell out of you and wants to be let off the hook for it. Furthermore, they will do it again. Also beware of "I don't want to hurt you" and "I hope this doesn't hurt you." I'm always confused by this one. If you don't want to hurt someone, take steps to make sure you don't. Am I oversimplifying?

I just need space - This means they've already found an alternate space (away from you) and just need you to be aware of it. And the follow-up question to this is, "Space to do what, with who?" If any of you have an example where someone "took some space" and then came back all excited about the relationship and it worked out - please share it. This one also comes in the form of "We need to take a break" and "Let's just take a step back".

We've grown apart - It's already over, you're just now finding out about it. Usually stated when you have nothing left to say and the thrill is gone. This is sometimes stated as "We're just in different places right now". Resist the urge to fling hot grits while screaming, "I thought we were in a relationship!" Oh, is that just me? Never mind. Moving on.

You're too good for me - This means "I actually think I'm too good for you but I can't say that." Really, if someone tells you this - just agree and keep it moving. Seriously, your response should be, "Yes, I am too good for you. Glad you recognize it." As Maya Angelou says, "When someone tells you who they are, believe them."

And let's not forget the ever popular:

It's not you, it's me - Similar to above because guess what? They think that it is you, they just don't want to say it. Not only is the problem you, they've probably already found somebody else that they believe is an upgrade. There's nothing you can say to this one. If someone is wickety-wack enough to use that phrase on you, you're well free of them.

I don't say these things to be mean, I say them in the spirit of education. If you're hearing a lot of these phrases coming your way... trouble is a-brewing. At the very least, you're in for some "deep conversation." Life is too short to encourage the continuation of drama and co-sign on clich├ęs. 

Tell me BougieLand - do you have other catchphrases that point to relationship doom? Have you heard these? How'd that work out for ya? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Tomorrow: "I'm not ready to settle down" and other signs that you're stuck in the Smash 'n Dash or Friend Zone.

88 comments:

Brneyed1 said...

What is with that "you need to lose 10 pounds" ish? I had a guy tell me the same thing! I told him "I'll do better! I'll lose 210!" and walked away from his stupid behind before I said/did something foul.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

why is it that people always snatch cds? I mean, I had a nice music collection and two relationships completely decimated it. I'm so glad everything is digital now!

rozb said...

Ha!

Derek Love said...

Fist bump for the NE shoutout.

jorgemateo said...

I haven't used this but I've had a homeboy several months into his 'situation' say that he is still trying to be the man that she deserves so he needs some time to work on him.... while he was working on trying to holla at the next one who came by...

rozb said...

How about "I love you, but I'm just not in love with you."

Or - "*sucking through teeth* I'm not in a good place right now, and I need to find my center." x_0 What the crap does that even mean? Is his center a gooey caramel or a nougat? Maybe just a nut...

sunt97 said...

As soon as I hear any of these phrases my mind zones out to start thinking about whether I left anything at his house and how long is he going to keep talking because I much rather be doing something else.

Peace, Love and Chocolate
Tiffany

skater said...

i actually used the "it's not you, it's me" and didn't realize it until the guy bought it to my attention. we were able to laugh b/c he said no one had ever said that to him before....friendship didn't last like we thought it might, but the short time was cool....

MsDiannaT said...

I so just used the "we need to talk" line. I'm sorry but when you chat about how fine white girls are (and have a black gf) and how your girl only works out once a week "and think she doing something", on her computer, using her internet, in her house, where you pay no bills, you deserve to have one of those lines used on you. *venting* In my younger days I have used all these line at one point or another.

michaeldavis said...

should you just say "I thought you were kind of hot but after dating you this isn't going to work because you are really not my type" OR how about "you'd be great for someone else, just not me because (runs down the list)? Just sayin', IS there a nice way to say the above?

It's better to at least communicate the above than to wimp out and just stop calling/texting/etc.

Dash Williams said...

"I have a lot on my plate right now, and I can not give you the attention you deserve."

"I need a break to evaluate where I am in life."

Brown Babe said...

