Dear Lovehacker, I need some advice with my current relationship. We have been together for five years and living together just over one year. Thing is, it's just not working out. I'm ready to break things off with his lazy, video-game obsessed butt, but how?
There are several reasons I want out, including the fact that for the last six months I have worked a full time job, a part time job, and gone to school part time while he has only been working two nights a week and spent the better part of his time off playing video games. I've asked endlessly for him to work more or get a different job but nothing has happened. During this six months it has opened my eyes that he has always been this way, but before living together I never really noticed it and now I'm seeing that we are just two different people in terms of drive, motivation and life goals.
My question for you is, how do I end things with a person who lives in my house? I bought my own home last year and we moved in together when I closed on the property. So when we end things, I can't just find a new place. Do I go away for the weekend and give him time to move out? Do I let him stay for a while till he finds his own place? Or do I ask him to leave immediately? I am totally vexed as to what to do when this all comes to pass. Not to mention do I tell him all the reasons why I'm ending it? He sat by while I worked two jobs and went to school and he did nothing; he lied to me about smoking in my house and only admitted when I confronted him; we agreed he would look for a closer job upon moving into my house yet he has not even tried; and he used my car every weekend to go to work, then got mad when I got a second job because that meant he couldn't borrow it any more.
Thanks for your help!
Ready to Move On
Dear Ready to Move On,
Keep in mind, I'm not a therapist or any other kind of health professional - just a guy who's willing to tell it like it is. I simply want to give you the tools you need to enrich your damn lives. If for whatever reason you don't like my advice, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now then, let's get on with it.
It's definitely time to let this loser go create a butt imprint on somebody else's couch. You're busting your arse nonstop to make a decent living, and this guy won't even make an effort to improve his financial situation? I'm guessing you pay for most things — which can be OK under the right circumstances — but this dude is taking you for granted and is more concerned about virtual worlds as opposed to your real life feelings. Seems to me like he wants a mummy, not a girlfriend. You're making the right call.
Anyway, I have good news for you, Ready to Move On. It's probably going to be easier for you to get things moving along here since you own your house (I'm assuming you didn't buy this place together since he works two days a week). It's your house and you can tell him to move it whenever you like. Here's how you go about it:
- Tell him it's over. You can explain why if you want, but keep it tight and focused — like what you told me here. The key here is to give him a "why" without leaving an opening for him to be like, "I can change, give me another chance..." blah, blah, blah. From the sounds of things he's had plenty of time to "be better".
- Once the dust settles after the initial blow — this could be a few hours, or a few days — give him a written 30-day notice with the preference he moves out ASAP. It's nice to do and it may help in housing court if he completely dissolves into the couch and squats. Also, tell him he can't use your car any more, ever.
- When it's time for him to move out, it might be helpful for you to go away for the weekend (just to avoid him and the stress). But if he's being petty and you're worried he's going steal your crap, hang around and keep an eye on the process.
After that, take a deep breath, and get back to being motivated and kicking arse. He can get back to levelling up or whatever he's more concerned with. Whatever, he isn't your problem any more.
That's it for this week. I probably didn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes what you need is some tough love. 'Til next time, figure things out for yourself.
Lovehacker is a relationship and sex column where our resident Agony Aunt answers your questions.
This story has been updated since its original publication.