5 Steps to Break Up With Someone You Live With

You may have been contemplating breaking up with your live-in significant other for a while now. The thought has been so overwhelming that you haven’t wanted to deal with it, but you know breaking up is the right thing to do. We’re here to walk you through the process of ending your relationship with the person you live with. Use this article to develop a plan for breaking it off and parting ways.

Complications of Breaking Up When You Live With Someone

Breaking up with someone you live with is way more complicated than ending a relationship with someone you live separately from. There are things to split, living arrangements to be changed, accounts to change. The thought of it can be so overwhelming that people put off the breakup just to save themselves from the hassle.

Although it is a difficult situation, you shouldn’t suffer through a relationship you aren’t happy with just to save yourself from the inconvenience of leaving. Let’s look at how to make the cleanest break possible when living with someone and end your relationship.

Reasons You Might Break Up With Your Live-In Partner

There are lots of reasons why people who live together end up breaking up. It could be that they’re no longer compatible, or that one person has developed feelings for someone else. Or maybe there’s been a serious disagreement or betrayal that has led to the end of things.

It’s also possible that they have simply grown apart. One or both of them might have been feeling unhappy for a really long time, but have stayed because the breakup process seems so complicated. Regardless of the reason, many people who live together end up ending things and moving in separate directions.

Breaking Up With Someone You Live With in 5 Steps

Use these five steps as a guide to remove some of the overwhelm that comes when breaking up with someone you live with. Chances are you’ve been together for a while and splitting up and figuring things out can take a toll on your mental state. Everyone’s story is unique, but these steps can help you with your individual situation.

How to break up with someone you live with

1. Make the Decision

The hardest part in this whole process is actually making the decision to end things.  This is a life-changing decision, and it’s not one to be taken lightly. Chances are you’ve been thinking about this for a while and you’re at a breaking point. There are a lot of things to consider when ending a relationship to ensure it’s the right thing to do.

Things to Consider Before Breaking Up

While only you will know if ending things is the right thing to do, here are some things we think you should think about before making your decision. After all, it’s a good idea to really think this through after you’ve put so much time and effort into this romantic relationship.

  • Have you given yourself enough time to make your decision? Or are you upset after an emotional situation like a fight or disagreement?
  • Is there anything you both could work on to improve the relationship before you call it quits? Or have you been stuck in an unfulfilling relationship for a while?
  • Would you and your partner benefit from professional help? There is always couple’s counseling and other mental health professionals like a clinical psychologist or life coach that are there to help with personal and relationship issues.
  • Have you had private conversations with your partner about the issues and things that are making you unhappy with your situation?

These are tough questions to answer, but they’re important things to consider before making a final decision. You can find more guidance on your decision in our post on 5 Clear Signs Your Long-Term Relationship Is Over. If you’ve decided to make the difficult decision of breaking up after thinking about it, it can be one of the best decisions you make to help yourself move on to something new and find happiness.

2. Create a Plan

The best way to protect yourself in the breakup is to make a plan for what will happen before you have a conversation with your partner. They may not have your best interests at heart after they learn you’re leaving them. So, you’ll need to figure out what’s best for you and make sure that you have somewhere to live and that all of your needs will be taken care of. You might need to spend time gathering your resources before you let them know what’s going on.

Figure Out the Logistics

Here is the messy part. You’ll need to figure out what the living situations for both of you are going to look like after the breakup. Though you’ll somewhat need their cooperation in most cases, you have three options for what will happen.

  1. You stay in your house or apartment and they leave.
  2. They stay in the house or apartment and you leave.
  3. You remain living together while broken up.

How this works will depend on a few things. Are only one of you on the lease or mortgage? If so, then that person would need to stay unless you were able to transfer things over.

Can either of you afford the payment on your own? Or the payment for a new place? If not, this is sometimes why couples end up choosing the third option above of living together even though they are broken up. However, it takes a special kind of person who can handle this type of situation.

Each situation is unique and may require some creative thinking. The important part is that you make sure you have a place to live once things are over.

Gather Your Resources

You might be bursting at the seams to end things. It’s hard not to say how you feel and let them know you are done. However, it’s usually smarter to hold off on breaking up until you’re in a position to where you can leave and get a new place or afford the place on your own and have them move out.

In order to protect yourself and make sure you’ll be fine on your own, you might need to make a few changes. This means things like saving up money, picking up an extra job, and looking for a new place. Get everything you need together before you’re on your own.

start saving money so you can break up with the person you live with

The caveat to this is if your situation is emergent or abusive in any way. If you are in any danger in your current situation you’ll skip this step as it’s not worth it. Just plan the best you can and try to build up support from a trusted friend instead of waiting until you’re in a good position.

