Today’s blog post is my response to a reader’s question regarding how to break up with someone you live with and what to do about moving on after a breakup. It all comes back to setting up respectful, clear boundaries after a relationship has ended. Read on for the full scoop.
I moved to a new city last fall with my boyfriend of 2.5 years and everything seemed to change. We slowly started to grow apart and I decided I wanted different things out of life. So just a couple of weeks ago (after about 5 months of us both being quite unhappy) I made the decision to end things.
While the initial conversation went really well, the next couple days were kind of crazy. He started snooping through my email and generally acting strange. I went on vacation for a week and came back to our apartment to to find out he’d gone on five dates while I was gone. While I wasn’t angry I was quite taken aback by it. He said he was just trying to be honest with me.
We’re still living together and he’s supposed to move out by the first but he still hasn’t signed a lease or started packing. He’s still all kissy kissy with me and I don’t know what to do about it. A part of me just wants to keep the peace for now and roll with it; I know we will always be good friends and we’ll see each other fairly often. This is a phase we need to get through, right? But I just want to move on! What should I do?
Stressed in Hollywood
Thank you for writing in.
Although the initial break-up went well, it seems he is struggling with change, and has taken a turn for the lazier! Perhaps he is looking to distract himself from reality. A reality that is full of loss. He just lost his girlfriend, his apartment, and the life he created for himself with you in Los Angeles.
Instead of actively dealing with this change he is distracting himself by dating, ignoring a looming apartment search, and disrespecting your physical and emotional boundaries.
Boundaries for Moving on After a Breakup
He needs to move out.
It’s only natural that he will want to begin dating other women, but NOT while you are living together. Even IF he did sneak a date, you do not need to know about it. His “honesty” has gotten confused with kindness. It is not kind. It is cruel. It completely disregards and disrespects your past relationship and hopefully your amicable future one.
He needs to properly exit this relationship with you before he gets to have a new one with someone else.
What to do After a Breakup
I understand your natural instinct is to “keep the peace.” However, you can’t forget your own needs during this process.
Questions to Determine Heart-Centered Boundaries:
:: Have you considered that you are doing yourself a disservice?
:: Who are you being that you are a woman who is available to wishy washy boundaries?
:: While trying to give him the understanding and patience he needs, perhaps you’re ignoring what you need?
:: Speaking of—what do YOU need from him and the situation in order to end on a high note?
Carve out some quiet time to affirm what you really want, what is healthy for not just him, but BOTH of you during this breakup…and then schedule a new sit-down together.
Set respectful, clear boundaries and ask for what you want. Declare what you need. (Click here for suggestions on HOW to do that with more ease.)
We are women who are devoted to radiant living where we lead from our intuitive heart, know who we are, and live our lives congruent with that truth.
You know your truth.
The relationship is over. I’m not suggesting you are ruthless and throw his belongings out the window…but I am encouraging you to anchor into your heart’s truth, and lovingly-but-firmly hold those boundaries and guide yourself and him to respect them.