How about I just need to figure out if this is really where I wanna be - ala Donnell Jones - ugh!!! Seriously?!?! All this time you weren't really sure!!!

CaliGirlED said...

I used the it's not you it's me line on someone who was not trying to hear me when I told him that it was HIM! He thought he deserved another chance after texting me one morning, "Come make love to me". This was after I clearly told him that sex was not up for discussion. (I guess after he took me to meet his parents he thought it would "automatically" change my mind).

Sometimes these lines are necessary when the person doesn't want to listen to what you're telling them. But you should always try the truth first. ("You can't handle the truth!")

BB Waite said...

Well, there's no good way to break up with someone who doesn't feel the same way. But you can definitely not insult their intelligence by hiding behind the same old, same old.

Rob said...

I once had a girl say - I thought you were what I wanted, but you're not even close. Ouch, dammit! I would rather hear "it's not me it's you".
Of course you know she came back 18 months later talking about sorry she misjudged me, can we have another chance?
Picture that?

Violet Rose said...

Dude told me: Sorry, you're just not the one. After 2 years? You couldn't figure that out a little sooner? It does make one consider the hot grits... LOL.

OneChele said...

Um - no discussion of hotness factor in the break up discussion. And no discussion about "type". No good way to say it but quick simplicity without causation is the best way to go. IMHO.

GrownAzzMan said...

Warning: Please swallow all liquids and place the cup firmly on a level surface prior to reading this post. OneChele done done it again! LMAO!

michaeldavis said...

you didn't get the whiff of sarcasm? They may really be great for someone else, just not for you. Hence the phrase, "it's not you, it's me."

OneChele said...

Sailed right over my head. I was sending you the side-eye... politely. :-)

MsDiannaT said...

I just sadi something similar to my bf yesterday - "You know, I guess you're not who I thought you were. You're turning out to be someone totally different". His response - "what does that mean?" Honestly, I really don't know what I meant by that.

Reecie said...

These are all really good ones, and by good I mean they all suck, but I'd take them all rather than the just disappear move.

Jeannette Abrahamson said...

This topic reminds me of this song by New Edition


Oh girl I know that you're attracted to me
And I should feel the same about you
There's just something wrong, I don't know what it is
That keeps us from becoming a two

It's not your looks, you're very pretty
It's not your style, the way you dress is oh so fresh
It's not the way that you carry yourself

Oh, girl I'm sorry, you're not my kind of girl
'Cause you're the kind of girl
That a man's dreams are made of

Oh girl I'm sorry, you're not my kind of girl
'Cause you're the kind of girl
That a man would be proud to call his own

Really...what were they thinking when they wrote this and did they think the girl would be ok with hearing this ish?

Grace said...

Shout out to the dude who told me "He needed to get right with God" and couldn't concentrate on this relationship right now. Of course I saw him out with some other girl that weekend. :-/
Seriously, I would have been mad but "I met somebody else" is honest and clean. Why bring God into it?

OneChele said...

When will people learn that the "fade to black" is the worst?!

MeetCharlieL said...

LOL @ "How's Jesus?"
X__X <-- That's me, now dead. I'll tell Jesus you said "what's up"

OneChele said...

It's always trouble when someone acts like they are doing you a favor by breaking up with you.

OneChele said...

So you are all about the exit strategy, not the exit interview - HA!

OneChele said...

Slapworthy.

CaliGirlED said...

Chele, is "fade to black" ever ok? For instance after the initial meet, one phone conversation and one time you inviting yourself to hang out with me at the public spot where I happened to be, do I have to do the back and forth convo about why I don't want to establish a friendship with you, or can I just fade to black? Afterall, we haven't established anything yet.

Honest opinion requested.

OneChele said...

Hmm, did we date the same guy? I had dude say he needed to be "further along in his Christian walk" before going any further with me. I was thoroughly insulted. Was he saying he needed MORE JESUS just to date me? Whatever. I dropped it and sho nuff, a year later "Hey Girl." Me: "How's Jesus?" **crickets**

thinklikeRiley said...

