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How to break up and move out?


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I've come to the realization that my partner isn't invested in our relationship enough for this to work.


We still have sex often, we still laugh, are playful, and have fun together...and these reasons are making leaving extremely difficult. I love being close with her in these ways. She has been my best friend for so many years.


But, I'm looking back at the recent (really hard) moments where she has said she takes me for granted and doesn't know why, doesn't ever express that she misses me when we are apart (weeks away for work, etc.), has become more emotionally distant, and has said that maybe the only way she'll know if I'm the one for her is if we take a break, and that I deserve to be with someone who will love me the way I want to be loved.


Sounds like the end, right?


We're in a period of "trying to make it work" but I haven't felt any major changes.


Now that I'm planning for the breakup, I pretty much know what I'm going to say to end things. I just don't know about the timing of it...do I just bring this up randomly one day, after everything seems to be okay?


How do I ask her to move out (and quickly, like within a couple days, after I break up with her) given that she could not afford to keep our place on her own, and she's the one who is really causing the breakup to happen? How do you act / interact when you're still living with the person you've just broken up with?


A big part of me wishes this would suddenly shock her system into regaining all of the feelings for me, but I doubt that will happen, and expect this to be the end - forever.


Would love to hear from others who have gone through this and can shed some light on how to best handle this very difficult situation.


Thanks in advance.

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Whether you love her or not, you need to show a bit of respect. She may not be able to get out in a few days...


Sit down like adults, say "this isn't working --- you need to make plans to move out. How much time will you need?"


She MAY be able to just throw her stuff in storage and sign up for another assignment and it will be easy peasy.

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This doesn't sound like a decision you should make on your own. I think you need to talk to her. Sit down and discuss the deeper issues and see if that's really what you both want (doesn't sound like you really WANT to break up). And once it's for certain then you can talk about the logistics of it.

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Do you really want to break up or do you hope that telling her you want to break up will make her change? If it's the latter and you break up with her and she accepts it, you are going to be incredibly unhappy with that result. If, on the other hand, you have decide that you do want to break up and completely be done with her, I agree that you should ask her to move out as quickly as possible but be reasonable about it. Think about the logistics on her end. Does she have anyone to stay with while she looks for a new place? Whatever you do, do not break up with her unless you actually intend for this to be the end. The smart and healthy thing to do when someone dumps you is to move on completely and not to try to reverse their decision. If she takes the news and moves on it doesn't necessarily means she wants to, it just means she understands how breakups work. Typically, promising to change, begging etc. aren't effective ways of reversing the other person's decision and just cause the dumpee more pain. I can't really tell if you're out of patience of if you want to have one more talk with her. But whatever you do, don't say you want to break up in an attempt to force her to change because that will almost certainly backfire, for a variety of reasons.

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In response to each helpful comment above:


mhowe - yes, I will be completely respectful and gentle in this breakup process. If she needs more time, that's fine. I just can't add to my pain by catering to her needs. Maybe it will mean I just find myself a place, pay the last month of rent on our shared space, and I leave, giving her 30 days to figure things out without me. Either way, I guess I just can't figure out how you can be around someone, live with them, sleep in the same bed with them, after you've had the talk and decide to break up. It would feel like the worst form of torture, because I would just want to be with her, but would have to respect my decision and pull back emotionally, sexually/physically, and would need to be apart from her to get over these 5 years together.


Rosebud - I feel like I've tried so hard for the last year, and I've only been pushed away. Sometimes she brings me back in, we have an active sex life and have a great time together, but she has taken so many steps to pull away from me that I don't feel loved or appreciated a lot of the time. While we're trying to "work" on things right now, she makes one step forward in one area and takes another step back in others. It feels like she doesn't care enough about me to really put the effort in. I really am, and have been putting in effort, but I'm feeling so lonely while in relationship. Plus, everyone on this website, and my family / close friends feel like she doesn't treat me well, and that I deserve better.


lady00 - I really WANT to be with her. But, after our last hard conversation about the areas of challenge in our relationship, she said she's not sure if I'm the one and that she doesn't know if that's her fear of marriage in general or her fear of marrying me. She said I deserve someone who will love me the way I want to be loved, and that she's not sure she can do that, because as much as she wants to, she doesn't want to force the feelings.


With all of that, how can I possibly stay with a woman who expresses such doubt about me/us, and aside from a few nice gestures and some increased physical intimacy, she's still planning a life without me, suggested moving out before her next work assignment so she can save money on rent, etc. I'm not a priority to her anymore.


I'm stuck in limbo with her, and feel like my only options are to stay and let her call the shots, while I feel rejected a lot of the time, or end things. It has been like this with her for over a year. It's deeply hurtful because I want to feel like I'm her family...the way I treat her...with love and tender care.


I guess I could share a lot of the feelings/thoughts that I have, and say that unless my words change things for her, I can't see how we can continue.


I just feel so lost and confused, and feel like ending things is my only option, since my partner appears to have fallen out of love with me, takes me for granted, and yet, somehow stays in the relationship. Maybe because I've been her rock of support (emotional, financial, etc.) and she fears letting go of me completely. Meanwhile, she's building her own life that largely doesn't include me, and yet we are still 'together'.

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If you think you want to stay in the apartment, I wouldn't move out. She is on the road all the time anyway.


After the conversation, you would not sleep in the same bed.


And I am sure she will make every effort to move quickly. As you said, she just isn't invested in the relationship. But it might take up to 10 days for her to get another place, a storage unit, etc. She or you can move out and stay with friends/family so as to ease the awkward.


Stop living in limbo. It isn't going to get better.

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If you think you might need to live together for a while after the official "break up", put some basics in writing, for BOTH of your sakes.


