When a man says you deserve better, it means that he wants to break up with you. His reasons could vary, and his intentions could run from the good to the bad. So even though the line sounds like a compliment, it’s more hurtful than any insult anyone can even hurl at you.
Why? Either because he means it when he says it or because he doesn’t. Maybe he knows that he doesn’t love you enough to give you all of him. He could care for you, but not as much as you obviously need him to. Or perhaps he doesn’t care for you at all and just said the first line that popped into his head.
Let’s check out what your guy really means when he says you deserve better.
HE MEANS YOU THAT YOU DO DESERVE BETTER
Men often say what they mean. When he tells you that deserve better, it means that he believes this to be so. There are times when relationships just don’t work out. It could be because of a lot of reasons. Or maybe there is no reason at all. Perhaps the reason doesn’t make any sense.
Or it could be that you’re more in love with him, and he doesn’t think he will ever get on the same page as you. When this happens, no matter how much you try to hide it, it will hurt. And since he cares about you and your feelings, he will try to end it to spare you further pain.
He will be thinking that it would be better to hurt you all at once rather than to carry on with the relationship while you’re hurting every day. This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. It only means that you’re not the one for him. He got issues. He knows that he cannot return your love and that’s why he’s letting you go.
In his mind, you deserve someone who can love you the same way you love him. He believes that he cannot return the intensity of your affection, so he wants to take himself out of the equation. This will allow you to find someone else who is better in every way.
It could be the guilt talking, or it could be his genuine want for you to find someone else who can give you better life than him. Not necessarily someone better, because he’s not insecure enough to believe that he’s not good enough. In fact, he is secure enough in his self-knowledge to realize that he cannot give you what you need. So he walks away.
HE’S A WALKING CLICHE
Oftentimes, when a guy feels that you’re a lot more invested in the relationship than he is, he will pull away. This knee-jerk reaction probably stems from his need for space and from his fear of commitment. He could like you a lot and still do this.
This is where the other cliched line comes in, like “It’s not you, it’s me.” He’d probably say this before he walks away. And he’d be right. It has nothing to do with you. It’s all about him.
Related: Signs he doesn't respect you
And you should believe him. You do deserve better than someone who runs away at the first sign of commitment. You also deserve someone who will want to stick with you in all of your life. A guy like this who won't even try before he quits doesn't deserve a woman like you and your tears.
So don’t make it any harder for yourself by contradicting him. You telling him that he’s enough for you won’t help your case. It will only support his decision. A woman's willingness to settle for the scraps he can offer is a dead giveaway to the desperation of her affection.
Of course, it’s also possible that he’s already found another person but couldn’t find the strength to tell you. Maybe he’s convinced himself that it’ll only hurt you more if you knew about the other woman. So instead of explaining the situation properly, he’ll say the most inane reason he could find.
He probably believes that you deserve better, but it is more likely that he doesn’t care about you anymore. He’s already moved on in his mind. He’s probably already thinking about another girl, for crying out loud. And two’s a crowd, isn’t it? Don't make your life miserable by fighting for a guy like this.
WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA TO CONTRADICT HIM
Reassuring him that he’s enough is a bad idea. It won’t work. It will only prove his point. This is why you need to understand that he means it when he says that you deserve better. You probably can’t change his mind about the imminent break up. And even if you do, you’re only prolonging the inevitable and playing a role of a desperate woman.
So stop contradicting him, and start believing him. Because you do deserve someone better. You deserve the same kind of love you give out. You deserve someone who will be able to match your affection. You deserve the best, and not someone who can’t even tell you the truth. You deserve better than what he can give you.
WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN SAYS YOU DESERVE BETTER
What does it mean when a man says you deserve better? Women have been known to get confused by this line. Why? Because it sounds like a compliment, but it feels like a generic break-up line. It’s not supposed to be that hurtful, but it does hurt nonetheless.
It's a popular belief that break-ups are supposed to hurt. There’s no such thing as a good break-up in life. This is what makes divorce so messy. It’s emotional. So if a guy tells you that you deserve better, it can only mean two things: he’s either just a guy trying to let you down easy, or he’s a guy who couldn’t be bothered to break up with you honestly and instead used the most cliched line in all of history.
So don’t settle for less. Lead your life as a high-value woman. If he's a decent guy, he just doesn't want to hurt you more than he already has. And if he's not, you're so much better off without his on-going personal issues.
Yes, it hurts. But it's always better to hurt a lot right now rather than later when you've invested more feelings and time.
Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.