3. Have the Breakup Conversation

Once you have figured out a plan and what things are going to look like in your future, it’s time to get it over with and break up with them. In this situation, you’ll usually find a time to sit down and talk with them. We have a whole guide on how to break up with someone in person that can help you prepare for this part.

If this is something you don’t think you can do in person, you’ll need to figure out a different way. You might break up over a phone call or with a letter. Some people choose to simply pack up their belongings and ghost the person they were dating. You can choose from one of these 5 ways to break up with someone if you’re not sure which is best. It’s usually a good idea to have a sit-down conversation if possible but, you will decide what works best for you. 

What to Say When Breaking Up With Someone You Live With

There are a ton of things you can say in this situation. Find a good time to speak with them at home or in a public place. If you’re really nervous about how they’ll react, you can ask for the help of your best friends or family members.

Let them know that you’re wanting to end the relationship. They will probably want a reason and will either be in agreement with what you’re saying or try to reason with you. If they, like you, have seen this coming for a long time, then it might not be as difficult to come to a resolution.

4. Agree On a Plan

The next step is to make a plan that you both agree with. Hopefully your former partner and you have enough care and respect for each other to work things out amicably. However, this isn’t always the case. They might be hurt that you are ending things and won’t be willing to cooperate with your plan of action. If this is the case, you’ll need to do what needs to be done in your best interest, alone.

Decide What Happens

You can let them know what your plans were from step two and see if they are in agreement. One of you will work on moving out into a new place or perhaps staying with mutual friends temporarily if things are too uncomfortable. Or you one of you might be moving to the guest room while you both figure things out or as a permanent move if you’re planning on living together still.

Stay Respectful

Whatever living arrangement you decide on, it’s important to try to treat each other respectfully even though you aren’t together anymore. You both will likely have a lot of negative emotions so this part may be difficult. However, it’s important to your plan that you both follow along with what you agree with and that’s easier when you’re getting along.

Divide Things Up

You’ll also need to figure out the particulars of who is getting what and start dividing things up. If you have things like shared bank accounts, phone plans, etc., you’ll need to separate them. This isn’t an easy task and is usually where things can get ugly if you can’t agree on who gets what.

move out after breaking up with someone you live with

5. Part Ways

Your next steps at the end of the relationship are to part ways and figure out your new life. Even if you aren’t separating your living space just yet, your life is going to look a lot different and you’ll be living your life separately.

Go Your Different Directions

Your lives will now be going different ways. Even if you don’t end on a positive note, you’ve made the best decision for yourself and your future will be much brighter. Try to stay positive and begin to move on. Before you know it, you might even find yourself in a new relationship that makes you happy. Before that, you’ll need to give yourself some time to get over this long-term relationship.

While you’re working on separating from your partner, it’s a good idea to focus your full attention on yourself. Don’t stalk their social media to see what they’re up to. Remind yourself that you made this decision for a reason. Once you’re done with the healing process, you’ll thank yourself for this in the long run.

FAQ For Breaking Up With Someone You Live With

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

The process of breaking up with someone you live with can be complicated. However, you can follow these five steps: You first need to make the decision to break up, create a plan for yourself, have the breakup conversation with them, agree to a plan with them, and then part ways.

Should You Break Up With Someone Even If You Live Together?

Even though breaking up with someone you live with is hard, you shouldn’t stay in a relationship with them if you are unhappy. If you’ve already thought it through and you want out of the relationship, don’t let the complications of splitting things up and finding a new place stop you.

What happens to our apartment when I break up with my partner?

Unless you’ve worked out a way for both of you to live there, one of you will be moving out of the apartment. If both of you are on the lease, you’ll need to remove the person who is moving out. If only one person is on the lease, they will typically keep the apartment while the other finds a different place to live. In some cases, you might be able to transfer the lease if that works better for you.

How do you get over the pain of breaking up with someone you live with?

The most important thing is to have a good support system to get you through this difficult time. This is the time to call in close friends and family members so you have people to talk to and hang out with. You were likely spending a lot of time with your ex when you lived with them and it can be a hard transition.


Breaking up with someone you live with is a difficult decision to make. Not to mention there will be a lot of things to think about, figure out, and finalize. You can use the above steps as a guide to ending your live-in relationship.

Just remember that even if things are rocky now, you’ll be happier in the long run. Use friends and family as a support system and focus on the positives. You can check out our 50 Breakup Affirmations To Help You Heal for some extra support.

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