|Breaking up is hard to do, but it's even more difficult when you're living with your significant other. While unfortunate, these kinds of things happen and sometimes you're better off without each other. You can always stay friends, or at least maintain a civil relationship--especially while planning how you'll deal with the situation.
When a couple is living together and decides to call it quits, there are plenty of questions to answer. Who stays and who goes? Who gets what? Does one of you owe the other money? These are important issues to deal with as soon as possible. Regardless of how you answer these questions, though, you and your partner should have a plan in the event of a breakup. It could be a good idea to form a contract that states a detailed course of action that benefits both parties.
Don't stay together because of your lease.
So, you still have a few months on your lease. If money is tight, then you'll have to make the best of the situation for awhile. But don't fall into the same routine, as natural as it may feel. "Trying to make it work" could end up ruining your friendship with your partner and make the breakup messier than it needs to be. One of you should live with a friend if necessary. Move home with your parents if you need to. Travel. Temporary housing could save what's left of this broken relationship.
Form a plan.
When you originally move in with your significant other, you should discuss the possibility of a breakup. This can help answer all of those difficult questions, and it could help you agree on a contingency plan. Having a plan never hurts.
Give your partner time to make a plan.
This situation is overwhelming for both you and your partner, so don't rush any decisions. Ensure a mutual understanding by talking over all of the details of your breakup. The relationship is over, but you still care about each other. Prepare your relocation if you are moving out, and help your ex prepare if s/he is the one leaving.
TIP: If you and your ex haven't discussed the living situation in detail, it's important to answer the following questions as soon as possible.
Should you move out?
Somebody should move out, but who is it going to be? Remaining in the apartment or house is just going to remind you of your ex. This is your chance to establish yourself as a mature, independent adult. Volunteering to move out is a huge power move.
Should your s/he move out?
Maybe it makes more sense for your ex to move out. If the apartment or house is closer to your workplace, then you should be the one who stays. In circumstances like this, your partner should be able to agree with the logical solution. Give him/her ample time to find new housing and if it's taking too long, give an ultimatum.
Should you both move out of the house/apartment?
Your apartment/house is really nice. It'd be a shame for neither of you to live there. But if you can't come to an agreement about who gets to stay, then maybe it's better for both of you to move out. Go your separate ways and leave this all in the past.
TIP: If your ex is moving out, try not to be there on his/her moving day, unless your presence is required.
Divide your stuff.
Now, you know who's staying and who's going. But another important question is Who takes what? Take some time to divide your belongings into separate piles or rooms. You'll probably end up with some of each other's stuff, but you should at least make an effort to get your favorite movies and albums.
Let it burn.
Like we said, you may end up with some of your ex's stuff. So, while you probably have the urge to hold onto these memories, it's important that you burn them as soon as you can. Seriously. Light it all on fire.
Awesome. Now, you can act like this never even happened.
It's the healthiest way to deal with a breakup of this magnitude. Forget about it.
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