10 Ways To Break Up With Someone You Live With

Regular breakups are hard enough. You lose someone who was a major part of your life and suddenly have to figure out how to exist without them. Now imagine ending your relationship when you live with your partner. Talk about awkward! Thankfully, while it’s tough to navigate, it’s not impossible. Here are some tips and tricks to help you through it.

  1. Figure yourself out. You need to think about why you want to end things instead of breaking up during a fight. It’s crucial to prepare yourself so you can explain to your partner what’s going on and why you need to end the relationship. You live with the person, so text breakups are out of the question. Before you talk to them, make sure you have your feelings and thoughts clearly defined as that will make it a whole lot easier.
  2. Is it really the end? You need to take some time before talking to your partner to find out if you’re really keen to end things. There’s no turning back after this! This time will also help you to take stock of the relationship and figure out if it’s something you want to try to save or if you should end things because moving on will be healthier for you. Some good reasons to end a relationship include if it’s toxic, if you’re constantly unhappy or unsatisfied in the relationship, or if your partner isn’t making an effort to try to keep you around.
  3. Do it at the right time. You want to ensure both you and your partner are in a calm, relaxed state and you’re alone when you have the breakup talk. You don’t want to start a conversation about breaking up 20 minutes before your parents are scheduled to come over for dinner!
  4. Give them time alone. Your partner might be shocked and emotional when you explain why you want to break up with them. It’s a good idea to give them a bit of space. Consider sleeping over at a friend’s place or in a hotel for the night so that they process their thoughts and feelings. Be available to answer their questions.
  5. Think about the home setup. Now that you’ve told your partner you want to end the relationship and you’ve given them a bit of time to think things through, you have to have a conversation about what happens next, especially when it comes to your living arrangements. Are you going to move out, or are you going to have to cohabitate for a while before you go your separate ways?
  6. Set some boundaries. If you’re not getting out of the home immediately after the breakup, it’s important to set some boundaries for you and your partner to be used during the time that you’ll still be living in the same place. What are the sleeping arrangements? Will you still spend some time together or would you prefer not to? These are important to make the follow-up days after the breakup easier for both of you.
  7. Sort out the extras. You’ll have to figure out some other things, too, such as what will happen with the lease on your apartment. You will both have to talk about these things, which is why it’s even more crucial to ensure that your breakup is done kindly and compassionately, otherwise, how will you sort everything out? You might have to have another conversation or several after the breakup to deal with the practical and stressful issues.
  8. Forget about a clean break. Breaking up with someone you live with and have built a life with is quite different from breaking up with someone you merely dated. There’s lots to sort out and, as I’ve already mentioned, you’ll have to be in touch after the breakup to do that. You won’t have a clean break in the traditional sense. That’s something important to bear in mind. While it obviously shouldn’t stop you from moving forward with your breakup, it should make you realize that you have to take care with the breakup so that it’s less stressful than it needs to be.
  9. Reach out to loved ones. Now’s the time when you will need to reach out to friends or family members for support. You don’t have to go through this alone. People outside of the relationship will help to keep you strong and they can also help you with some practical elements of the breakup, like helping you to move your stuff out of the apartment.
  10. What if you have kids? The situation can be messier if you have children with your partner. This is why it’s crucial to decide on how you’ll talk to your kids together and think about legal issues such as custody. You should try to be open with your kids about why the relationship is ending and answer¬†their questions – remember, it’s a big breakup of their family life, so you need to handle it with care.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.