Sharing Living Space with an Ex
Q: What are you supposed to do when you're living with an ex? My live-in boyfriend and I recently decided to end things after two years, but we're stuck sharing our apartment until one of us can afford to move out. We're pretty civil, but the situation is so awkward. I want to get over him and maybe even start dating again soon, but how can I do that when he's always around? — Valerie, 29
Dr. Susan: That must truly be hard for both of you. I can't imagine living with an ex for very long. I assume you've both asked for help from family and friends so that one of you can get out more quickly. Dating again would be very awkward until one of you has at least a definite move-out plan. I don't know how many friends each of you has, but perhaps you could take turns hanging out for the whole evening, once a week or so, with one of your good pals? That would give each of you at least a night or two away from each other.
Meanwhile, set some firm boundaries so that you aren't in the bathroom at the same time, nor sleeping in the same bed. You're just roommates now, so starting thinking and acting that way.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.