Here’s What Those “Nice Guy” Breakup Excuses Really Mean

Decode the B.S. Behind the Breakup!

When relationship expert John Gray coined the phrase, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” he was really onto something. Not only are we from different planets, but we also speak different languages. No, we’re not incompatible, but sometimes we could use a little help understanding each other. So here’s a handy little guide that will make decoding his “nice guy” breakup lines a cinch. It won’t make the breakup hurt less—it will still sting—but it will make it easier for you to understand and move on.

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I Meant What I Said?

Guys usually say exactly what they mean, but when it comes to delivering breakup lines, they can be a little cryptic. They’re vague for several reasons. Maybe they don’t want to hurt your feelings. maybe they don’t want to get yelled at. Maybe the don’t want to be embarrassed in public. Maybe they just can’t put how they’re feeling into words.

“It’s Not You. It’s Me.”

Translation: “It’s definitely you and I’m not interested in dating you anymore.”

There are a lot of reasons why he no longer wants to date you. There could be someone else or maybe he’s realized you’re not compatible. If a nice guy says this to you, it means he would rather place the blame on himself than hurt your feelings. Also, there’s no possible way you can fix what’s wrong with the relationship because you aren’t the problem … he is.

Know that no matter what he says, he doesn’t want to be romantically involved with you. That’s okay. Take whatever lessons you can glean from your time together and move forward.

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“Let’s Just be Friends.”

Translation: 1. “I’m not attracted to you.” 2. “Let’s be friends with benefits.” 3. “I’m hoping you really won’t want to be my friend after this.”

Since this excuse has multiple meanings, it’s hard to know the truth. If he’s really a nice guy, he may want to be friends with you. Or, he’s hoping going from a romantic relationship to a friend relationship won’t appeal to you and you’ll just walk away. But is he’s not so nice, he could be trying to keep you around for hookups.

If you weren’t thrilled with him as a boyfriend, what makes you think he would be a good and caring friend to you? Plus, when a new person comes into his life it’s going to make you jealous. Your best bet is to say no to the friendship.

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“Let’s Take a Break.”

Translation: 1. “I’m just postponing the inevitable.” 2. “I need time to see if there is someone better out there.”

Even nice guys know that romantic relationships rarely survive a break. The truth is he’s probably planning to break up with you over the phone when you call and pester him a few days or weeks later. Then the breakup becomes your fault because you were hounding him instead of giving him his space. Pretty clever, huh?

This excuse could also mean that he wants to see if there is anyone out there better for him. He may date a little and if he meets someone better, that might inspire him to go forward and break up with you. However, if he can’t meet anyone, he may come crawling back and declare that he no longer needs his space.

If you don’t want to play this game with him, declare the break a breakup and move on.

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“I’m Not Ready to be in a Relationship.”

Translation: “I don’t want to be in a relationship with you.”

This is also about putting the blame on himself, which is a “nice guy” thing to do. You should abandon any hope that he’ll come around one day if you’re persistent and stick around as a friend. If you’re ready for a relationship, you deserve to be with someone who is also ready for a relationship.

When it comes to relationships, sometimes honesty is the best policy. But if a nice guy is breaking up with you, he may be dishonest to spare your feelings or spare himself the drama an honest breakup would include. Now that you know what his breakup lines really mean, go out and meet someone so great you’ll never have to worry about hearing these lines again!

27 thoughts on “Here’s What Those “Nice Guy” Breakup Excuses Really Mean

  1. BB

    I would much rather have him tell me he just didn’t feel a connection and didn’t see this going long term than fill my mind with excuses that leave me clinging to hope. They don’t seem to understand that they cause more damage by trying to spare our feelings. Even when I try to get it out of them they still will stand by their story that they aren’t ready for a relationship. It angers me!

  2. jackie

    my ex boyfriend and i live together for 5 and a half years the very first time he laid eyes on me he said i was going to be his wife.. well june of this year he left me seem to me as if he did it over night….the only thing i could get out of him to why he was doing this to me is he wanted to move on live in his on house with his son which was not mines but i had him at age 3 they left when he was 8 2 hole months went by i did not hear anything from him then one day he call then 2 weeks later we meet up then he put in my head that we could live together again but not at my house well that did not happen but he would come by late for a booty call then leave again …everytime i seen him it’s like the hurt would go deeper..finally i had to tell him i’am done i can’t take it any more …but i find myself still in love i can’t sleep i can’t eat all i do is think about him he was a good guy untill the end that’s when started treating me like i was nothing i could not say anything to make him stay … i cried every time he came by when he call i would tell him how i could not sleep now i’am takeing sleeping pills which help …but my days are long…. thank’s for reading i just use a few mins to get my mind off him…

  3. Tonia

    About 5 months ago! I though God finally sent me the man of my dreams.
    But I was wrong it was just a boy! And it started off great and I held my ground No! Sex for 90 days.
    But after Valentines days things went down hill. I realize he was just playing games.
    His own family told on him. I tried 3 times to break up! He had excuse after excuse and the lies were caught every time! So I went behind his back and talk to his Ex-girl and the side chick and got the truth!!! He was so mad, he had the nerves to say, Why u didn’t come to me. 1st.? I then stated, you can’t tell me what time a day it is!! I am Done! Oh! checkmate dumb ass!! His line was ( it’s not u! It’s me!)
    I alway’s seem to fuck up every relationship
    I get into! Can u wait 10yr. for me to get married? Cause I’m not ready for marriage!!
    Hell No! Go fuck your self!!!! 🙂
    So he never got the sex! But since then every times things went wrong in his life. Him & his sister blamed me!! WOW!! Karma is a bitch!!