So "Bitch I'm out" with the deuces is not acceptable?

Andrea M said...

Why I have ninja say if I wanted to keep him, I needed to lose 10 pounds?! I'm 5'6" - I weigh 127. I'm 32 years old and have weighed the same amount for 15 years. I smacked him upside the head, threw his shiggity in the streets and sat down to eat my smothered pork chops.

Andrea M said...

After a phone call or text or first date, I think it's alright to just fade out.

Andrea M said...

WTH is a "center" and why doesn't a grown-assed person know where it is?

CaliGirlED said...

*picking myself up off the floor*
"How's Jesus?" LMAO!!!

CaliGirlED said...

You crack me up!

rozb said...

The new song by Cee-Lo Green (F#@% You) would fit this perfectly as a response to anyone giving out lame, kiddie excuses. Hell - I won't even insult kiddies.

rozb said...

Smothered pork chops with rice!

CaliGirlED said...

Because once you bring God into it, that settles it. LOL!!! People better stop lying on God!

MidWestDominicana said...

"Life is too short to encourage the continuation of drama " <------- Chuuuuuuuch!

Quote from 9th grade: "This isn't really working out, we need to just squash it." Complete with singsongy voice and foot action right before I ran to my next class (so I wouldn't get a hallway demerit). *hangs head in shame*

Eye Candy said...

Yessss!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU

Eye Candy said...

He's going to Hell, your revenge is eternal ;-)

Earthangel172 said...

"....but you're not even close." Cold-blooded! And hell naw we can't have another chance.

OneChele said...

The fade to black in the middle of an LTR (Long Term Relationship = 1 year or more) is kinda callous. I think timeline and intensity of interaction decides protocol. If folks were just casually kicking it, okay. But I think everyone deserves some form of an "I'm out" if they've met the person face to face and shared more than a cocktail. Even if it is the cowardly "See you next lifetime" text message. The worst thing is not knowing. Well, until you know and then that can be pretty bad too.

rozb said...

My stomach is killing me laughing at this!

GrownAzzMan said...

I am kinda with CaliGirl on this one. If we just met and there is no spark I may not have a concrete reason for the fade. At that point all you know is you don't want to go any further and what are you going to say when she starts with "Why, what's wrong with me?"

GrownAzzMan said...

"I'll tell Jesus you said "what's up"
Now it's spreading like a virus, cause this one killed me..LOL

Reecie said...

I hollered at "how's Jesus"!!!!

Derek Love said...

You are killing me today. Killing. Me.

OneChele said...

Not bad for 9th grade. I sent a note in Social Studies. With stickers and glitter. Written in purple ink on pink paper.

Derek Love said...

He needed a kick in the ass. What did he want, a stick figure?

rozb said...

Kids make it seem so easy. At daycare, my co-worker's daughter had a little boy that liked her and he was her "boyfriend." Two juice breaks and a nap later, she was over him. She simply walked up to him and said, "I don't like you no more. You are not my boyfriend." She went on her merry way, he cried for a second and then played with a Tonka truck.

If only it was that simple as adults...

Derek Love said...

Not How's Jesus followed by the crickets. I love when the comments rival the post. I try and tell people - the posts are great but the gold is in the comment section!

Derek Love said...

It's all in the timing and context, I would say. If someone hits and never calls, you know what that's about. If you go on first date and never hear from again, you know what that's about. But after months, years in? Shady.

Derek Love said...

Yeah um - it doesn't take 2 years to figure out is not the one. Call bullshiggity on that.

Derek Love said...

That's some cold-assed shit, bruh. Not even close? And then came back around?!

CaliGirlED said...

Yeah what do you say to that? If you don't have a concrete reason, anything you say is really bs anyway.

There should be a rule: If after one meet & greet, date, phone convo, whatever, and a person does not call you back, or answer your one or two calls (texts), then move on. No love lost and no explanation necessary.

1PHBULUSCHICK said...

