Dear D, My ex won’t move out or move on

Dear D,

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

Hey mama,

First of all, congrats on what seems to have been a rewarding, nurturing relationship. 2.5 years is a good run! I am sure that you learned heaps about love, men and most importantly yourself.  That’s good stuff for the back pocket….nothing like real life experience to inform what you want of the future. But now it’s movin’ on time.  So let’s get to it then, shall we?

Your former man is upset, impulsive and acting out.  Although the initial break-up and post conversations  went well, at some point the reality of this hit him like a ton of bricks.  It seems he’s in a panic of sorts and (like many of us occasionally do) wants to distract himself from reality.  A reality that is chock 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 pain he is slapping a band aid on it and distracting himself  by dating, ignoring a looming apartment search and disrespecting your physical and emotional boundaries.

He needs to move out.

(no matter how close you are as friends)

It’s only natural that he will want to begin dating other women but NOT while you are living together and 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.  Underneath, I sense he may be looking to spark some jealousy and regret on your end.

Flat out—he needs to properly exit this relationship with you before he gets to have a new one with someone else.

I understand your natural instinct is to “keep the peace.” But have you considered that you are doing yourself a disservice?  While trying to give him the understanding and patience he needs, perhaps you’re ignoring what you need?   What do YOU need from him in order to end on a high note?  Mull this over and have the courage to communicate it.

I would suggest scheduling a new sit-down together.

With respect, ask for what you want.  Declare what you need.

Affirmed feelings have epic reach.  Watch + see.

Then for the good of your friendship agree to a realistic move-out plan. Perhaps you would feel comfortable offering your help. This would be a stellar way to create the space you crave sooner vs. later.

Break-ups are never easy.  Even when they’re relatively peaceful.
Most of the time you will get hurt.  Even shattered.

An unaddressed emotion, stinging memory or ping of lustful longing may bubble up to disrupt your flow + send you in a second guessing spiral.

My advice?  Hold on tight.  Go for the ride.
Recognize and give tribute to what you need to pulse forward.
Then do just that.


And for the love of god…don’t hook up with him just cause he wants too and you think it might be a good way to “keep the peace.”  No reason to compromise yourself, ma’ dear.  Sex will just muddy the waters.


Have you ever been a similar situation?  What advice would you give to our friend?


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  1. Dear d . Me and my partner have recently split up due to a visa issue long story short he doesn’t want to get a visa with me so i can stay in australia after he said he would for the past year so ice decided not to waste anymore time in a relationship i will have to leave one day any way due to my current visa running out. So at the minute were both still livibg together and hes told me hes in no rush to move out and he’ll do it when hes good and ready. Hes also doing strange things like sitting and watching tv with me although not speaking to me besides today hes been really nasty saying horrible things where as four days ago we were happy and cuddeling i feel like im in limbo at the moment im trying to find a new house but its taking time and hes not even looking hes told me he dosent care about living with me hell just ignor me and also that he dosent want to be with me but sits here and watches tv when he could be in another room what is going on please help!

  2. Dear D,
    I’m a college student and what happened was that my partner needed a place to stay while going to school because he didn’t do very well with his grades and so cannot be staying at the dorms. Since I thought I could help, I asked my roommate if he can stay with me at our apt but now after living together things just went downhill from there. We’re in a middle of the semester and I peacefully ended things with him but now I don’t know how to break it to him that I want him out because I don’t feel comfortable being around him. Also I definitely do not want to be alone with him. I went through past relationships and well, I get scared if I’m alone with an ex or alone in a room with someone. My ex isn’t on the lease, it’s just me and my roommate and my roommate understands as to why I want him out so there’s no problems there. I just freak out to much or worry too much as well.
    How should I confront this?

  3. Dear d.
    Im in a relationship with a guy and have been for the last 8yrs we do have two children together,
    Ive have asked the children dad on numerous occasions to move out, as i do not love him nor am i on love eith him any more.
    He has known this for a long time.
    Everytime i have this argunent with him, he pretends to forget the next day, or he mirrors what he think i need to see,
    I do feel sorry for him has he does not have friends or family to go to, and he is still the father of my kids, and i just wont chuck him out, i love my kids to much to hurt them,.
    I gave up smoking about 4months ago due to bad health ( which has now improved massively), but due to night coughs and struggling to breethe i found out he waiting for me to sleep downstairs and he smoking in the bedroom we both used to share.
    Im also starting to exercise & eat healthy, and asked him if he going to buy junk food to eat nefore he got in this house, everywhere i go in kitchen the chocolate, cakes, sweets,
    And he wonders why i do not want him to live with me any more, i keep asking him to go, and either he scare mongers me, or he will ask my 4yr old daughter or 3yr old son, shud daddy move out because mummy want to hurt me, and they always say no, and then he will make them ask me to keep him.
    I havent got a clue what to do any more, ive always been honest with him, when i didnt love him any more i told him, and i worked on it for him, then i told him im not in love and he constantly thinks im cheating on him, and i dont have the time to, and i do have a little bit of respect of myself not to lower myself to cheating, he thinks i want another man in my house, which i dont as i got kids, please help, because yet again ill get that tired of trying to get him out ill give in and pretend to be happy for everyone else !!
    Also forgot to mebtion he does have mental health.

    • My relationship is almost exactly the same 😢 I’ve been with him for 7 years with one child and he mirrors almost everything I say.

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