A form of Heroic Self-Deprecation
where a character thinks they're not good enough for their Love Interest
. They may think this while they're actually in a relationship with said person (in which case they may break it off before things get worse), or they may avoid pursuing them in the first place.
Done well, it can provide conflict, as well as maybe Character Development
. Done badly, it just comes across as Wangst
, especially if the character has no reason to feel like this
Related to I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy
. Also compare I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me
. If this causes a breakup, they may say It's Not You, It's Me
- Tommy Monoghan of the Hitman comic book ends his relationship with Tiegel once and for all by pretty much telling her outright that he's a scumbag, and if they stay together he'd just keep letting her down and screwing up. He's saying it because it's true, but he's ALSO saying it because he's about to take on a pretty good sized chunk of the CIA and doesn't want her around for it. Whether or not a reader thinks he would have said/done it if not for the whole CIA thing varies.
- This is a constant problem for Georgina Kincaid. She thinks she's not good enough for Seth and is going to end up hurting him, because she's hurt people in the past. That and she's a succubus, whereas he's a reserved and virtuous man.
- In New Moon of the Twilight series, Edward leaves Bella because of this, resulting in much Wangst from both of them.
- This is Lupin's reason for not getting together with Tonks (and the reason she's been so depressed throughout) in the 6th Harry Potter book. He comes around at the end and they're a couple in the 7th.
- Nip/Tuck has Christian break up with Natasha because he thinks she deserves better than a Casanova like him.
- In Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this is Angel's reasoning for ending his relationship with Buffy.
- Basically the premise to the Tal Bachman song "She's so High."
What could a guy like me ever really offer?
She's perfect as she can be, why should I even bother?
- The song Amanda has the line "Fate should have made you a gentleman's wife".
- Found in the Anna Nalick song "Sort of Delilah."
Once you were a tower, and given the power, how did I become the wrecking ball?
Didn't wanna hurt you, didn't deserve you, I'm usually the victim after all.
- Parodied with the psychotic Ask That Guy with the Glasses. Even though the Love Martyr narrator tells him how amazing he is constantly, he'd rather be abused and told he's worthless.
- Nice Guy Jacob in Mass Effect 2 feels this way towards both Miranda and Female!Shepard (if you romance him).