If It’s Not You, Is It Me?


The experienced dater knows that the phrase “It’s not you, it’s me” is an expected component in the realm of courtship. There are variations of this phrase, and I can guarantee you have been handed one of these seemingly simple, yet extremely complex statements at some point in your life.

  • “I’m just too busy right now.”
  • “I just got out of a relationship, and I’m not ready.”
  • “I need to find me first.”

To those who have let these phrases escape his or her mouth at one point or another (myself included), I understand that you were trying to be honest, and most likely, you were being truthful. No one can maintain a healthy relationship with other debilitating issues existing in the background, but oftentimes we come to believe these phrases mean exactly the opposite – “It’s not me, it’s you.”

When the failed relationships pile on top of each other, one can’t help but begin to believe the problem is in fact me. What else could it be?

“I am very frustrated at the moment and I am feeling there must be something wrong with me. I just am not having any luck finding any quality men nor are any quality men looking in my direction. Just wondering if anyone is feeling the same way….” Caitlin-430386 recently posted in the Sara & Tobias forum.

I expect that most Catholic singles can relate to some degree. We each have to come to terms with this issue at some point in our dating lives and push the doubts, the fears and the lies far, far away. I often do a mental check with myself when I feel my confidence as a strong, single woman slowly fade.

Is there a sparkly ring on my left hand right now?


Does this mean there’s something wrong with me?

Of course not.

Remember, it’s not that there are no eligible bachelors out there. It’s not that you’re not ready or worthy of a significant other or a spouse. There’s nothing wrong with you. Although we’re not perfect, God made us in His image, and through His grace, we are made like Him.

It’s not your time. It’s God’s time, and He promises it will be perfect.



  1. Mary-477836 May 29, 2011 Reply

    I think the idea of an ‘exit interview’ is a good one. I believe too often this line has been used as nothing more than a copout. If one or the other has some issues with themselves that they are not happy with, what happened to going forward and possibly working on those issues together? Chances are the other person has issues of their own they need to work on as well. You can’t just run & hide from the world because you don’t think you are ‘perfect’ enough for someone – none of us is perfect! I’ve heard many times ‘you deserve someone so much better than me’ – oh really? I wouldn’t have gone out with you in the first place if I didn’t have a genuine interest! Why does the other person often think they ‘know’ what I ‘deserve’ better than I do for myself? It’s very frustrating – the world has given us this ‘instant perfection’ complex that if something is wrong, we just throw it out & get one that’s perfect. If one tries to apply this same logic to relationships, they’ll be alone forever. Sad commentary on our society today…

  2. Pete-22641 May 27, 2011 Reply

    I have have had the unreturned phone calls, the vast and many excuses to why they do not want a thing to do with me. So i just be a respectable and honest and descent person, but i keep my walls up and i try to avoid talking about dating and my black marks and streaks in dating as a whole.

  3. Terri-724688 May 18, 2011 Reply

    This situation is one of those times that I have learned from the wisdom that God has shown me. With age comes the knowledge that you will not get along with everyone you meet and that it’s OK to say “This just isn’t working for me”. As we get older we learn that, even though we are not seeing the other person any more, we can still have civil conversations with each other. In our teens, we would not deal with break-ups very well. At my age, it’s still difficultat times but now I know that it’s not the end of the world and that it’s not me … and maybe it’s not you either.

  4. Stephanie-683430 May 17, 2011 Reply

    I’ve heard that line and I’ve given that line to others. Although there is sometimes some truth to it, the only reason I’ve ever ended a relationship or discontinued dating someone even in the very early stages is because I was not compatible with the other person…or the other person had some issues that made me want to run screaming for the hills. I’ve also reflected on my past behavior in relationships when I was handed that line. I finally realized after some growing up that I had been needy, controlling, demanding, and selfish. It’s always painful to look at my flaws, but if I don’t, they’ll continue to damage all of my relationships – as a daughter, sister, friend, or girlfriend/fiancee/wife.
    I’m a big fan of the “exit interview.” If you don’t want to continue seeing me, I would kind of like to know why. I don’t believe I am entitled to an answer, but if the other person doesn’t mind, it’s very helpful. I am no longer afraid to tell a guy I no longer want to see, “I felt smothered,” or “I don’t like hearing negativity or criticism 24/7.”
    Although it may occasionally be true, “It’s not you, it’s me,” is almost always b.s. it’s understandable to want to avoid confrontation and the discomfort of being honest with someone about their less-than-attractive behavior, but if you ask me, it’s a disservice not to tell a willing listener. Please tell me instead of letting me try to figure out something of which I am most likely unaware and may not get for a while. However, if the other person doesn’t want to hear it, that’s fine too. I would never try to bombard an unwilling listener with a list of stuff I didn’t like about him.
    I’m curious to see what others think about this. If you disagree, don’t be afraid to tell me!

    • Oscar-32186 May 19, 2011 Reply

      Yay! An exit interview is much better than a termination e-mail that states “you are a good person, I’m looking for mor than goodness”…

    • Debrah-580915 May 19, 2011 Reply

      I don’t know if I agree or disagree, but often when I have time to reflect on why I don’t want to date someone again, I do feel I may not be ready. That being said, if the person was right, and God had a hand in the timing….. I would be ready to receive His will. After all, it is God’s timing, not mine. There have been times when the person was great, but I didn’t feel ready. Perhaps it was a compatibility issue, but if you didn’t see it, what else can you think? What do you tell that person that you really don’t want to hurt, or don’t have a clear distinguishing reason other than it doesn’t feel right? Just my thought at the moment.

  5. Terry-707501 May 14, 2011 Reply

    I have also been on the other side of the (it’s not you). Or the simple thing of no returned phone calls. I have learned to slow down and don’t hurry this dating thing. But also don’t stop looking around the corner. It is not going to come to you. You have to get out there and Ask Her to Dance. As the saying goes in the movie 2010 Space Odessy, “Something wonderful is going to happen”.

    • Patricia-707403 May 14, 2011 Reply

      Right Terry don’t read too much into it! If it is not meant to be you can not make it happen. That has been the bigggest lesson that I have learned. Don’t let one persons comment stop you from believing there is someone for you!

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