Breakups are difficult to handle on their own, regardless of the circumstances, but what about when you’re splitting up with someone you live with? That usually results in a lot more mess. It’s entirely normal to feel more anxious about the possibility of splitting up when you live together.

We can guide you if you’re unsure of where to start. With consideration and respect for both your partner and yourself, you can handle the breakup with the aid of our guide.

Preparing For The Breakup

Once you’ve made your choice, you should have a plan for how you’ll approach the conversation and what you’ll say. Start considering the cohabitation-related logistics, such as potential arrangements, costs, pets, or kids, since that is a factor that is also at play.

“You may experience less anxiety and a sense of stability if you prepare. It also can help you feel more clear on your reasons and how you want to articulate it to your partner,” explains psychotherapist Babita Spinelli, L.P. Then, when you’re ready, “Pick a time to talk that is mutually convenient, with the least distractions, and let them know in advance that you have something important to discuss,” she adds.

The importance of taking into account your partner’s needs and feelings, as well as how to approach this in a way that makes them feel supported, is stressed by Beurkens. And lastly, she and Spinelli both advise breaking up with people close by if you are concerned about how your partner will react.

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Have Pre-breakup Conversations

If the relationship is something you do want to try to save, think about having pre-breakup conversations to discuss where you both are in your heads, deal with any issues that are emerging, and bring up any other issues you may be feeling.

When having these discussions, the three main subjects to discuss are how you both feel your relationship is progressing, whether or not you are happy, and what you can both do to improve things.

Give Them Time

After the conversation, they might experience shock, grief, rage, and confusion. While you can’t change how they feel, you can show them kindness and compassion by allowing them time to process.

Provide them with some alone time before you begin packing, even if you intend to leave. Set a time for you to pick up your belongings and prepare an overnight bag with the necessities.

They’ll need a few days to find somewhere else to stay when it’s your home or apartment, at the very least. Prepare a conversation about rules and bedtimes. For instance, you could offer to take the sofa or the guest room as your place to rest.

When you share a lease, you’ll also need to make decisions about who moves out, who keeps the security deposit, etc. You can avoid forgetting important details in a potentially tense or emotional situation by making a list of considerations in advance.

Enlist Support

how to break up with someone you live with

Your next steps will be much easier if you tell a small group of close friends and family members that you have decided to end the relationship.

In the beginning, your social circle can help you emotionally. It’s normal to experience conflicting emotions. Even when you start a breakup, it can still be very distressing. You’ve lived together and shared a house.

Even after the necessary loss, you might still love them and miss them. However, loved ones can support your choice and reaffirm the reasons for it when regret and love give way to second thoughts. Additionally, friends and family may offer you a short-term residence and assist you in moving out.

End In Peace

No matter the reason for the breakup, concentrate on having a peaceful ending to avoid needless drama and hurt feelings. No matter how upset or angry you are, keep in mind that the other person will also be sad about the breakup. It’s also a good idea to avoid leaving a relationship trying to control the outcome or have the last word.

You will later regret doing that. Instead, make an effort to part ways in peace, knowing that you’ve done your best to keep the love you had for one another alive.

Give Each Other Some Space

Things will probably feel a little sensitive after you’ve had the talk. Deen advises staying somewhere else for a few nights, whether it be a hotel or the home of a friend or relative. This is crucial because you need some real separation to process the breakdown of the relationship.

Discuss How You’ll Part Ways

The logistics of ending a rental lease, determining who gets to keep what, etc. are the next step in explaining how to end a relationship with someone you live with. It is preferable to discuss how you want to handle the rent and bills with your partner and let them take the initiative.

Given that you just dealt them a serious blow, the least you can do to make amends is to give them first dibs on who does what or who gets what. Instead of being angry, approach the discussions with love and peace. You have a greater chance of success.

Gather A Support System

You’re not supposed to go through it by yourself. Invite your loved ones to support you during this difficult time by helping you with the practical aspects of moving, such as packing, organizing, looking for a new home, and moving out, as well as being there for you emotionally.

In the healing process, social support is crucial. Additionally, having a close friend or family member by your side can help prevent any future conflict between you two.

how to break up with someone you live with

Set A Firm Move-out Date

Decide to leave as soon as you can because it will help you maintain momentum for all of your other decisions. Decide which of you is in a better position to take over the full lease or mortgage payment as one of you vacates because if you’re both on the lease, you’re both responsible for the rent.

It could also mean that one of you decides to pay for the other’s small relocation costs while you both split the cost of maintaining your current home.

Include your landlord in this. They may have options ranging from a lease break fee to being willing to allow a tenant sublet because this isn’t the first time they’ve heard of a cohabiting breakup. Just so you know, a landlord would need to give their approval before a new tenant moved in and took over the lease with you or your ex.

Give some thought to how much each option will cost you financially and emotionally. For instance, even though a lease break fee may be costly, you and your partner may decide the clean break is worthwhile.

Divide Possessions Equitably

The best course of action is to start with the fundamentals and when in doubt, to just let it go (giving up the living room rug will be easier for your mental health than arguing over it out of spite). Therefore, anything you owned prior to beginning your relationship should be yours.

Gifts also belong to the person who received them, and you are responsible for any debt that is owed in your name, regardless of who made the purchase. Being as specific as you can, despite the discomfort, helps prevent future fights.

For example, when you say he can keep the “kitchen stuff,” he might take that to mean your fancy mixer when you were just willing to let go of the dishes. Make a list of the things that are important to you both and indicate who will be taking what.

Think about bringing your most prized personal possessions, such as heirloom jewelry, diaries, photo albums, etc.) to a friend’s house for safekeeping during this time even if you’re the one staying put.

A slew of friends, coworkers, and possibly even movers may be entering and exiting your space more frequently than usual, and you’ll probably be at home much less often than usual. Knowing that some crucial items are out of the house gives you a little bit of peace of mind.

Set New Boundaries

Even under ideal conditions, these conversations are terrible. Navigating a breakup is difficult to work, so you’re both exhausted, worn out, and very emotional. On some days, getting back into bed with someone seems like the ideal solution (both literally and figuratively). But falling back into a “couple’s routine” will just complicate unwinding your lives and prevent you both from healing and moving on.

Instead, take your time with self-care and find a place in the house that you can designate as your own. Know that this also means that checking in during the day with texts or casually hanging out (even if it’s under the guise of “just friends”) is trending toward being too personal if you’re in breakup mode.