The 5 Worst Reasons for a Break-Up

Honesty is always the best approach when considering a breakup. But it's difficult because the person who's doing the breaking up doesn't want to hurt the other person's feelings, explains relationship expert Ingrid Schweiger, Ph.D. "We are afraid to be honest and we fear confrontation," she says. "So it's often a cop out when we tell people why we are breaking up with them."

So what are some of the top excuses people employ when they want to be let off the hook easily and not feel guilty about it?

1. I need some space. This is a meaningless excuse, says relationship expert and licensed psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser. "You make time for the people you want to see and the activities you want to do," she says. "If a guy says this to you, it means he is trying to let you down easily, or that he is just not looking for a monogamous relationship."

While he might like you, Kaiser says, he wants to create some space so he can, for instance, see someone else on Friday night and you on Saturday night.

"Saying they need space is common when the person wants to do what I call the half break up," Kaiser says. "They don't want you completely gone but they may push you back so that you're not really dating, but you're still around."

2. It's not you, it's me. This excuse is aimed at making it sound as though something is "wrong" about the person doing the breaking up, Kaiser says. Basically, the person is trying to convey the thought that he is not good enough for you, not worthy of you, so you should dump him.

"This would come from someone who is trying to get out of a relationship gently," Kaiser says. "It would be rare for the man to really think that he wasn't good enough. He is looking for a way to bow out but doesn't have the self confidence to tell you the real reason."

3. It's not a good time in my life right now. "If people want to see people, they work it out and make an effort," says Kaiser. "This is a big red flag that someone is making up an excuse."

When a relationship's going well and things are working, you see a lot of each other and you're on the same page about issues, Kaiser explains. It's when one person decides he or she is not getting enough from the relationship that this excuse surfaces, and it's a weak one, to say the least. Besides, think it through: If the person's telling you he's not in a good place when he's with you, then clearly things aren't working and they may just be too broken to fix.

4. I just got out of a relationship so I don't want this one to head in the same direction.

Not only is this one illogical, but it can be hurtful to the person being broken up with because it's like comparing that person to the person with whom a prior relationship fizzled. Often, this passive-aggressive approach can turn into something Kaiser calls "the pullaway." The person stops calling as much and stops making frequent plans to see you, hoping that you will be the one to break up. "Then when you confront the guy, he says, you are right, I wasn't able to see you as much." And, Kaiser adds, some men just want to avoid the breakup conversation. "They figure if they act up, you'll get rid of them first and they won't have to have the conversation at all."

5. I wasn't able to make enough time for you. This excuse is often followed up with a discussion of how demanding work and family commitments are. "The person might also say that his friends are complaining that he hasn't been spending enough time with him," Kaiser says. "He is basically looking for a way out." Men are naturally pursuers, Kaiser says. "When they stop pursuing," she says, "Then something is wrong with the relationship."