What don’t you like about me?

Dear Love,

Why do we ever ask prospective lovers “what don’t you like about me?” Why is unrequited love all too common, and most importantly why do we feel (slightly) inadequate when feelings are not mutual? Recently, I ended things with someone and they asked “what don’t you like about me?”. Now I felt as though the question was rather strange, considering I was the farthest thing from serious with said person. In fact we’d only hung out once, so why should he care what I don’t like about him? Now I’m all for the learning aspect of relationships. I think it’s important to grow every day. But this question does not facilitate growth. In my opinion, it facilitates insecurities. To be honest, I was tempted to tell him explicitly what I did not like about him but was cautioned otherwise.

If I would have told him, he more than likely would have gotten defensive or tried to “rationalize” whatever characteristics I named. Either way, the conversation would have (abruptly) turned negative and I, for one, do not have time for arguments via text. Yes, via text. I think text breakups are an appropriate exit venue after the first date. The way I see it, you should be happy I’m even texting you again after a bad first date, because my natural inclination is to just ignore you. Now back to the matter at hand. I’ve never asked “what don’t you like about me?” to an object of my affection, but I can recall wondering it several times in my past. It was back when I assumed there was a problem with me whenever I didn’t click with someone or a relationship didn’t work out. Now, fortunately, I know better. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I’m smart enough to know that nothing is fundamentally wrong with me just because things did not work out with one person. I am a work in progress and what one person doesn’t like about me the next person may love.


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This work by bellereveur.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



  1. bitter and black

    I think we are all self-conscious. yes, if you told him what you didnt like about him…he probably would have felt badly about himself. No doubt, if you ended things with him after 1 date, its probably for superficial reasons, because really…how much can we ever learn from someone on a first date. We learn things about their strange habits, their social behavior, their basic information. Whatever assessment you made about him…its probably for one of those superficial reasons that you didnt like or didnt think sync’d up with you.

    if i were him, id def want to know and i wouldnt let it affect my self esteem…b/c what would it be over? she didnt like the cologne i wear? or the colors of the flowers i bought her? or she didnt like my taste in movies or food when i picked venues? All of those things dont reflect who he/anyone else is, so he is silly to get offended so easily by that. On the other hand, since you didnt tell him, i bet he is stewing and pondering exactly what he did or whats wrong with him that turned you off so much? Is it something like his vulnerability, his looks, his aura? things he cant change, to me, would be more likely to make someone insecure.

    At the end of the day, i hope he doesnt think too deeply on this…like you said, it was only a 1st date! But i know that when i go on bad first dates, it always confusing for the party that got dumped to understand exactly what happened. hopefully, he chalks it up to “we want different things”. that way everyone wins

    • Thanks for your comment. At the end of the day, I would hope if I had answered his question it wouldn’t have affected his self esteem. However, I do not think self esteem is one of our attributes that we can simply turn on and off or up and down. I do not think we can pick and choose which life experiences affect our self esteem. We could consciously say “I will not let this affect me”, but our interactions with other can affect our self esteem on a subconscious level.

  2. Something similiar happened to me. He was one of those nice guys who never got the girl. He was too insecure, shy, and whiny. He asked me why (via text) women, including me, would not date someone like him. I wanted to tell him that women wanted a man that is manly and not such a pansy but I was afraid that would hurt his feelings. You did the right thing.

    • Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure if this guy was one of those nice guys who never got the girl, I just know that he was too cliche for me. Real romance is authentic and unique to your own relationship, so I find it hard to appreciate non-genuine acts and pet names.

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