I was dating a guy that lived in the bay area and he told me he couldn't see me anymore because there is a recession and the time he would be spending with me he could be at work, making that money! I told him "it was a recession when we met and I hope that chick he's with is recession proof!" If that wasn't some fuckery!

OneChele said...

Wow - a recession break up. That's a new one.

Crystal said...

In our early twenties a friend of mine broke up with her bf and she was really upset, she told me he tole her " I just want to run the streets, so we have to break up". At least he was honest.

baileyqc said...

I once just got so frustrated that I told a guy "I don't know what's wrong but I know something is. I'm done." He said "I agree" and that was that. Cleanest break up ever.

OneChele said...

Whew, that's one way of looking at it!

CaliGirlED said...

Ok so after I don't respond to a couple of voicemails and texts, and I still get another call, it's ok to respond with the "See you next lifetime" text?

Man that seems cold! But if they don't like it, I'll tell them Chele said it's better than not knowing. LOL j/k

CaliGirlED said...

Girl after that one, you should have went back to the kitchen and added some collard greens, candied yams and cornbread to your plate! (That's in addition to the rice rozb already added.)

*stomach growling*

CaliGirlED said...

LMAO!!! Gotta love the honesty of the young heart!

CaliGirlED said...

I'm sayin!!!

Dying at "Two juice breaks and a nap later..."!!!

Steve said...

Some of these slay me. It's not that hard to stay out of a relationship if you don't want to be in one. I always suggest that people consider what they are getting into BEFORE they commit. But as you say - that would be too much like right.

taut_7 said...

it's not you, it's me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFXCKQ7K2bs&feature=related

taut_7 said...

i might have used one or two of these in the past. i mean who really wants to hear "i've outgrown you" or "you just don't do it for me anymore"? i think people make up lame excuses to break up because they don't want to be the bad guy who hurts someone's feelings.

AppleBerryMIA said...

True. And what they don't realize is that it's worse when they give you something lame instead of shooting straight.

David Chase said...

You can only use the fade to black if 1) You just don't give a sh!t about ramification or 2) the situation was so out-of-pocket you cannot re-engage or 3) You don't know the person very well (i.e. text, email, online communication only)

GrownAzzMan said...

Bonus fuckery points for exploiting current events...LOL

GrownAzzMan said...

Twice as hard to get out as it is to get in.

CaliGirlED said...

So how about when you meant exactly what you said and it gets twisted anyway?

I met a guy, we had a great phone conversation, nice convo at Starbucks and a few "good sense of humor" texts in between, with a challenge of getting together to play pool, both promising to beat the other one. After a few weeks the date (not really a date) was never made, he was very busy. Then my daughter, whom I had been separated from for 11 months moved to Houston to reunite with her mommy whom she missed terribly. Billiards Guy, knowing my daughter had just arrived, asked twice about going to shoot some pool. I told him I had to take a break and focus on my daughter for a minute. And I wasn't giving him a line of bull, I meant just that! Come on 11 months away from my babygirl? Give me a break!...Nonetheless I received a 3-part text on how it wasn't going to work, not even being friends, because the reality is...blah, blah, blah.

I didn't bother to respond, hell he said enough for 3 break-ups! And we hadn't even established a friendship yet. I wish he would have just faded to black! LOL

michaeldavis said...

^ me too! (dying)

michaeldavis said...

1) he's not that bright OR
2) chicken - he figured there would be no way you flip after that
As my Uncle would say, he did you a favor

michaeldavis said...

yeah get all of the belongings....especially make sure you get all of your CDs back. I never did get my Sade - Love Deluxe back from a past S.O.

lady k said...

And in my own life, I have used the "I need space" followed by the "we need a break" which ultimately ended with us breaking up. We had dated six years straight (since senior year of high school!) and as we got older, grew into completely different people who wanted VERY different things... I just wasn't ready to let go of the relationship, hence the "space" and the "break". Fear of the unknown and fear of failure.

lady k said...

