Break up is already hard as it is, especially if you truly loved the other person, but to break up with someone you already live with? That just might be the hardest, it is definitely going to be a break up with a lot of different stressors involved, we are moving from never seeing our Ex-Girlfriend again to seeing her every single day.
When you live with your partner, your life becomes a shared experience, a break up is going to result in a painful conversation or even a series of painful conversations that simply must be had, both you will grieve over the death of something you had, together, but you have to know that not every relationship is meant to thrive; sometimes you may be forced to leave a relationship; however, before making such a decision, you should be aware of a few things that could make the break up process less painful. If you don’t know where to start, we can help. Our guidance can help you handle a break up politely and respectfully for you and your partner.
A Step by Step Guide: Breaking Up When You Live Together
1. Prepare Yourself
You have decided, maybe against your best wishes, to break up with your cohabitating girlfriend, it is a shaky subject to talk about, but you have made this decision because you saw it as the best course for your future, however, you are going to talk with her, sooner or later, it is going to be uncomfortable, some tears might drop from both sides, but you know, this must be done, so prepare yourself mentally for what is going to happen, maybe you will discover some new things during that talk, address the problems apparent and hidden in the relationship, and what you two are going to do after the break up is official.
2. Let Us Speak
The overdue conversation is at hand, I believe some call this “The Talk”, I need you to understand, there is no reality that exists where this conversation is going to be easy or fully comfortable, nor can you simply say “I want to break up with you.”, this is a conversation where you get what you want, without blaming, hurting or insulting the other person, because the point is to “not be a dick about it” and “since we are living together, let’s not make it hell.”
The best way I found personally, is to tell her about your emotional state, and your stressors, you simply don’t mention her, we want a peaceful end here, not provocations, simply talk about what you’re going through and why you think ending this is the best course of action for you.
An important thing that must be mentioned, is that even if you are angry and/or sad, you must empathize with the other person as well, love works both ways, so does a break up, you should hear her out, don’t interrupt, don’t try to make some sort of ridiculous power move and have a final word, you want peace, regardless of what she may do in the past.
3. What Should I Do Following A Break up Discussion?
Give her space, after that undoubtedly painful conversation, you two have some awkward vibe going on, sometimes you’re going to be overly sensitive, some other times overly cold, you should probably be spending a lot of time away from each other, friends are good for this, so is family.
Your emotional state is probably not at its best either, instead of becoming an emotional mess and doing something you might regret, it is better to confide in someone, a best friend, a parent, the person you trust the most, and it can’t be her, you know she is going through the same thing as you, my point is, get some distance from her, it helps the emotional process go better if it helps, you might want to schedule a conversation with your partner, later on, most break ups have no closure, perhaps you two can be the exception to the norm.
4. Divide Assets Properly
Nobody wants to be the first one to bring up the asset division or any financial talk, whether you choose to split up bank accounts is up to you, a lawyer or a financial advisor may act as an objective third party, you will need to have this conversation more than once before everything is settled, but the point is, don’t sleep on this one, get it done as quickly as possible, do NOT stall this process.
5. What If We’re Stuck Together For A Long Period?
Your financial situation may not allow you to be fully independent of your ex-partner, and even though this may have been a hurdle to your inevitable break up, you are better off acting unlike most other men who will stick with a relationship that is going down because of their prior investment (look up sunk cost fallacy), it is better to talk about this with your partner rather than living a destructive lie, only after that can the two of you come into a decision.
Now let me make it clear, you have to go into that conversation after consulting a lawyer or having some prior knowledge about the legalities of your state, one of you may have to leave and find another place after a few months, pre-planning beats anything else in this case, if you end up having to occupy the same house for a time, then you must establish clear boundaries on what you two can and can not do if it isn’t already obvious, this is similar to walking on eggshells, it makes you truly wonder if cohabitating is even worth it.
6. Take Care Of Yourself
Because you seriously have nothing better to do, self-care is best, whether it is reading books, hitting the gym, learning new skills, literally nothing beats self-care, I understand that this is a turbulent time, you are still going through a grieving process, you did feel a certain way about your ex-partner.
You did think the relationship was going for a long term and maybe even developing into something serious after your perceived future breaks down you will be hurt, confused, sad, angry, and have a lot of emotions that can potentially blind you, this is when I recommend you channel all the negativity into constructive behaviors, essentially doing what psychologists call “sublimation”, you have to stay active and reunite with your old hobbies and social circle.
A therapist can also be a form of a self-care routine, especially if you want to talk about your issues with an objective person, since you may have lingering feelings about your break up and you want to let them out to someone else, therapy may also be a form of reflection, as it allows you to see yourself through the eyes of an expert, and you may discover your faults and have a better future relationship after that.
