How do you break up and move out?
June 4, 2008 10:55 AM Subscribe
I've never initiated a breakup before last night. We live together. What do we do?
posted by inging to Human Relations (25 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Last night, I told him I want to break up. We've been together for about a year and a half. We've lived together for nearly a year. (I know, it was really fast.) He is a wonderful person. I love him very much, but over the course of our relationship, I've realized that I am not interested in being in a relationship -- not just with him, but any romantic relationship. The love I have for him has evolved from romantic into close friendship.
He does not feel the same. He's angry and hurt and heartbroken. He feels I'm giving up on him and on the relationship without trying. I've tried to express in a non-supremely-hurtful way that it's not that I'm giving up, it's that I've realized that I want something different. I want alone time. I don't know that he understands this desire of mine -- either because he doesn't want to hear it, or I'm not expressing it well.
I don't generally communicate well in this relationship. I tend to bottle up and then blurt out. I tried hard last night to be calm and complete when describing my feelings. He expressed hurt that I'd been keeping these feelings from him, which I understand but can't change.
Our lease is up in August. Two months ago, I brought up the idea of living in separate apartments when the lease was up. He reacted in much the same way to that conversation, with hurt and confusion. When I brought it up then, I was hoping that by having my own space again, it would help me refocus on the relationship, see it from a different angle, and work to be happier in it. These past couple months I've realized that what I'm truly feeling is a desire to just be alone for awhile.
I'm confident that I'm making the right choice for me. I feel guilty and bad that by pursuing my needs and desires, I am hurting him. I understand that that's a part of being the one who initiates the breakup. I don't expect for him to be happy, or forgive me, or even really fully understand right now.
But I'm at a loss when it comes to the details. How do we move forward from here? He has very little in the way of savings, and is in a transition point in his career (he has a day job, but is pursuing freelance work to branch out and follow his true career goals -- which are accomplishable and within his reach, but not a concrete, dependable paycheck yet). I'm fairly stable financially, but not with any abundance of savings.
I can afford this apartment on my own, if I have to. He can't. The city we live in is 'my' city -- he moved here from about two hours away when we decided to live together. In hindsight, a poor decision on both our parts. I don't know if he'll want to stay in this city when we are not in a romantic relationship. I don't know if he's interested in moving back to his old city, or trying something completely new. I know he is reluctant to move at all, since moving is expensive and tiring and he'll need to buy the things he doesn't have (the bed is mine, though I feel like I should just give it to him, if it's going to cause him stress/financial strain to get his own bed).
To complicate matters, I work from home. I'm here all the time. It's a two bedroom place, but one is our bedroom and the other is my office. I'm of course willing to change this setup, but how? Do I just move my pillow into my office? Should I try to be out of the house and working in a coffeeshop when he's here, so he can have time to himself?
I'm traveling a bit for work this summer. I leave Saturday for a ten day trip out of the country. I'm hoping that during this time he'll be able to process and think and cry and do the things he needs to do to help him begin to move on. I'll be gone again for ten days in July.
I guess what I'd like is help in understanding how to best behave in the coming days and weeks. Do I look for my own place, knowing he can't keep this apartment alone? Do I offer to help him look? Should I leave any of the logistics conversations alone, until he brings them up? Is it insulting for me to try to help him through this, as the one who initiated the break? I feel guilty that I have a support system (friends and family) nearby, when he does not. I feel guilty that my work affords me fulfillment and financial stability, when his does not. I feel guilty that I should be happy here, in this relationship, with this man, but I do not.