I do have an "I just need space" story that actually ends in happiness. My friend (29) had been with her SO (early 30s) for almost 5 years when, for various reasons, she felt like their relationship wasn't working. He wasn't stepping up in certain aspects of their relationship and she was tired of waiting for him to "get it". So summer 2009, she took some "space" for a few months to think things through (aka moved in with a friend and lived the single life for a bit --- but I don't know if she hooked up with anyone). During that break, she said realized she didn't want to be with anyone else... he was The One. And he knew that he needed to man up, get a career going and get his stuff together because that was what she needed. They got married this past Labor Day weekend and are truly happy.

James said...

chele, you still got your playerette handbook i see lol.. CLASSIC!

OneChele said...

Woo-hoo!

maureen palmer said...

I onced use "we need to talk" line on ex s/o. Needless to mention, a few years later "it's not you, it's me was used on me".

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

UGh! I hate these lines. I had a dude use a variety of them (don't really remember because the rage boiling in my head was blocking my hearing). I would have just preferred he say "I'm not happy. I don't want to be here anymore" instead of the BS that wasn't to spare my feelings, but to try to mitigate my going off.

Brneyed1 said...

I just remembered one I used on a dude I parted ways with: "we don't want the same things."

After about a year of dating, he decided to fire his "representative" (the guy I met, liked, and decided to date) and show me his true self. No more romatic nights out, no more scintillating discussion, no more curiosity about love and life, no more spur-of-the-moment adventures. Just a dude who wanted to stay in all the time and play video games, and talk about what everybody ELSE was doing.

Nina said...

Hmm, I usually agree with much of what you said, but I think you're off on this one. I think the statements you gave are often indicative of a pending breakup,but I disagree with your reasoning.

I've used most of these lines at least once, and they meant exactly what they said, there was no ulterior motive or other person. Sometimes we do deal with shady people who make excuses,but the problem with that is that we then think everyone we deal with is lying and scheming and plotting and can't take what they say at face value.We accuse them of having someone else;maybe because its easier to believe someone left you for another than to believe that sometimes people do just need space or time to think or that relationships grow apart.

But people arent always BSing when they say these things.


I'm not trying to hurt you- Well, the fact is sometimes you don't want to be with someone anymore and it is going to hurt them.But you don't want to hurt them,it just is inevitable when one person wants out and the other doesn't.

I just need space- People have issues and sometimes they aren't ready to be with you, or anyone. It doesn't mean there is someone else.

We've grown apart- It happens. People grow and change and not always in the same direction, and after a while you may realize you are no longer compatible enough to keep the relationship going.

You're too good for me- Sometimes people say it because it is true,not as a backhanded way of saying they are too good. I've known guys who had alcohol issues or who were cheaters or dealing with stuff and felt that they weren't able to give the woman they were with what she deserved and felt it was better for her to be with someone who was ready, than them to bring her down.


Its not you, its me- I hate when people don't believe that one. What is so hard to believe about people acknowleging that they may have issues- maybe commitment issues,abandonment issues, an inability to trust and love and they think the person is absolutely wonderful but there is something within them, that prevents them from being in or continuing the relationship? After getting a divorce I used this a lot. You often don't know you arent ready until something happens and you realize you need some space and have some things to sort out and the other person is great,but you aren't ready.


For example,you may meet someone wonderful a year after your last breakup and really lke them so begin dating. Then over time you realize you just can't get into the relationship,you still have some hangups and some fears and don't think you have what it takes to make this work. You want to,but you know you aren't there yet. Almost all od the above would apply. "I don't want to hurt you,but I need some space and its not you, its me." I would much rather a man tell me that than to continue a relationship with his unresolved issues and baggage hovering over us. It means he is capable of introspection and willing to get himself straight before entering a relationship or taking one to the next level. It may not be what we want to hear,but it happens.Its unfair to accuse every person who uses these lines of being cliched or already cheating.

Nina said...

Maybe its because I'm sort of old,but this doesn't bother me. Has no one else ever met someone who was great,wonderful,lacking nothing and not messed up but the person just wasn't for you? I've met plenty of great guys who weren't from me, why not tell them that instead of having them sit around wondering what they did wrong or what they lacked?

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