The worst two words in dating

Here are a few examples of two-words phrases you don’t really want to hear while dating:

  • comb overComb over
  • Hair plugs
  • Spousal reconciliation
  • I’m married
  • It’s over


None of these would be music to your ears. Some of these are worse than the phrase I want to focus on:

“I’ve decided…”

These two words are rarely followed by something positive, although conceivably they could be coupled with “you’re the one for me” or “I’m in love with you” or “I can’t live without you.

More often, though, they are followed with “this isn’t working,” “I don’t think we should see each other any more,” “we’d be better as just friends,” or “I can’t continue seeing you anymore.”

The reason these words are so upsetting is that you haven’t been given the respect of being included in a discussion leading up to “I’ve decided.” This is understandable if you’ve only been seeing the other a short time.

However, I’ve heard this most often when I’ve been seeing the person a month, two or more. “I’ve decided” did not follow a spat or difficult time, so it seemed to come out of thin air. There was no heart-to-heart discussion about the other being unhappy, or what he wanted that I wasn’t providing. He made a decision and I was out on my ear, period.

Of course, two adults have the freedom to change their minds about a relationship at any time. But it seems that the longer you’ve been seeing someone (or married to them!), you should at least be privy to a conversation about what isn’t working or what the other wants before the “I’ve decided” pronouncement. Not that his mind would be changed, but it seems more respectful to be engaged in the process. Perhaps the decision was based on a misinterpretation of a comment and it would give you an opportunity to clear it up. But once “I’ve decided” has been uttered, it is virtually impossible for him to reconsider.

What do you think about “I’ve decided”? And what other two words can you think of that are difficult to hear when dating?

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5 responses to “The worst two words in dating”

  1. Elena Avatar

    I agree with you. I hate this phrase and have heard it several times. Another phrase that strikes fear in the hearts of many is “We need to talk.”

    I used to get upset when a guy I liked would spring an “I decided” on me. But now I realize that I was expecting too much before. If the relationship/love connection is only a few months old and the guy says “I’ve decided…”, what he’s really saying is that he’s decided he’s not attracted to you in some way, whether it be physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually, etc., and because there is no attraction there on his part, there is nothing that you can do to change that, so why ask for your input before he announces his decision. If a guy is really interested in you/genuinely attracted to you, he will consult you and get your input, or at least there will be a big argument and some sort of reconciliation before a guy comes out with the “I decided” line. If a man really wants to stay in a relationship, he will do something, anything, no matter how dysfunctional, to stay in the relationship. If he wants to get out of it, he does, although his exit may seem rude, clumsy, abrupt and painful to the woman left behind.

  2. Becky Avatar

    “I need some space” has got to be the killer phrase to hear. You know that isn’t good.

  3. walt Avatar

    I’ve experienced this kind of breakup-out-of-thin-air after 2-3 months also. I think in most cases it doesn’t come as a result of something you did or didn’t do, it means that the other person probably always viewed you as Mr/Ms. Right Now, not Mr./Ms. Right. So, after 2-3 months, he/she probably thinks that the relationship has run its course, and it’s time for the breakup that he/she always expected to occur. The key question is, how can you tell when someone is viewing you as a Mr./Ms. Right Now, not a potential Mr./Ms. Right? Well, I may yet be fooled, but the woman I’ve been seeing for the past two months acts differently from those who packed it in after 2-3 months. As an example, she calls me, just to talk. She says things like “I can’t wait to see you!” She gives me little gifts (I’m struggling to keep up). Clear signs, perhaps?

  4. Cupertino Avatar

    In an episode of “The Wonder Years,” Winnie (Kevin’s on-and-off girlfriend) says to Kevin, “We need to talk.” Kevin thinks (in his normal voiceover), “Uh oh. In the entire history of mankind, nothing good has ever followed those four words.”

    While I agree it would be nice for someone to share their inner turmoil before it gets to the “I’ve decided” point, I think that may be unrealistic, and I have some compassion since I’ve been there. It’s very uncomfortable going through a phase where you don’t really know how you feel about someone, and you’re trying to figure it out. Talking over your uncertainty with that very person would be even more uncomfortable, and is probably beyond all but the most enlightened. Coming to a decision brings a lot of mental relief, though I agree then springing it on the other can be shocking and can feel unfair. But it’s not surprising.

  5. nysharon Avatar

    I think those two words mean he has really considered it, why would you want to change his mind? What input could you possibly give and why would you want to be put in a situation to have to convince him that you are worth it? Aren’t we all in charge of our own choices? If he doesn’t see the super gal you are, then he doesn’t get you–better to know now. I think worse is “I’m thinking”. At least a “decision” is not stringing you along and manipulating you. I was on the other end of that phrase for the past 6 months and I just walked away. He was too much of a coward to make a decision.