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Different Breakup Reasons And What They Actually Mean

Pensive man having a headache sitting on the bed

Breakups are hard. Sometimes you get dumped, sometimes you’re the one doing the dumping, and sometimes you set your car on fire and fake your own death. No matter what, though, it’s rough, which is why we have standard reasons for breaking up with people. Or, at least that’s what we tell them. But for every reason that’s been repeated by hundreds of people, there’s a much longer and more complex reason hiding underneath.

Reason: “I just feel like I’ve become a different person.”

Actual Reason: I’m convinced that I’m a super smart, well-adjusted adult these days, and I now have magically grown the ability to judge you, even though we’re likely both as immature as we were when we started dating a year ago. In reality, I just want an excuse that somehow makes me sound superior without blatantly saying it.

Reason: “I just feel like you’ve become a different person.”

Actual Reason: You’re either an asshole now or you’ve gotten fat. Or both.

Reason: “We’re in different places now.”

Actual Reason: I had so many goals for my life when we first started dating, and I actually pursued those goals while you either didn’t do anything or your goals were just bad to begin with. Granted, this is all highly subjective, and I may have actually achieved nothing of note, but that’s not important right now.

Reason: “You’ve stopped doing the things that made me love you.”

Actual Reason: You used to make an effort. You know–gifts, randomly writing letters to me, throwing surprise parties, and basically a whole bunch of other superficial shit that was intended to make me think you were trying really hard. Now you don’t. I’m not sure if you’ve really been lazy the whole time, or if I’m just not worth doing stuff for anymore because I suck now, too.

Reason: “I feel like you’re just not into this relationship anymore.”

Actual Reason: I’m pretty sure you’re cheating on me, but I can’t prove it.

Reason: “I don’t think we’re good for each other.”

Actual Reason: We fight a lot and you’re a dick. Sure, I’m admitting that I’m at least somewhat to blame, but inside, I still mostly blame you. I mean, I wouldn’t get so irrationally angry and yell at you if you just did everything I said.

Reason: “I don’t think we have the right chemistry.”

Actual Reason: If we didn’t have the right chemistry, we wouldn’t have started dating in the first place, but this is really just the best explanation I have that doesn’t sound like, “I’d rather bang other people than you.”

Reason: “I need some time to work on myself.”

Actual Reason: You’ve turned me into a person who I don’t like, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to fix myself if I’m still dating you. Granted, it’s probably not your fault really, and I’m just projecting that to myself because I’ve allowed my own personal development to slump and you’ve just been a minor catalyst, but either way, I can at least rationalize that by making a massive decision like a breakup, it shows that I’m “doing something about it.”

Reason: “You cheated on me.”

Actual Reason: This one seems pretty straightforward. I wouldn’t read into it too much.

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Randall J. Knox

Randall J. Knox (known colloquially to his friends as "Knox") left his native Texas a few years ago, and moved to Los Angeles in his '03 Buick Regal named LeRoi to write movies with his jackass college buddies. His favorite things in life include bourbon that's above his pay grade, mix CDs, and Kevin Costner films. He isn't sure what "dad jeans" are exactly, but he knows he wants a pair.

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