  4. Helen

    It totally reminded me of that episode of Friends, where Monica and Phoebe educate the naïve Rachel on the dating language! They use pretty much the same phrases! LOL which is another proof that this interpretation is damn correct! Remember this one, “I think we should be seeing other people?” and Phoebe goes like, “Ha-ha! I means ‘I already am!!!” Brilliant! Perhaps, 50% of success with men is in knowing what they actually mean, rather than interpreting their words in our silly-romantic girl way! Best if luck to all! :))


    Well! About a month ago I was dating a guy for 8 months. He was the one who blew up
    at me for nothing, which I think that he just found any excuse to break up. I did tell him
    what I wanted in a partner and he did the same. He told me he was a good communicator
    which was a lie. A lot of things were coming out of the wood works in this 8 months. But,
    I stayed with him to see how he would change his issues. He has three jobs is a hard
    worker, he also goes to college which is fine. But, living in an RV is not my idea of being
    stable. He never told me this in the beginning. So, his a nice guy but too many issues
    and no communication, and then turns it on me. I have come across so many men like
    this that I am retiring from dating. Its either scammers, liers, who want a meal ticket.

  6. LJ

    Dear Susan:
    I wouldn’t give up on the entire male species yet – or give up on love. Life is about taking chances and also learning from others and from ourselves – ya’ get a little smarter each time. If you really want love it’ll find you, but “you’ve gotta have faith.” Meanwhile, you should do your own thing and be happy just being you – then before you know it … WAMMO, you’re in love. So, don’t give up just yet. 🙂

  7. LJ

    Dear Jennifer H.
    I’ve no doubt that girls use these lines as much as guys do – it’s a changing landscape out there (almost a role reversal sometimes). 🙂

  8. LJ

    Hi Marge: I think your first inclination was the right one – it’s BS. And if you want to find your soul mate, you’ll have an easier time without the roommate. Separate lives should be lived separately. Good luck to you Marge.

  9. lisa

    regarding Susan’s comment from yesterday, I couldn’t agree more! after a good 20 years of being on a merry go round with men I threw in the towel 12 years ago and I haven’t been any worse off for making that decision. the men I knew, I was giving my all and was getting NOTHING in return, dealing with men whose needs and wants came first while mine were ignored, never considered, etc. I decided that I was better off alone with my dignity and self respect rather than continue down that path. no, this isn’t the situation I envisioned myself in but it’s better than not yielding any rewards for my hard work and I doubt seriously that it is a “ride” that I will ever get back on again. over the years I’ve had men try to approach me, get with me but there’s too much water under the bridge now.

  10. jula

    My advice for myself is to get out there and meet new people. Go to the beach, go to a library,
    the supermarket, a café, ANYWHERE but staying at home ruminating over your emotionally
    abandoning partner. Who’s to say that when he comes back, he’ll decide to stay. He will more
    than likely continue to be emotionally unavailable because HE has a problem. Find a person
    who is not afraid of love and is able to commit!

  11. charmaine

    I had a friend and I’ve heard all the above things that were mention and because I were so blindly in love it didn’t get to me at first but after a while it started to hurt like hell it’s been rough but through the grace of God am overcoming

  12. Mary

    I learned all of the above on the hard way and I feel great by myself. Why do some people expect love first and job….whenever. Can a person be – now a day- on his/her own without a partner? No food on the table….forget about love. From time to time I would rather see in some predications if there is a job on the horizon. Do I ask too much? Sorry….I have no job and I need it badly. Tx.

  13. susan

    Ive learned a lot from the friend thing. The guy just wants sex. Doesnt care about you. Its best just to break away from that path. Because I think it leads to nowhere. It seems like no guy wants to be commited to one person anymore. They just care about themselves. What u can do to sevice them. Im tired of it. So, therefore I have given up. I am by myself.

  14. Dawn ext. 9777

    Here’s my take on all these “translations”. Spot-on correct, spot-on correct, spot-on correct, spot-on correct…..

    Just YES to all of the above.

    Want more info on the guy brain? Go read “He’s just not that into you” and “It’s called a breakup because it’s broken” by Greg Behrendt. You will never get played again. There is an entertaining movie made from the book “He’s just not that into you”, and though it’s nice, it won’t give you the serious info that you’ll get out of the book. It’s my Guy Bible……

    Excellent article!

  15. Carvel lee

    I can’t seem to meet a nice guy. This one said to me u rvnot tied only tha dog out in the yard is tied , with means u may leave at any time . Is it not ? Welli do live with him and I do have a plan . Am moving out!!

  16. jennifer

    I have heard all of those things from him. But now I haven’t heard from him since yesterday morning. Thank you for decoding the b.s. for me

  17. Eva Kilpatrick

    What does it mean when he says “I don’t want any telephone contact. I don’t want any skype contact. I only want email contact”?

  18. petra

    i break with thee, i break with thee..then throw dog poopie on his or her shoe, or you could just ride the ferris wheel forward!!!:-)))

  19. margaret spiegelman

    my husband lied for 2 yrs about his affair. now he wants me to cohabitate with him and live separate life’s. i think its bs. i am filing for legal separation it last 4 mo than divorce my ? is am i doing the right thing and when will i find my honest non abusive soul mate?
    thanks marge


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