How To Break Up With Someone You Live With (10 Important Tips)

After probably dreaming of happily ever after with that special someone and you’ve moved in together with, time goes by and parts of them that you never knew existed gets uncovered. 

Bit by bit, like a painting coming alive with every stroke of the artist; but this time, instead of revealing a masterpiece, a stranger who looks and speaks like your dearly beloved but acts totally different is revealed. 

The toll it takes to make the emotional adjustment to accommodate the new normal is so draining in itself. How much more so, when you arrive at the point where for the sake of your sanity or maybe even your life, you have to just let them go. 

Despite that unvoiced fear of the future or the anger that may come with having invested so much of yourself into this project that was a person, you are now in a spot and are asking yourself how, in the world, are you going to break up with someone you live with! 

Take a deep breath first, I’m here for you, if you’re trying to figure out how to break up with someone you live with, here are a few tips that should help you out. 

How To Break Up With Someone You Live With

1. Evaluate your position

evaluate your position

It’s not rare to have someone take immediate, drastic decisions of terminating a relationship, but it’s even more complicated in a situation where both of them are living together. Relationships can get messy when two people who fell in love and moved in together, then fall out of love all of a sudden. It’s best to think things through first before making any hasty decisions.

The moment you start having doubts about breaking up, second-guessing yourself, force your mind into being still, and ask yourself certain questions; “Am I emotionally or physically mistreated?”, “am I being disrespected and disregarded?”, “Is my life in danger?”. If your answer to any of those questions is a resounding yes, say no more, it’s time to bow out

You are not imagining or exaggerating the direness of the situation that is now your relationship. Your next move should be how to leave an unhealthy relationship as peacefully and amicably as possible. 

2. Be in control of your emotions

It’s okay to be nervous, hurt, or both, you have come to the realization that both of you have arrived at crossroads where your paths must diverge. It is imperative that you do not try to ignore or suppress this whirlwind of emotion sweeping over you, but take charge of them. First of all, accept the situation. 

You may feel like things are salvageable, and don’t need to get any messier than it already has. It’s understandable if some part of you secretly wishes to convince yourself that the relationship is not so toxic, or on the flip side, there’s so much anger within that makes you want to get your things and leave immediately. 

Stop and breathe first, it’s best both of you talk things through before making any hasty decisions. The conversation you are bracing up to have will require every ounce of strength you can muster. This is a decision that will shape your future, you can’t afford to be ruled by your emotions.

3. Weigh the situation

weigh the situation

You don’t want to just blurt it out when you’re emotions are still all over the place, you want to lead the conversation, not start a mini ‘house war III.’ So, check his body language and take verbal and non-verbal cues. Depending on his personality, if your partner and soon to be ex, has a gentle temperament, you may decide to have the conversation after a meal. 

If said partner has a propensity for violence, you should unassumingly direct them to the living room and make sure you sit as close to the door as possible. If they definitely will be violent, then you should have a third party in the house with you. You want to end the relationship as peaceably as possible, and still be alive. 

4. Explain your position break

Never begin the conversation with “we have to talk,”. Other than the fact that it immediately puts the listener on the defensive which would take away your bargaining power, it also takes away your ability to lead the conversation. Begin by taking a little journey down memory lane, reminding them of all the reasons why you both had seen something so precious in each other to even make the move to live together, as a married couple or live-in couple. 

Explain why you both can’t continue anymore, try not to sound accusing, things will go downhill from there. Start your sentences with phrases like “I feel unappreciated and unwanted”, instead of saying “you utterly disregard and disrespect me”. The former takes the heat off them, the latter will raise their hackles. 

Avoid the desire to be right or to prove a point, you want to be swift, efficient, and more importantly, come out strong not empty. Be direct but give a soft landing, “I think its best we both part ways” would be a good option. 

5. Hightail it

There is always the option of breaking the news to the person after you have gotten as far away from the situation as possible. This is best and even advisable when there is an assurance of physical violence. In the event your partner is physically abusive, you do not want to give them a prior warning to your action. 

So, it’s best to find a new place first, or temporarily move in with a friend or family if moving would be too obvious. Remember, your safety comes first, it’s better to leave a note or do it over the phone. Also, do not send a third party or just leave without saying a word, you want to end things the right way. 

