The 9 Most Cliche Breakup Lines — And What They Really Mean

Here's what he really means when he breaks up with you.

Couple breaking up Keira Burton | Canva 

There are only a few things worse than a breakup: an allergic reaction to a bikini wax, your pet dying, and a flat tire after midnight. Needless to say, breakups suck. That’s why there are best friends, bad pop music, and websites dedicated to helping you get through it. But what seems to suck even more than a breakup is an almost breakup … a break, or what even was that? 

I mean, we hear plenty of cliché breakup lines in our pop culture, but when they’re used on us in real life, it’s like some Source Code that leaves us confused, clueless, and pretty ticked off. “What does that mean?” “What is he trying to say?” you ask yourself. Fret no more, here are all the top breakup lines decoded for you. With both the optimistic and realistic versions.


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Here are the 9 most cliche breakup lines — and what they mean:

1. “It’s not you; it’s me.”

Optimist: You’re not the problem; you’re perfect. It’s me and all my problems causing this not to work.
Realist: It’s, utterly, and 100% you.

2. “I need space.”

Optimist: I just need to take a step back and reexamine our relationship.
Realist: I need to get far, far away from you.



3. “We’re too alike.”

Optimist: You’re just as funny, caring, sensitive, and charming as me.
Realist: You bore me.


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4. “I think we should see other people.”

Optimist: It didn’t work out; it’s quite unfortunate. I see a potential for us both to find new mates and be happier.
Realist: I’m already seeing other people and think you should catch up.

5. “I think we’re better off as friends.”

Optimist: I wouldn’t want to jeopardize our great friendship with a relationship.
Realist: I don't want to rip your clothes off. I prefer you with them on.

6. “I’m not ready for commitment.”

Optimist: You are a great catch but at this point in my life; I’m just not ready for a serious relationship — maybe after a short, ambiguous period.
Realist: Imagining a future with you terrifies me.




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7. “I need to focus on my career.”

Optimist: Your greatness is unbelievably distracting and I fear I may lose everything if I continue loving you.
Realist: I’m crushing on a coworker.

8. “You deserve better.”

Optimist: You’re the greatest catch; anyone would be lucky to have you. I don’t feel good enough for you and I can’t live with these feelings of inadequacy.
Realist: I want to let you down gently so you don’t go all crazy on me.


9. “I think we’re moving too fast.”

Optimist: Let’s slow this down and enjoy the ride.
Realist: You’re stalking me. Seriously, you don’t need to ask me what I’m doing. I know you already know.

RELATED: Things Guys Say... And What They Mean

Never Liked It Anyway is a website dedicated to making moving on easier, by letting people sell stuff from their ex.