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How to Live With Your Ex After Breaking Up

Still living with your ex after a breakup? Learning how to live with your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend is a game of patience and tolerance.

From bathroom etiquette to bedroom rules and from splitting the apartment rent to not bringing dates home – find out how you can continue living with your ex after breaking up until you can save money for a new lease and move out to a place of your own.

Never share a bedroom, let alone a bed once you have broken up with your ex. It will never work out.

Never share a bedroom, let alone a bed once you have broken up with your ex. It will never work out.

1) Stop sharing the bedroom: One of you must sleep on the couch if it is a one bedroom place

The most important rule that you must set in place is that you and your ex can never share a bed if you are living together after breakup. Sleeping on the same bed will definitely lead to cuddling and eventually sex.

Even sleeping in the same bedroom can be risky because there will be virtually no privacy. Intimate late night conversations, leaning on each other for support, seeing each other naked and many other common situations can make you have second thoughts about your breakup.

This will be a difficult thing if you are living in a one bedroom apartment. One of you must sleep in the living room on the couch. If you are living with your ex in a studio, buy a room divider and make two separate living areas.

2) After shower etiquette: Walk out as if you were living with a stranger

You may have been used to stepping out of the shower and walking to the bedroom in just your towel, but that must stop after your breakup. If you still prefer to dress up only in the bedroom, make sure your ex isn't around when you step out of the bathroom.

Bumping into your ex while you are in your towel can give a lot of mixed signals. Your ex may think that you are trying to be seductive. On the other hand, your ex could get turned on while watching you fresh out of the bathroom with your wet hair. Either ways, it is a risky proposition and must be avoided.

3) Never bring new dates home: It will lead to fights

Whether you mean it or not, bringing a date home will make your ex feel that you are deliberately and maliciously trying to make him or her feel jealous. You will invariably feel the same way if your ex does the same thing.

Make it a strict rule that neither of you will bring dates home. If you are being picked up, walk up a few houses and have your date pick you up at a distance.

4) Don't feel obliged to make small talk when you and your ex share the same living space

Living with your ex is mainly frustrating because you both will share the same living space. It will become nearly impossible to ignore each other completely even if you have separate bedrooms. Initially, there will be a lot of awkwardness when you find yourself in the same space as your ex.

The easiest way to deal with all the nervous energy is to avoid making small talk altogether. For example, if you are cooking up a meal while your ex is in the kitchen too, just focus on your meal. Don't let your mind wander away into thinking about whether you should have a conversation with your ex even out of courtesy.

Don't make the mistake of drinking at home when your ex is around. It is something that you are most likely to regret.

Don't make the mistake of drinking at home when your ex is around. It is something that you are most likely to regret.

5) Never drink with your ex while you are living in the same house

Drinking with your ex while you are still under the same roof is as good as hitting yourself in the foot. A few drinks will make you emotionally fragile. A simple hug can lead to kissing, cuddling and even sex.

No matter what happens, never drink in the house and if you return home after a big night out – head straight to your bed, don't linger around because you could bump into your ex. From foul mouthed rants to makeup sex, the possibilities are endless and drunken encounters with your ex are never a good idea.

6) Make fixed plans of moving out: It will never happen if you procrastinate

Waiting for the lease to get over or not being able to afford living alone are some of the most common reasons why couples live together even after breaking up. Whatever your reasons, make a plan to move out and set a fixed date. If you start procrastinating the move, you will not be able to move out before things get worse. Here are a few ideas.

  • Start saving money for the first month's rent and bond for a new place
  • Start house hunting immediately
  • Talk to your real estate agent about finding a new place for you
  • If the lease is in your name, give your ex a month's notice to vacate
  • Be pushy if your ex is procrastinating

The longer it takes for you to move out, the harsher it will be on you. Think of your situation as a permanent bad date which you must get out of. Unless you actually do something about it, the situation will drag itself on. Days will turn into weeks and weeks will agonizingly span out into months.

7) Split all the bills into half: Count every dollar

Couples who live together may not be splitting every single bill right into half. A few grocery purchases here and there hardly matter. One of the live-in partners may even foot utility bills when the other one is short of cash.