Afterwards when you're both feeling raw is not a good time to discover you had different notions about possessions, moving timeframes, rent/utilities payments, grocery sharing or not sharing, etc. And you can put it to her just that way. You want to make sure whoever needs to move has a reasonable amount of time, with reasonable considerations to privacy and reasonable accomodations for the remaining time - not turn your house into a war zone, or somewhere you dread coming home to. There will be some of that regardless - but while you're still clear headed, write down some basics.


When you're both at the stage of tears and recriminations, it's too hard not to just end up yelling "do what you want, I DON'T CARE!" or something equally regrettable.


You could broach it something like "I've given what you said quite a bit of thought and think we should discuss the details should we decide that's the best way to go. I know it won't be easy, but I'm going to make a list while I'm still clear headed of things we should consider for any "transition," and hope you'll do the same. I don't want to make things harder on either of us, whatever we decide, and know when I'm upset will not be the time to come up with specifics. Let's plan on discussing what our thoughts are at dinnertime Saturday, phones turned off, TV off, until we figure out just where we're going."

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mhowe - I don't think I could stay in our house. It's too big for just me, and I would only feel the loss/memories of staying somewhere that we shared together. You are right, separate beds and lives would start the moment the breakup happens. Is there anything anyone has done to make the breakup less painful or awkward when you're separating out your shared stuff, and sleep in separate beds, running into each other in the transition period? I'm dreading that phase for whatever reason.


Mesemene - Good point, I will get everything in writing as we make the bigger decisions about money, possessions, etc. I'll be more than fair.


Has anyone had a very "pleasant" breakup when it comes to living together and separating your lives? For me, this all just sounds so painful. Especially since I'm very much in love with her still. I just know I have to end it because I'm not being appreciated nor equally loved--and haven't been for some time.

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Do you think the pain of separating could be worse than the pain of not being loved or appreciated? It isn't.


Yes, you will be lonely for a time. And then you will heal and find the right connection.


It isn't going to be months. It will be a week or two at best. Just figure out your schedules and spend as little time at the apartment as possible.

or move out for the last month, and end the lease.


You guys have been together for years --- you will just be pleasant to each other. You both know it is ending.


I take it you haven't talked to her yet?

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I don't really see why you need to break up with her. This is pretty important: "We still have sex often, we still laugh, are playful, and have fun together...and these reasons are making leaving extremely difficult." I think the main issue with your relationship is that you're not seeing each other because of "weeks away for work". If you could cut that out I think both of you would invest more. I seriously think your relationship is completely salvageable. If you don't think it is then test yourself: Can you picture her being intimate with another guy? If you can't I'd say stay, if you can see yourself rolling out the red carpet for another guy then yeah, you need to break up. Give her 30+ days and keep her while you're broken up. Help her find a place and let her talk to you whenever she needs it.

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The last two posts sum it up very well. At an emotional level, I feel like staying, and want to be with her because we still share so many of the positive aspects of why we are together. We really are amazing friends/lovers in many ways.


But, at a core level, I know she's not invested in 'us' to the degree that I am. After all, when I brought up how I feel neglected and pushed aside at times, she responded:

- I don't know why I take you for granted, it's not fair to you

- You deserve to be with someone who loves as deeply as you do. I don't know if I can summon that kind of love for anyone

- I'm not happy with myself entirely and feel like I need to find that person on my own before I can love you fully

- Maybe the only way I'll know for sure is if we take a break


She keeps me at a distance...and with these comments, her stance is pretty clear. I also really don't feel missed or longed for when she's gone for a few months of the year. Even when I travel on occasion for work and she's at home, she doesn't seem to miss me very much at all. She'll send a nice text every few days, but that's it.


Then we return to being together and things feel great at one level. Connected at times, some passion, friendship, and laughter and play.


But, I know deep down those feelings of inadequacy inside of her surface and she keeps me at a distance, sometimes emotionally, sometimes physically. Again, she purposely chose a career path that meant lots of time apart, while she has fun with her group of co-workers, lots of whom are single. After this many years, our relationship should be deepened and strengthened, not with me put on the back burner as she tests to see if the grass is greener without me.

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We have tried counseling. She is not very good with communication and the appointments only seems to make things worse afterward.


She is close with both of her parents. Growing up, her dad was more distant and her mom was overwhelmed. Her parents divorced when she was 16 and she took it pretty hard. My parents are divorced too, but I've never let that change my view of marriage. My girlfriend is very scared to get married because her parents have both been divorced (her dad 3 times) and her sister just got divorced a couple years ago. She doesn't know if she's afraid of marriage or afraid of marrying me.

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She took an assignment for work and has been gone for a week, and will be gone for another week. Then we have 3 days together at which point I have to travel for work. We will have time together in a few weeks...the first real period of time together in months. My plan is to give it one last effort before suggesting we break up. She has been more communicative and thoughtful recently, but it doesn't change the core issues.


I'm torn as to whether or not I should even consider staying, given that any adjustments she makes now could just be out of the fear of losing me. Under what circumstances would others stay / leave? How do you know it's time to give up when there are so many conflicting signals?

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As you say...it is the discord on the core issues I would concentrate on...and not the mixed signals. The signals are confusing because she is trying to change...but doesn't sustain the effort. If these two weeks she is gone are not noticeably different... I would say you have your answer.

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Thanks, mhowe.


I will give the relationship a few weeks once we are back in the same house. If the core issues change, I could continue. If only the surface level changes (more affection, better communication, etc.) but she still feels like she isn't sure about our future together and/or wants to put our relationship low on her list of priorities (taking me for granted), it's time to move on and find someone who is a better match.

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