How To Break Up With Someone You Live With — 4 Tips From Experts & Reddit

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man and woman arguing about how to break up with someone you live with
Heartbreak

Struggling with how to break up with someone you live with? You are not alone. 

While at some point it seemed like a good idea to share a home with your partner, unfortunately not all relationships last forever — even the ones that include cohabitation are subject to failure.

Of course, that makes a breakup even more complicated.

A lack of physical and emotional intimacy, an inability to connect, and deterioration of trust are all signs it's time to break it off with your partner. 

Easier said than done, of course, depending on your living situation and financial security. 

Breakup conversations are the worst — especially when you're under the same roof. Make sure you go into the conversation prepared and have the bandwidth to consider the logistics. 

Things to consider before you confront your partner:

1. Do you have kids together?

2. Will you have to live together after the breakup?

3. Will they be receptive to the breakup, or will they lash out?

4. If you break up, do you have somewhere to stay until you secure a place of your own?

"Joint lease, kids, and lockdown make it complicated with each factor," Hypnotherapist Keya Murthy explains. "Keep the doors of communication open. Work with a professional to maintain objectivity when communicating with your partner. Both of you also need personal venting spaces. So, work with a healer or therapist so you can live with a lighter heart and continue through this process."

RELATED: 20 Crucial Things To Do (And Not Do) After A Breakup

Steps to break up with someone you live with:

1. Pick an appropriate time.

In the event of a breakup, timing is everything.

If you feel that your situation is so dire that you need to plan the move before you tell him, do that.

But it's not a matter of safety, be sure to pick a time where your partner isn't stressed out.

For example, it's not a smart idea to do it before or after an important work meeting, or while you or your partner is clocked in. 

2. Be kind.

Now is not the time to throw daggers. This is going to be difficult to navigate for both of you, and especially while living together you're going to have to remain cordial. 

The best way to break up with a long-term boyfriend or someone you live with is by being compassionate as possible

"If you are not communicating with compassion it is going to be tough for both of you. It's important to remember that communication is a two-way street, meaning it is listening more and using the right words to express personal needs," Murthy advises. "Also, remember those who live in glass houses do not throw stones at others. If you are moving out then both of you have made a decision that is for the highest good of all. Don't say things that might have repercussions that you are not willing or able to handle. Breaking up and living in the same house is difficult."

3. Let them speak their mind.

It's not all about you. Your partner might want to express their emotions on the subject.

If you set the tone for mean comments, you'll be met with it. 

4. Set a time to work through the logistics.

Give your partner a day or two to cool down and process the change to come before fighting over who gets the toaster.

RELATED: How To Break Up With Someone Without Completely Devastating Them 

How to break up with someone you live with according to people on Reddit:

1. "Take your time."

"Save your money in a separate account if y’all currently share an account. Tell her you would like to split so it’s no surprise. Start working on you, if need be, get another job where you’ll make more money. Sit down and manage your finances and spend this time putting all of your extra money towards paying off your student loans. Ask parents for help if living with her becomes unbearable but try to just be cordial until you can figure this out. You will figure it all out just one step at a time." —Mrsparker9619

2. Be adults about it.

Another person wrote that living with someone for fear of being alone, “is an awful foundation for a relationship.”

In the event that both partners are staying together for that reason, “you’re both doing each other a disservice by staying in an unhealthy, unhappy relationship just because you don’t want to live alone.” They continued, "So, accept that this relationship is over. Then accept that you’re both adults, and need to handle this like adults. That means buckling down and finding separate living accommodations that work with your budget. That means spending a weekend going through all your shared stuff, and deciding who will take what. That means figuring out if you’re going to stay friends, go low-contact, or go no-contact once you’re both moved out." —tonytwostep

There is a possibility, however, that you're dating someone you know won't take it all. Perhaps you're not even on the lease or your partner financially supports you. Another Reddit user illustrated the importance of having your back covered. 

3. Cover your assets.

"When I knew I wanted to break up with my ex-boyfriend," they wrote, "I basically secretly found a place to live (so he wouldn't kick me out or get angry). Once I knew I had a new place lined up I broke it to him near the end of the month. I gave him the following month's rent and then moved out." —PM_ME_UR_BEST_LEWDS

How to break up with someone you live with in lockdown:

COVID-19 made everything that was already difficult even more difficult. It's possible that the virus and lockdowns it caused might have put your physical or financial help in a position where moving is not an option.

You might need to negotiate a short-term to share the space you currently have.

Maybe you stay in the basement, on the sofa, or in the extra room, if you’re lucky.

Is there a close friend who lives nearby that would let you quarantine with them?

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, it might be your safest bet.

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Tips to move forward after a breakup:

1. Take care of yourself.

Instead of spending time obsessing over your ex, use your newfound free time to surround yourself with people you love and things you love to do.

2. Don't force a friendship with your ex.

A little space never did anyone harm.

You don't need to jump right into a friendship. They're your ex, not your BFF.

3. Go no-contact with your ex.

Similar to the above, no contact is the best way to go.

If you see them on the street, you don't have to ignore them.

But don't hit them up when you're feeling lonely, don't check their social media pages, and don't ask mutual friends about them.

4. Get things in order. 

Time to get your life together.

Organize your closet or treat yourself to some luxurious skincare.

Use this as an opportunity to turn some things in your life around.

5. Seek help from a therapist.

When in doubt, trust the experts.

Seriously, don't expect your friends alone to guide you through this one.

RELATED: The 6 Not-So-Pretty (But Totally Normal) Stages Of A Breakup

Izzy Casey is a writer who covers pop culture.