How to Break Up with Your S.O. When You Live Together


Breaking up is difficult to do—however whenever you dwell together with your accomplice, breaking apart can appear unimaginable. Who will get all of the collectively bought furnishings? Who stays within the house, and who leaves? What concerning the dang cat? All of those points virtually make it look like it’s simpler to simply keep collectively and dwell in distress—however imagine us after we say that’s not one of the best route, and it is completely attainable to half methods.

“For many young couples who live together, breaking up is no different than if they were married,” says  therapist Tara Fields, Ph.D., creator of The Love Fix. “It’s easy to get distracted by fighting over things, but at the end of the day it’s important to remember that you loved this person at some point, so making a graceful exit is a better way to do your relationship justice, even if it’s in your past.”

Below, Fields particulars seven sensible methods to maintain your wits about you when splitting up with an S.O. who additionally occurs to be your roommate.

Be certain of what you need

If you’re the 1 doing the breaking apart, don’t do it on a whim—it’s a significant determination, so take it as severely as you (hopefully) did whenever you first moved in collectively. “It’s really helpful to be clear about your intention,” says Fields. “Check in with yourself and figure out what you really want to result from this decision.”

Do you need to get your individual place? Spend a while being single? Remain pleasant together with your ex? Move on from an unhealthy relationship and work out the remainder later? All are legitimate—simply needless to say it should assist you get via this risky state of affairs should you don’t neglect your big-picture objectives and keep steadfast somewhat than waffling on what you need.

Get Vulnerable

When speaking together with your S.O. concerning the feelings behind the breakup or the logistics concerned with transferring out, do your greatest to be actually sincere—with her or him, in addition to your self. “It’s really tragic if you never told your partner how you felt, or what you were going through, and didn’t give them a chance to make it better,” says Fields.

Assuming you did talk that you just have been sad and there have been issues, all you are able to do is clarify your determination and be clear that you just’ve made up your thoughts. “Say, ‘I’ve realized I can’t change you or us, so I’ve decided to change what I can control and move out,’” says Fields.

Own the truth that your anger and frustration together with your accomplice or the state of affairs may very well replicate extra weak emotions beneath—comparable to disappointment that the connection you will have hoped would final without end is ending. This will let you be softer and extra versatile throughout this robust time.

Examine your motives

As with any breakup, it’s wholesome to dig deep on the place the connection went incorrect and the way you contributed to its collapse. “Have you done everything you can to look at your part and repair things before giving up?” says Fields. “The worst thing is to leave a difficult relationship because you’re ‘trapezing’ into the next one with someone new.”

Because dwelling with an S.O. provides a deeper degree of intimacy and dedication—even when it’s simply implied—it pays to be conscious of the teachings you may take from the state of affairs and use sooner or later. Don’t brush these off, as a result of whenever you don’t face sure points, they have an inclination to resurface.

Don’t fixate on stuff

When you’re in ache, it’s simpler to deal with (or battle about) who will get the sofa you got collectively somewhat than the truth that your relationship is over. “Decide what’s more important—that bookshelf or set of dishes, or peace and closure?” says Fields. “Do your greatest to go buddhist and a spot of non-attachment to materials gadgets. And whenever you’re combating over an object, take into consideration whether or not you actually need it that badly, or whether or not it’s about eager to win?” It can be a approach to keep away from your disappointment, says Fields. Either approach, it’s a lot likelier that you just’ll remorse being egocentric or uncivilized to your ex than you’ll shedding that blender.

Take the excessive street

Remember that the top of this relationship marks the beginning of your newly single, impartial life. So making a clear break, and ending issues on as constructive and gracious phrases as attainable, bodes nicely to your capacity to maneuver on with out stewing about unfinished enterprise or regrets. “You don’t want to create moral baggage that you bring with you,” says Fields. “How you react can be an opportunity to increase or erode your self-esteem.” Also, she factors out, you’re already in your approach out: The time to work on the connection or spend vitality combating concerning the points you had is over. “Uncouple in a way that lets you not bring emotional baggage with you.” It’ll make it simpler to maneuver on.

Wait so far

If you’re within the unlucky state of affairs the place one in every of you may’t transfer out immediately, and are pressured to dwell collectively for some time after breaking apart (which it’s best to keep away from if attainable!), attempt to be courteous of one another’s emotions throughout this time. In different phrases, don’t invite that Tinder date over. “Until you’ve moved out, it’s cruel and it’s going to backfire,” says Fields. “Anyway, it’s not the healthiest option to date or sleep with somebody instantly after breaking apart—however should you do select to rebound, go to their home; don’t rub salt in your ex’s wound.” Oh, and the no-sex rule applies to your ex too, BTW: “It’s easy to do that as a distraction or because emotions are running high, but do your best to stick with your breakup and move-out intention and plan.”

Take your house

Whether or not you really have your individual new place or not, it’s sensible to get some bodily and emotional distance as you undergo the breakup course of with an ex who you’ve lived with. That signifies that should you’re dwelling collectively, respect one another’s boundaries, and should you’re not, don’t make excuses to get collectively and rehash what’s already been determined.

“Make sure you’re not meeting up to get a quick hit of connection to take away the pain of grieving the relationship’s end,” says Fields. Yes, it’ll harm—irrespective of how sad the connection, you bought used to coexisting in the identical house with this individual, and it takes time to recover from that. Just know that it’s regular and someday you’ll be glad you caught to your plan.

Originally revealed September 2016. Updated July 2017.

(Editor references)

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