I was having a conversation with one of my Consiglieri yesterday about how people end up staying in bad relationships for silly reasons. The silliest of which has to be ignoring the very obvious signs being given to them by the other party.
To avoid being biased, I’ll only speak for the gender to which I belong; the males. Ladies, there are some things you need to know about what we sometimes say. And what it really means.
1. “I’m no good for you.” – Children, when a person of the opposite sex tells you, up front, that they are bad for you, THEY ARE BAD FOR YOU. Don’t run, but don’t stand around and hope to change them. Anybody so decayed that they have come to terms with it as an identity is irrevocably bad for you. No 2 ways about it. Most guys know this. We’re genetically predisposed to be absolutists: we either don’t give a f##k and leave, or don’t give a f**k and stick around. But I’ve noticed with some women, there is this attempt to fix this, change it. “Maybe I’ll make a good man out of him.” No, you will not. Only he can save him at that point.
2. “Define ‘Relationship’.” <-Look out for that phrase or any of its derivatives when you're trying to move your relationship with a guy from casual to formal. Lord Jesus On High, when a guy starts getting vague/cryptic on you in any way, just know that you have crossed his territorial comfort zone and entered your own. You are now dating an imaginary boyfriend. That real guy, he's holding on to that last thing he told you; that "Let's not rush into anything" or that "We should probably talk about this later." or that "Let me call you sometime soon, ok?" Probably not OK. Step away slowly.
3. "She's not you.” Of course she's not. But she is somebody. And more than likely she does/has something that he likes. Guys are a weird bunch. For example, women mostly buy one practical vehicle. Men will buy several specialized vessels; the off-roader, the sports car, the utility car….I mean, left to our own devises, we'd buy an armor plated tank and an F16 Jet. Probably mortgage the house and buy a submarine and argue that we can live in it. The appeal of options is greater with men. This applies to everything. Cars, clothes, drinks, women….everything. We prefer the "Swiss Army Knife" option: because it comes with more options – that we clearly don't need. But we like them. Keep this in mind when confronted with the "She's not you" scenario.
4. "I'm not ready." This one requires the most basic of math skills; counting backwards. Whenever, if ever, you hear “I’m not ready” as a response or preposition to any phrase pertaining to a suggestion YOU made about the relationship, start counting down from 3. Each time he says it, count down. Three. Two. One. When you finally get to zero, you should safely assume that that man has one foot outside the door, if not both. It’s the same system as baseball strikes, really. You just threw a ball he could not hit and has ergo decided to walk off the mound.
5. “You deserve better/more.” – This is not to be confused with #1. This one is probably the trickiest one. Because it either means he likes you but doesn’t think he deserves you, which can be good. Or he’s acknowledging your worth and confessing his treachery, which is #1 all over again. There’s also Case Scenario 3, which is that he’s subtly saying you should both see other people. The worst possible hidden meaning behind this is the “projection”. He’s saying to you what he thinks about himself in hopes that you feel the way he does so you can part ways peacefully. i.e. He’s met someone. Probably a lot more than “met” by that point.
6. “You have a man.” This one goes out to the ladies in relationships with a “mpango” on the side. Woe be you whence these words are uttered. It’s one of those “You came to me with this situation not vice-versa” statements. Just….don’t put yourself in this situation, period. That goes for anybody of any sex. Cheating is flat out lazy and stupid. You will get caught. By your partner or Karma. One or both. And if you don’t get caught, don’t leave the husband/wife for the dude you cheated on him with. He/She KNOWS you’re trifling. You’ll be left high and dry wondering how you went from two to zero in 2 seconds flat. In the wise words of someone famous, “Never let go of the bird in the hand for the one in the air.”
7. “It’s not you, it’s me.” – Or any variation on this preposterous lie. “I’m going through something”, anything with the word “personal” in it, etcetera. Now, granted, there are instances that count as exceptions. So how do you tell if it’s genuine? Well, if it comes out of nowhere, with no build up and no foreshadowing, then it’s probably a lie. The truth is something else altogether, ranging from “I woke up, looked over and….for whatever reason, you didn’t look as appetizing in the morning as you did last night.” to “I really don’t think I’m built for this monogamy thing.”(See number 1)
8. “I can’t be your man.” – This is hands down the worst of the worst. So much so that most guys don’t realize it until they’ve said it. This is the combination of your worst nightmares, all your insecurities and all the negativity you can conjure being piped down your throat. In essence what he’s saying is “Whatever YOU think is wrong with you, probably is, and then some.” This is not a maybe. There is no hidden excuse. This is “not happening” spelled out, letter by letter, with an ensuing exclamation mark. When you hear it, try not to break down because the heartless obliviousness that follows will just make it worse.
In short what I’m saying is that men are emotional cavemen.