All these things will be a thing of the past after your breakup. All common bills, no matter how big or small they are, must be split into half. Right from the monthly rent to the electricity bill and from shared groceries to toilet paper, you and your ex must pay exactly half.

You must split the bills not just to avoid adding money to your existing woes, but because it is symbolic of your breakup. It is a must if you want to severe all forms of dependency between you and your ex while you still figure out a solution to move out.

8) Don't cook together while living with your ex

Cooking together is a common mistake that couples make while living together even after breakup. Cooking together will require a joint effort and a lot of interaction. You will start spending more time with your ex and eventually you will both start co-coordinating your schedules just so that you can cook a meal together.

One thing will lead to another and you will soon find yourself having a TV dinner with your ex on the same couch. All this interaction will lead to tender moments which can make you question your decision to break up with your ex.

Try to spend as much time as you can outdoors. It will take your mind away from frustration.

Try to spend as much time as you can outdoors. It will take your mind away from frustration.

9) Try to spend more time outdoors: Come home only to rest and sleep

Try to spend all of your time outdoor so that you only have to come home to sleep and rest. You can do virtually everything outdoors. You could study at the library, go online from your laptop while relaxing at the park or read a book while sipping a cuppa at your neighborhood cafe.

Apart from avoiding more arguments and volatile situations with your ex, being outdoors will also help you get away from the place that reminds you of your painful breakup.

10) Never share any responsibilities in the house with your ex

Right from taking out the bin to cleaning out the fridge, all responsibilities in the house should be separated. Never make the mistake of sharing responsibilities or chores because that will give rise to situations where you and your ex may start bonding again.

The easiest way to go about this is to make a list of everything that needs to be done around the house. Allocate each little task separately to either yourself or your ex. This way, you won't find yourself at loggerheads with your ex while you try to keep the house functioning smoothly.

11) Put a temporary locking mechanism on the bathroom door

A temporary lock or a latch on the bathroom door is important if you are sharing a bathroom with your ex. This will prevent unnecessary mishaps of walking in on each other during showers and other personal stuff.

This is important because you and your ex would have been in the habit of simply walking in to the bathroom while you were a couple. Habits die hard, and you could very well make the mistake of walking in on your ex in the bathroom without knocking because you were half asleep in the morning.

12) Draw your personal boundaries within the home: Don't cross over into your ex's space

Have a conversation with your ex and draw boundaries within your home. Define your personal space and tell your ex to stay out of it. Get to know your ex's personal space and make sure you stay out of it too.

For example, tell you ex that all the cupboard space at a certain place in the house is yours. Your ex must not put any of his or her stuff inside your cupboards, nor should anything be taken from there. This might sound silly but little things like these make a big difference in avoiding unnecessary arguments.

If none of your friends can have you over for a long period, spend a few nights with your bestie.

If none of your friends can have you over for a long period, spend a few nights with your bestie.

13) Ask one of your friends if you can live with them temporarily

Ask all your friends if you can put up with them while you figure out how you will move out. If none of your friends have the means to let you in for a few weeks, use every opportunity to crash at their places on the weekend and other random days.

Staying away from your apartment will help you take your mind away from the mess in your life. Bring with friends will also cheer you up and help you move on after your breakup.

14) Don't hang around in the living room when your ex is around

The easiest way to avoid confrontations with your ex when you are still living together is to avoid hanging out at the common living areas of your apartment. This will reduce chances of fights, complications, misunderstandings and unnecessary arguments.

If you must be in the same room because of a certain need, for example while you are having a TV dinner, make sure you don't sit on the same couch. The further you are away from your ex, the lesser are the chances of anything weird happening between the two of you.

15) Up your tolerance levels and have patience: Have hope and try to be optimistic

Having to live with an ex after a breakup is a depressing life experience. Watching your ex's face every morning can be as good as reliving your breakup every single day. While this is tough, you must tell yourself that it is only a matter of time until things become alright.