7. Give Them Some Time
Time, preferably alone, is the best thing you and your ex-partner can do to process the break up, it does not mean you hate each other or have any ill will, it simply means that two grown adults have decided to move on with their lives, it is clear that people should not over-invest in a relationship to the point of losing who they are, but they are the most common things to happen, whether, by men or women, a time off is really necessary at this point, regardless of the situation, you have to maintain your individuality, hobbies, interests, whether you’re in a relationship or cohabitating.
The main problem is the awkward vibe that you are liable to feel when you just broke up with someone, and they are STILL THERE, same thing goes for your partner.
it is not the WORST position to be in, but I’ll be damned if it is not the most AWKWARD one, so give this one a time off, if anything, you two might change your mind about a lot of things that happened prior to the breakup, time off equals emotional clarity, so you owe it to yourself and to your partner to give it a try, find your ground again with your partner and whether you two get back together or move on to other things, is something that will be revealed in due time.
There are things you have to do, or rather, it would be best to do, which is leave the relationship on good terms, good being without fights, grudges, or untold feelings, you could simply say “I’ll be here if you want to talk.”, you don’t have to overtly say it, but you can imply it in your language, understand her situation, and don’t take her jabs at you so personally she is understandably angry and conflicted, never, ever take women’s words seriously in the first place, if necessary, just walk away from the situation.
8. Keep Logistical Topics Apart From Emotional Talks
Logistics, cohabitating, money, all of these, are topics that must be approached with caution and logic, simply speaking, you cannot allow emotions to interfere, you cannot allow your ex-girlfriend to tempt you with emotional jabs, you want this done, and you want it done quickly and effectively, your ego is not on the table, your possessions are, don’t let any dramatic move on her part move you off-center, and don’t you do anything dramatic yourself, now is not the time for it.
The question of who is going to move out eventually and where and at what time will be asked somewhere in the conversation, keep in mind, just in there is a possibility that you two may end up cohabitating again, avoid negativity, the conversation itself is sensitive and flammable enough, don’t rub salt on the open wound, it usually ends up with one of you going out and staying with friends or family, even for a bit until you gather enough financial and mental stability.
9. Establish New Borders
This is necessary, because, moving out, is not instant, and let’s be honest here, the breakup, especially if you’re the one that broke up with your partner, was not a planned event, you didn’t even have time to think that far into the future, so now we have this situation, where to people who aren’t sharing a relationship, but are sharing space, you could agree on who will be sleeping where, who is going to take care of what tasks, and who is going to pay what bills, and how you’re going to split it up in the first place.
Whatever your relationship was like before, now it is officially roommates, hopefully not roommates who are aggressive towards each other but are more tolerant and peaceful overall.
there is one topic, however, which is “bringing people over”, this is quite literally the question no one thinks about, look at it this way, you two will be having sex, with other people, sometimes in your own house, unless you establish clear boundaries on who is allowed to be in the house, and at what time.
Nobody wants to have an awkward conversation, but the upside to this whole situation is, you only need to have that conversation ONCE, we’re keeping things peaceful and methodical, therefore setting boundaries to not lose our sanity in this breakup, your friends were once her friends, and the opposite might be the case also, keep that in mind when you’re having that conversation.
10. Maintain Your Cool
Back to the breakup conversation at hand, you are most likely not at your most stable state, at least, not yet, like I said before, there will be tears, and maybe some anger, but you have to keep your cool, that does not mean you’re going to be passive, that does not mean you’re going to sit there and take it, you two indeed cared for each other, but if things got violent, or dangerous, just walk away, you’re the man here.
You don’t have the advantage here, women can claim and do all kinds of things, if things come to worse, get out of your house and give one of your friends a call, and if your ex seems too angry, or upset, or throwing the piss, tell them you’re going to continue this conversation later.
On the other hand, you should probably listen to what they have to say, you have explained at this point, why you want to break up, and they have something to say about that, so hear them out, it shows care and respect for the relationship, whether the relationship ends then and there or continues, this is a conversation that simply, MUST, happen.
Get Ready For Questions
If we are talking about a girl you just broke up with, trust me, she will have A LOT of questions, some of them on the spot, some of them will come later, avoid answering the same question over and over again, when they ask something, have a definite answer, don’t go out of your way to offend your ex, but then again, don’t be vague about it either.
Both parties are hurt, but your priority is yourself, if your partner ever asks why you went through the breakup, simply say it wasn’t fulfilling your needs, this way, you are not about to point the finger at them, but rather, the situation, hopefully, you will use the knowledge you have with this relationship to make your next one much better.