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Exit Strategies for Living with your S.O.?

LaliluleloLalilulelo Richmond, VARegistered User regular
Hey guys it's been a while, but I need your help. I've been dating my girlfriend for the last 3 years (as of February 15th). We moved in together (along with her now 15 year old) in october of 2015. Since probably last summer (2016) I haven't been able to shake the feeling that it might be time to move on. Now, I didn't want to self-sabotage my relationship because of a little long-term relationship lull so I've kept at it, I guess, trying to put the effort in as much as possible. Lately I'm starting to feel again like it's time to pull up stakes. The problem is I don't have the funds to just bounce and move into a new place at the drop of a hat, and I wouldn't want to saddle her with the unfair burden of covering rent and utilities by herself all of a sudden (the lease is year-long). I'm kind of sick of it and MAYBE I'm just having a bad day but I can't shake this nagging feeling I have. On the other hand she's ready to buy a house (at least mentally) with me and get married at some point in the next year to 18 months. What do?
The nuts and bolts of the situation are as follows:
  • living together
  • no pre-baked exit strategy
  • teenager at the home
  • we also just adopted a dog
  • lease doesn't end until october (not to mention various utilities in our names)
  • GF is complacent with relationship and sees escalation as a foregone conclusion
  • We help each other in terms of bills, neither is 100% independent from the other in the current situation.
  • I do have a strong network of friends I went to college with and such that I could possibly lean on in an emergency (but would like to minimize outside of, say, finding a new roof).

I'm not ready to slam the detonation button yet, I'm not a quitter, but I feel like I'm getting to that point and I don't want to be couch surfing if I can help it should that happen.
I need any and all advice about transitioning from a living-together relationship to singledom should the time come, because more and more I feel like I've had enough.

If there are any details you feel I've left out that would help don't be shy.


  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Talk to them? If that seems impossible then bring in a professional to help you do it. There are a variety of professionals that could help with this sort of thing be they counselors or whatever. It isn't at all uncommon to have issues translating that initial relationship into a long term one and the point at which that crops up isn't fixed or anything.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I see you talking about leaving.

    I don't see why you want to leave there.

    It's 100% okay to have that feeling, we all get it, but I was hoping you could elaborate on what feels wrong with your situation? Looks like g/f is ready to buy a house and move on to the other things a LTR has. Are you not on the same page? Are you missing something? Do you miss the infatuation stage of your relationship? (There are two stages, one is the infatuation stage, aka puppy love, and then there is the long term 'I would give up the world for you' that you see in older people)

    Talking is your key here. If you tell them why you are feeling down, you might be able to fix it with them.

    EnckaliyamaBaron DirigibleShivahn
  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    I suggest couples counseling. See what's going on there and work on it. Either towards an amicable end, or a blissful future. Either way a professional can help sort out the feelings here. I say this because you don't seem to have a clear reason for your desired actions, and there appears to be a breakdown in communication.

  • LaliluleloLalilulelo Richmond, VARegistered User regular
    With respect, I'm not asking you to help me save my relationship. I'm asking anyone if they have experience or suggestions with ending one when you live with the other person. That's all. The nuts and bolts of why I got to this point aren't really important. So, if you please.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I don't think quitter status should figure into relationships that heavily if you aren't feeling it. I get wanting to feel like you've done what you can, but deciding you don't want to stay someplace that makes you unhappy shouldn't be talked about that way IMO.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    If that's how you feel, you tell her you no longer feel like being in a relationship, it's probably not going to be feasible to keep living in that situation so that's something you talk about after you break up. It's not fair to her or you to keep stringing that relationship along. Either you take the hit with breaking the lease, or one of you takes full responsibility for it. If neither of you can afford to absorb the full costs, you may have to live in a subprime situation until you can break the lease. Maybe reach out to your landlord.

    It is probably going to either be living together until the lease is up, or, couch surfing.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    There are some serious communication problems here if you are making additional encumbrances to both of your responsibilities (such as the new dog) while wanting to leave the relationship, most of which seem to be on your shoulders, OP. She is thinking things are fine and great enough to move on to the next level, while you are ready to drop and run. You say she is complacent in the relationship and ready to grow it. That is sort of status quo, unless you do something about it. If you don't communicate you aren't getting what you need, why would she suspect otherwise (especially when you are supporting that notion by making additional ties as with the dog)? This whole situation is packed with more red flags than a soviet parade.

    The "I'm not a horrible human being" plan would be to communicate with your spouse and see if you can work things out. Then, if not, ensure you have enough money to cover your half of all of the bills until October and also enough to stay with a friend or secure a new lease at a cheaper place (likely a monthly rental) until October when your lease expires. This gives your spouse enough time to deal with the logistics of moving and getting a new place set up while also removing you from her and her child's home immediately because, really, you shouldn't be hanging around as constant emotional baggage and a reminder to her of how you led her on these three years.

    Variants of the "I am the worst" plan include: telling her you are leaving then hanging around her house, using the credit damage and monetary loss from breaking the lease as leverage to remain hanging about her and her son. Not covering your half of bills through the end of your lease and walking off never to be heard from again. Not trying to communicate and figure out why you are unhappy and how you can fix the relationship. Adding additional encumberances yet beyond this (such as the house or marriage) while being secretly resentful of the relationship, etc.

    In the future: don't lie to the people who you love, or to the people who love you. The former is bad for forming lasting bonds, the latter is cruelty.

    Enc on
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    Re: The dog

    Since you got it together, and you are the one choosing to leave, don't assume that you can either just take it, or that you can just leave it. You have to let HER choose or come to a mutual decision whether it goes with you or not.

    Also, dog cost money! Its a living thing that you both opted to adopt and take care of. Monthly dog care payments are maybe a bit beyond the pale, but you guys need to figure something out there.

    Wassermelone on
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    Throwing my vote in for opening the lines of communication as well. Not only because it's the morally right thing to do, but because it's the practical thing to do. Breakups are never nice, but sometimes they can happen pretty amicably. But if it comes to that, the only way the two of you can part ways without resentment is if you were open and honest with each other before it happens. You need to give her a chance to see what may be coming. Who knows, she may have been secretly having similar thoughts.

  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Listen man, break ups are rough, ESPECIALLY when it's a LTR that isn't working out. You've basically melded lives, maybe even finances, no matter how ready you are to break it off and move on... It's gonna be messy.

    First, decide what you'd do once on your own. Are you done with relationships or vying for a one? Are you emotionally ready to shake up not just your life, but two others as well? Do you want to refocus on yourself, your career, your life goals? Be ready to make this leap because once you do, it's likely irreversible.

    Secondly, take a good hard look at where you live and how to transition. Are you staying in the same area? Are you willing to pay a lot up front to live alone or maybe look for random roomies on Craigslist? Do you have enough cash banked to make that jump? Can you find someone to maybe sublet your lease that also isn't insane and can help your "future ex".

    And lastly, make damn sure you aren't throwing away a good thing because you weren't "feeling it". Love is a weird thing in that, sometimes you feel it strongly when you realize what you had was actually your ideal situation, and it's that maybe you've become complacent and don't find your new norm exciting anymore. Because let me tell you, not every relationship is sunshine and happiness all the time. There are boring times. There are shitty times. You can't just lay the blame at the feet of people who trust and love you, you have to know yourself and what you really want from this, or any, relationship going forward.

    XB1/360 - Local H Jay
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    ceresspool32NightDragonbowenElvenshaeBaron DirigibleShivahnLaliluleloArmoroc
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