“I’m not good for you” – the age-old, romanticized dialogue that angst-ridden heroes used on their romantic interests. While in retrospect these dialogues sound extremely condescending (in most cases, it would be the man trying to discourage the girl, somehow making it seem like he knew what was good for her better than her, and in the process, taking away her agency), it is something that continues to be said even in this day and age.
When a man thinks he is not good enough for you, there could be a myriad of reasons behind it. Perhaps, his intentions are genuine. He may believe you deserve a better partner than him given your good heart, status, or qualification. A man feels inadequate in a relationship when he feels he is not able to meet his partner’s needs, mentally, physically, or socially.
Alternatively, saying he is not good enough for you could be a way to assuage his guilt. Sometimes, when a guy says he’s bad for you, he probably has already done something awful. If he doesn’t want to confess and own up to his actions, he may use this line to get himself off the hook. In most cases, this cliche is often used to create distance from the other person as a way to untangle himself from the relationship.
But what exactly does it mean when he says he’s not good enough for you? If you clearly see all the signs he thinks he is not good enough, how do you respond to this situation? Let’s try to figure it out together.
Why Does A Man Say He Is Not Good Enough For You?
By saying he is not good enough for you, he just wants to get rid of you or there could be a deeper meaning in the phrase. It could also be one of the manifestations of dating a man with low self-esteem. How long can you drag a relationship alone when your partner holds such a passive attitude?
Yes, it’s a possibility that he is a good person at heart. Maybe his social stature and life goals are poles apart from yours. In that case, it’s quite unselfish of him to let you go and put an end to a relationship that has become a source of misery for you both. But when a guy says he’s not good enough for you just to cut you off without putting in some real effort, without fighting for the relationship, it reflects poorly on him.
Have you ever wondered what to say when your boyfriend thinks he isn’t good enough? You will go through a tough time accepting the fact that the person you have loved and adored so much is giving up on you so easily. Before coming to any conclusion, you should find out the reasons behind this declaration. We try to put into perspective what he means when he says he is not good enough for you. Does he really think that he does not deserve you or he cannot give you what you are looking for? Or, is this his way of wriggling out of a relationship?
Related Reading: How To End A Relationship On Good Terms
1. He genuinely thinks he’s a bad influence
Sometimes a man thinks that his ways might not be the best influence on his partner. It could also be the manner in which you are perceived by others for being associated with him and he doesn’t want you to go through that. Thus, saying “I’m not good for you” is a way to push you away. Some people also feel that their emotional instability or baggage is too much to inflict on others and they try to avoid dragging people down into their self-proclaimed ‘messy life’.
To be honest, how can an adult man cast his bad influence so deeply on an adult woman? Unless, of course, he is an addict, an abusive person, or a criminal. When a man thinks he is not good enough for you, he just doesn’t understand that it is not for him to decide. You are perfectly capable of making that choice for yourself. Despite all his relationship insecurities, if you are still confident about this partnership and yet notice signs he thinks he is not good enough, it’s time to show him some tough love.
Noble as it may seem, it is often a misguided effort to try to curb someone’s feelings by telling them to not get involved with you, by telling them you’re not good for them. In such cases, the person who is being discouraged from pursuing a romantic relationship may end up doing the exact opposite. As we tend to think that it is our responsibility to mend a broken person, especially when we are in a romantic relationship, you are more likely to stick around rather than accept him pushing you away.
2. He wants different things from life
A man has got to be completely secure in his abilities as a person not to play the role of a restrictive patriarch in a relationship with a woman. Being influenced by the shackles of toxic masculinity is not going to help in this endeavor. However, sometimes, even if the man wakes and wants the best for you, he may not want the same things from life in general.
Once, I heard my friend Patrick using this move with his girl and I was really disappointed in him. “How could you let such a sweet girl leave just like that?” But after he explained his stance, it made more sense to me that when a guy says he’s not good for you, he may have his reasons for it.
Related Reading: 9 Signs He Regrets Hurting You
Patrick was not a person with monumental ambition, being perfectly content at his father’s woodshop, living his simple ordinary life. While Alicia was a Princeton graduate nurturing bigger dreams for herself. As Patrick did not wish her to compromise any of her goals for the sake of this relationship and for him, calling it quits was the right thing to do.
So, when he says he is not good enough for you, it may well be because he does not want to hold you back, implying that he’s not what you’re looking for and that he can’t fulfill your expectations.
3. His inferiority complex makes him think the way he does
The man who told you that he’s not good for you might have forgotten the word ‘enough’ in that sentence. Often an inferiority complex can drive people to do crazy things and they cannot build trust in a relationship. One of the most common ways people deal with it is by developing a fake sense of superiority.
However, some people just feel that they are good for nothing and push their potential partners away by making such statements. Maybe they have been rearing a hopeless inferiority complex since childhood. It could originate from bad parenting or the experience of bullying in school where he was told repeatedly that he cannot do anything worthwhile ever.
Eventually, he turned this statement into his reality and started believing he is a failure. Chances are, when a man feels inadequate in a relationship, he is holding inside such insecurities that convince him that he is ruining your life too. If you think your man is doing the same, try talking to him about his emotions. Try reassuring him that he is truly good enough, and if in the end, he can’t come to terms with it and still thinks he is a bad influence, then you may just have to move on.
Related Reading: 15 Signs A Commitment-Phobe Loves You
4. He might want to let you down easy
When a guy feels he has fallen out of love with his girl and is looking for a way to break the relationship up, he might use the phrase, “I am not good enough for you”, to soften the blow. It is synonymous with the “It’s not you. It’s me” breakup excuse. If you think about it, it is actually really sweet, telling a white lie to let you down easy. But the problem with most white lies is that they might come back to haunt you.
In the future, if you accidentally find out that the reason actually was you and not him, then the sense of betrayal you will feel will be more intense than before. Thus, lying while breaking up with someone is often a bad idea. In a short-term relationship, where you both are just cutting your losses saying, “I’m not good for you” and moving on, might be considered an act of kindness, but the same logic might not apply to every other situation.
There is no better alternative to honesty – we should preach and practice this more often. People fall out of love, it is perfectly normal. If that is the case, a man must tell his partner the whole truth. When a guy says he’s bad for you, he is not ready to own up to his feelings. Perhaps, this is not one of the traits you look for in a man, and walking out is the smarter choice here.
5. He might be confused
Another explanation for this situation could be that he is utterly confused. Most people are when it comes to what they feel and how they should express their feelings. Dishonesty in a relationship can kill its very essence. Many of them can’t be honest with themselves and that makes it even harder to be vocal about their opinions.
Maybe, to some, “I’m not good for you” is a term that they heard in some TV show, and it sounded really catchy. But life is not a mere representation of pop culture. Understandably, if you think that it is incredibly childish, I would have to agree with you. People tend to act impractically sometimes, and the unfortunate reality is they happen to say things without meaning them. This might just be a popular phrase that a man uses in a futile attempt to appear cool and filmy.
I hope now you know what are the probable scenarios that prompt a guy to come up with this age-old cliche. If you are still wondering what to say when your boyfriend thinks he isn’t good enough, step up and straightaway ask him for the truth. It’s not good for your mental health either to be hung up on the thoughts of what could possibly go wrong in the relationship.
So, when you see the signs he thinks he’s not good enough for you, there are two options open. Either you have a conversation with him and solve the problem or move on without proper closure. The choice is yours.