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How to break up with your housemates

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It’s not a topic we enjoy talking about...but what happens when the flatmate fun finally comes to an end?

There are SO many reasons why you may reach a point where you’re ready to move on from your current flatshare – from wanting to move in with a partner, find some better-suited flatmates, or make the jump onto the property ladder.

But however valid your reasons for leaving are, the moment you drop the bomb to your housemates is NEVER going to be an easy one.

Let’s guide you through it shall we?

1. Don't make it personal

Even if you’re moving out because their aversion to bin duties is driving you insane, you’re sick of the mess, or fed up of their boyfriend always being around… there’s no need to go too hard on them. You’ve made your decision, and you’re getting out. There’s no need to be nasty about it.

Of course, if they ask for a reason, try and explain gently why you think you’re not the most compatible of housemates, or why you’re ready for something different. Remember that their main aim in life is not to be a bad flatmate or to wind you up, so go easy and be compassionate. Repeat after me: “ommmmm…”

2. Be realistic

Dropping the bombshell and moving out in three days? NOT reasonable or realistic. Make sure you leave enough time for them to find a replacement. Even if it means another four weeks of living in a situation you’re not entirely happy with, just comfort yourself with the fact you’re getting out of it… and do your time peacefully.

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3. Be sober

Cos let’s face it – there’s nothing worse than a gin-fuelled confrontation that ends with the two of you slinging insults at each other and dragging up past issues. Or a wine-induced sob-fest where you’re reflecting on how you could have done things differently, for that matter…

4. Talk

Sounds like psychologist spiel, but communication really is key. Most issues can be resolved by talking and being honest with each other as flatmates, so you know at every stage of the flatmate relationship what you should expect from each other. Nipping any problems in the bud as and when they arrive will make life far easier than waiting until you’re so angry you can barely look at them...

Equally, if you’re moving out on good terms (say, to move in with a partner), talk honestly about why you think this is the best next step for you and make an effort to keep in touch and keep your relationship intact after the move. You might miss them more than you expect <3

5. Make a graceful exit

Which means: no aggressive Post-It notes, no rubbish bags left behind, and certainly no theft of their untouched bottle of whiskey…

Channel your inner “swan” – i.e. hold your head high, handle your words with kindness and leave with grace and poise. Onto the next (hopefully better) life you go…

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