How Can I Dump Him/Break Up If He Pays The Rent?

Taking that huge step to move in with your partner is a big decision. Before moving in with someone, make sure it’s what you really want. But what if the “damage” is done already? What if you’ve moved in with your partner and now you’re realizing that you just weren’t ready? How can you move out or break up with them if they’re the one who is paying the rent?

Dear Dan and Jennifer,

How can I dump him if I live with him and can’t afford my own rent?

–Jessica, LA

Figure Out What You Want

Okay, so do you want to just move out and try to continue the relationship while living separately, just like you did before you moved in together? Or do you want to break off the relationship and end it completely? Decide what you want and what you’re willing to do before talking to your partner. You want to be as clear and concise on how you want this situation to play out before your partner starts asking questions.

Be Honest

Honesty is often the best policy. Whether you want to break off the relationship or you simply want to go backwards a little bit and pursue the relationship with your partner like it was before you moved in with them, let your partner know that moving in with them was a step you decided to take too soon. If you want to keep the relationship, let your partner know that you really enjoy being with them, but you just weren’t ready to take that “move in” step and you need a little more space right now than living with them can provide. If you want to end the relationship, just let your partner know the truth – that moving in with them truly made you realize that this relationship wasn’t something you were ready for.

Financial Issues

You might be worried about the financial consequences of moving out of your partner’s place if they’re the ones that pay the rent. It can definitely be scary – but ask yourself what you were doing before you moved in with your partner? Were you living with a roommate? Were you living with your parents? Consider if you can literally go backwards and have the same living arrangements that you did before you moved in with your partner.

If that’s not going to work, consider changing jobs before you break the news to your partner. Earning more money is a great way to become financially independent and if this happens, you can consider living alone. If changing jobs isn’t a possibility, consider rooming with someone. You can put an ad out in the paper or on the internet for a roommate seeking a house or apartment, or you can search the ads for ones that other people have put up looking for a roommate themselves.

No matter what you decide to do, just make sure that your living arrangements are squared away before you talk to your partner. Your partner may agree with you, or not get angry, but then again they might. You need to be prepared to have somewhere to go if your partner should decide to ask you to leave immediately. The idea of arranging for somewhere else to live without letting your partner know may seem cruel or like you’re going behind their back, but in truth, you’re just taking care of yourself and you always need to do that.


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