Be mentally strong and sit tight while you save enough money to move out. Remind yourself that these few weeks or months are just a bad phase of your life which will be over soon. Keep your hopes alive by thinking about the happy times that lie ahead once you move out and get on with your normal life.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


samantha coull on July 25, 2019:

Elliot muddiman set boundaries between you and her maybe don't stay in the same room. if you can tolerate her then do it. im in the same situation but I put my music in it does help. plus if you make a promise to be the bigger person then do that especially if theyre are other people are living with you then do it for them cause that causes them stress. especially if your really good friends with them and you have known them for a long time. im in the same situation don't feel bad but if your friends love you and adore you don't leave because you and your ex cant get along. because its not fair to your friends. wish you the best just set boundaries

Elliott Muddiman on May 13, 2019:

Hi there I live with my ex girlfriend she dumped me about 6 weeks ago now after a 3 year relationship which was a good one and it was out of the blue to me but after a good talk I understand why now the problem is we have done all the sleeping in different rooms splitting bills avoiding each other I’ve joined a gym and go most nights and she goes and stays round family or friends a lot of the time but when we are in the house together one day she will be mean to me calling me worthless and all sorts of other names just trying to pick a fight for no reason really but then on other days she is nice and has a normal conversation I won’t even ask her about something and she will just mention it to me or she will want to know what I’m doing she also still wears her dressing gown and PJs that I got her so it is really hard seeing her in this stuff as I do still love her and want her back I just don’t get all the mixed signals and how I am supposed to get over her we still have to live here till the house sells which could be months yet

mauricio calderini on December 03, 2018:

well my name is mauricio and I'm 25 years old and also hard of hearing, i still live with my ex boyfriend and we are sleeping in a different rooms and I've been lately taking out the garbage and clean the dishes and clean the kitchen ??? i mean it is ok for me to do this when he not doing anything and I'm happy staying for 400 a months and i get paid 400 a week plus I'm starting to save money to move out a studio then i realized i won't be able to because its kinda expensive to live alone and I'm scared that i will have to stay here forever until i find someone that will finally love me ????? i don't know what to do to be honest i need my parents !!!! actually my mom more!!!!!!!!!!

Sarah on July 16, 2018:

Sorry but thos advice is almost all rubbish. It sounds like you are advising people to be passive aggressive with their Ex.

Want some advice from someone who has to live woth their ex? Relax! Take time away from eachother. No calls, texts or messages unless it is important. Give eachother space to rediscover who they are as an indervidual.

Then things will be so much easier. I share a bed with my ex, we cook together and hang out in the evenings and at weekends. We hated eachother but space helped us become friends again. I now live with my best friend and life is calm while we make plans to find new homes.

What ever you do, dont intentionally ignore eachother and avoid one another. It will increase tension and there will be fights. Just be calm and try to be nice.

Trust me.

Choc on August 03, 2017:

It's hard because he asked me to move in, and promised we would be married by a certain date and that date has pasted. He emotional and psychological abusive! I never cheated or been unfaitful to him, he does not support me financially. I love him with all my heart but i just cant take his sneaky and deceitful ways, emotional abuse, and he's degrading, demanding, inconsiderate, mean and rude. I wanted to marry this man but all i want to do now is cry and skate far away from him as i can possible get. I can't believe he uprooted me from my place for 6 yrs to move me in with him then start treating me like shit... I feel he is using me to help him pay bills and when he get the house WE been searching for and leave me stuck out. I'm depressed, stressed lonely, under SEX and that is an under statement!!! I don't want be with anyone while I'm sharing APARTMENT with this guy but it's hard. I really don't have a friend that will allow me to move in. He keep telling me to leave or put me out but I was injuried at work so I'm not working and this guy has told me to leave again apt. I cant because im Stuck right now and don't know what to do!! HELP

Andrew on February 09, 2017:

This is horrible advice maybe if it's that hard to resist each other maybe it's not over sometimes in relationships partners get tested . Tested harder than they have been in life . There are two outcomes that you are really over or the two of you come out stronger lovers than you have been in your whole life . Maybe this time living together is a second chance to get it right just my opinion

Judy Specht from California on October 15, 2013:

Know two couple who did this. They did what you suggested. It was really weird when we visited to see mom sleeping on the couch and step-dad in the bedroom. They got remarried, and divorced again a couple of years later. The other couple decided since they couldn't afford to live separately they should work on their marriage. They are still married 8 years later. Good guidelines.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 15, 2013:

Difficult situation! Helpful counsel. Thank you.

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