6. Give your partner the time to process

It took you a while to arrive at this point where you can speak about breaking up enough to lead the conversation. Your partner needs some time as well. It is tempting to want to shut the door close so hard now that you have decided what is best for your life, but if it is even remotely possible to salvage a friendship with this person, then that should be your first point of call. 

Unbelief, shock, confusion may be some of the emotions your partner will be experiencing at this stage. Don’t be in a hurry to have them accept the break if they need some time to process things, give them some space to think. Get a friend to help you pick up some of your stuff, and when he’s ready to talk, a week or one month later, then you can go back and discuss the details.

7. Being unwavering is key

being unwavering is key

Brace up, your partner will most certainly not just give you up like that. Whether it is from the hurt of the bond being severed, or from the need to control, your partner may cajole, threaten, or make promises so that you will rethink your position. Except it was already obvious to both of you that the relationship was nearing its end, he may try to get you back

As you dig your heels into the ground, be sure to keep a controlled voice and as best as you can, don’t let anger or uncertainty show on your face. Stand your ground, if it will help you remain resolute, write out all the reasons why you wanted to break up with him before you have a one on one talk.

If you know within you, that there’s no way you can live with this person anymore, you’re doing the right thing. Stand your ground and remember to keep a controlled temper.

8. Discuss new living arrangements

Things may be so raw when you first move in together, that neither of you can speak about the living arrangement, who leaves and who stays. Take your time, except, of course, there is no time, the conversation about who takes what is very important. Take out time to come up with a fair distribution of personal belongings, as well as furniture and appliances that were purchased individually or collectively. 

 If the cost of the house was split between you two, you need to come to an agreement on how the other person’s money will be recouped. Will the house be sold, rented out or one party will pay off the other? 

If you think you’re not in the right mind to make such important decisions, you could include a counselor that would talk both of you through it. If you’re not the one staying in the current house, now is the time to get a new place and proceed to make that living space home.

9. Begin your healing process

Whether or not the relationship was abusive, you are coming out of a soul partnership. You shared parts of yourself that you had hoped you would never share with any other. Come back from that with your heart and mind intact, the time you spent in that relationship was a shaping process for you, so don’t get sad or depressed about another failed relationship, it’s all for the best.

Appreciate it, if it was ugly, choose to find the silver lining in that cloud, now you certainly know what to look out for in someone new.

10. Find yourself

find yourself

Now that both of you may not be living together anymore, it’s time to start rediscovering yourself. Sometimes, living with someone for so long could make you forget how to live alone, or even enjoy your own company. Take a vacation if you have to, and reconnect with old friends, happiness should be your main focus now. Refuse to give in to thoughts that questioned the need for the relationship in the first place. 


What to do when you break up with someone you live with?

Remember that you once loved this person, so try not to harbor negative feelings against them. If you still feel bad, take some time to get over the break-up, then start planning on the next step to take. Discuss your new living arrangements, who leaves and who stays, and who gets what. If you can’t handle the situation alone, ask a trusted friend to accompany you anytime you go back to the house. 

How do you end a long term relationship with someone you live with?

You have weighed the implication of every possible action you can take, so ensure everything including the conversation is well thought out, you want to cushion the fall. Outline his/her good qualities then also state expressly why you cannot continue. Be sure not to give mixed signals else they would feel with just the right amount of pressure, you will give in.

 Can you break up and still live together?

Some people have mastered the art of living together after a break-up or divorce, but this feat is only for the strong at heart. If you think you can handle seeing your ex every day, and that staying together would save costs, then the decision is ultimately up to you. 

How do you break up with someone you have a child with?

There is no formula for this, there are a lot of variables involved. However, if your or the child’s life is in danger then you need to first seek safety and then proceed with informing your partner that the relationship is no more. Custody may or may not be an issue, but be sure to only go along with what is best for the child.

How do I know it's time to break up?

After you move in together, if the relationship becomes unhealthy, inching towards being toxic, do not rationalize, justify, or make excuses for your partner. Leave, if it isn’t abusive, and the person has consistently shown that the things that matter to you are not their priority or anywhere on their list, it’s time to take a bow. 

In A Nutshell

Relationships are never an easy thing to decide on, living together is an even bigger and delicate spice in the mix, but it cannot be emphasized that each party’s needs and wants should be sufficiently met to ensure a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship. If not, do not settle for less than you deserve because you live together. The future you is waiting expectantly, for you to make the best decision today. I hope you enjoyed reading this list, please leave a comment below and kindly share it if you did. 

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