On moving out and moving on.

Dear Coquette,

I need to break up with my current boyfriend of three years, but I don’t know how. I live with him, and he moved from a nearby city to live with me while I go to school. He is madly in love with me and I used to be in love with him, but a lot has changed. I had an abortion last May, and decided to move in with him because he was so helpful during the whole situation. I feel, though, that I have never gotten any time to spend on my own to deal with it. Also, I cheated on him last October with an old fling. I told him about it, but the problem paled in comparison to what we’ve already gone through.

I feel like I cheated on him to get out of the relationship and for him to break up with me, but that’s the last thing he wanted to do. I know that’s wrong of me, and it didn’t work. I don’t know how to plan to move out and find my own place and tell him I can’t be with him anymore, especially because he won’t take no for an answer.

I feel stuck, and I’ve definitely put myself in this situation, so I should be the one to get myself out. But I don’t exactly know how to plan through it. I keep putting it off.

Grow a spine already, geez. He won’t take no for an answer? Please. This isn’t up to him. The relationship is over whether he likes it or not, and you shouldn’t be sticking around if it’s against your will.

As soon as you’re done reading this, hit up Craigslist and start finding a new place. It’s better that your soon-to-be ex not feel entitled to just show up wherever you live, so I’d recommend you choose a house with roommates. 

Find something that’s month-to-month, and whatever you do, don’t sign a lease that’s longer than six months. You’ll be in post-break-up flux, and you need the option of moving again once you get yourself together.

Put a deposit down on a guest room somewhere and have the place ready and waiting. Pick a day when you know your boyfriend will be gone and pack it all up. Have your best friends help you throw your stuff in boxes. Hire a mover if you have to. Just get it done.

Get all your property out and over to the new place, take nothing of his, and don’t leave anything behind that you wouldn’t want thrown away. Don’t tell your boyfriend about your plans, and certainly don’t give him your new address. Simply leave. Get out. Go. 

When a break-up is messy and one-sided like this one, the person doing the breaking needs to treat it like an execution. Don’t let it be slow and painful. You’ve got be strong enough to make it clean, fast and permanent. 

You don’t even need to plan the break-up conversation. Trust me, it’ll happen naturally. Just focus on moving out and cutting ties. Don’t stay friends with him. Don’t agree to keep seeing him. For your sake and for his, no contact for a good long while. None.

There’s no need to be mean about it. You don’t even have to be cold. Just be firm and unwavering in establishing the new boundaries, and don’t for one second put up with any emotional blackmail.

Don’t drag this out anymore. 

End it.

Read “The Coquette” Sundays and Wednesdays in The Daily.


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