wikiHow to Overcome a Breakup When You Still Live Together

Three Parts:Setting BoundariesSetting The Move Out DateGetting Support From Friends

Breaking up is a difficult process and it can be made even more difficult when a couple lives together. The change in the relationship brings many new roles and responsibilities. Making these changes and new boundaries clear can prevent adding any pain or stress to the process. Both people undergoing the breakup should use clear, open, and honest discussion as they plan to part ways and manage the shared living space in the meantime.

Part 1
Setting Boundaries

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    Discuss finances. Living together can come with the added benefit of sharing financial responsibilities. When a break up occurs, these responsibilities may shift or change and you will need to discuss them openly. Decide who is going to be paying for what and stick to that plan.[1][2]
    • The aim is to divide finances in a way that roommates would.
    • Keep things fair, try to split shared bills in half to avoid one party feeling taken advantage of.
    • Don't expect any personal financial responsibilities to be shared.
    • Consider writing up some kind of agreement or list that explicitly states who has which responsibilities.
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    Divide chores. After the decision to separate as a couple has been made, both parties will have to start taking care of their own chores in the house or apartment. Take care of your own personal chores, such as doing your own laundry, and share other chores such as cleaning common spaces like the living room.[3]
    • Be open and clear to avoid anyone feeling angry or hurt.
    • Share chores like you would with any other roommate.
    • Take responsibility for your share of the chores, cleaning up after yourself.
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    Set house rules and boundaries. Although the space you are living in is shared, you will both want to set boundaries now as the relationship changes. These boundaries will help keep a sense of personal space. Discuss who will use which space and when, respecting any new boundaries that you both decide upon.[4]
    • Sleep in different rooms if possible.
    • Try to give one another space, spending time in a bedroom or spare room.
    • Make separate space in the kitchen and become responsible for your own groceries.
    • Discuss if both of you are comfortable with bringing guests over and at what times that is acceptable.
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    Agree that it's over. The most important step in living together after a break up is agreeing that the relationship is at an end. It can be easy to slip into old behaviors, falling back into elements of the relationship, which can cause further pain and stress. End the old relationship and don't give into any temptation to return to old habits.[5]
    • Don't fall back into any romantic aspects of the relationship.
    • Make the break up clear to avoid making it more difficult and complicated.
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    Discuss rules for new relationships. Even though you are still living together, the relationship is over and the possibility for new relationships is open. Honestly discuss how both parties feel about the idea of seeing other people while still living together. Respect what is said and speak honestly about your own needs.[6][7]
    • If one of you is uncomfortable with the idea, honor that and do not see or bring other romantic interests home. This can cause even more stress and pain, making the break up worse.
    • If both parties are open to this idea, discuss any further rules or boundaries that should be put in place.

Part 2
Setting The Move Out Date

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    Decide who will leave. Although the decision may not be easy, one person will likely need to leave the house or apartment as soon as possible. It may not be clear as to who should leave, so have an open and honest discussion about the facts and logistics of the move and who is most suited for it.[8]
    • Try to stay as objective as you can while you work to decide who will leave.
    • If you are able, consider volunteering to be the one who moves to make the choice easier.
    • Sometimes issues may prevent someone from leaving the house or apartment. These issues are usually financial in nature. If this is the case, plan as best you can and work with the other person to make the living situation as comfortable as possible.
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    Set the date. In order to make the decision final, both parties will need to decide on an exact date that the move-out will happen either by or on. Setting this date will help keep the process moving and will make the move-out easier.[9][10]
    • Decide together which time-frames work best for both of you.
    • Finalize a date that the move-out must happen either on or by.
    • Stick to this date and work to make it happen.
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    Make the move. Before the move-out date arrives, you will need to make sure that the process is on schedule. Since you have both agreed upon an exact move-out date, it will help the process of breaking up if both parties stick to this date. Make sure you have both properly planned for the move-out and that everything is set up to make the process as smooth as can be.[11]
    • If you are the one moving out you will have to look for a new place to live, locate any roommates if needed, and start planning the packing and moving of your personal items.
    • If your partner is moving-out, make sure that you are able to afford your current place of residence alone or start looking for roommates if you cannot.

Part 3
Getting Support From Friends

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    Talk with friends and family. Speaking with loved ones or those you trust can help boost your mood during this difficult time. Building up your bonds with those close to you can help create a sense of security and stability during the breakup.[12]
    • Being around loved ones can keep feelings of loneliness away and build up your sense of self-worth.
    • Try making new friends by joining a volunteer group, going to the gym, or looking for groups on-line that share some hobby or interest that you have.
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    Spend time outside the house. Staying at home can increase contact with the person you have broken-up with. This can lead to increased stress and make the break-up more difficult. By spending time outside the house with friends or doing some activity you love, you can help make the break-up easier on both parties.[13]
    • You may also want to stay at a friend or family members house for a time.
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    Don't be afraid to ask for help or talk about how you are feeling. Throughout the breakup process, open and honest discussion of your feelings and needs can be helpful. Talk with your family and friends about how you are feeling and don't be afraid to ask for any help that might you need. This support can help make this difficult process go as well as it can.[14]
    • If you need to talk or need help from friends and family, ask them.
    • Openly share your feelings and thoughts with those you trust.
    • Stay fair, open, and honest with the person you are breaking up while you are still living together.


  • Keep things as friendly as can be. You will want to make rational and clear choices when handling the new living situation.
  • Always be honest and upfront, expressing any needs and feelings as well as being open to listening.
  • Spend time away from the shared living space and visit with friends and family often.

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