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What happens when you move in with your significant other and you have a big blow out?

fight Being on a lease with your partner can feel like being married. You have a legal contract that binds you two. This can easily create pressure in your relationship particularly if you are already fighting with your partner. What happens if you have a huge fight? How will you work out your argument? What happens if you break up? What happens if you want to leave but you don’t know how? It can get more complicated to make hard decisions if you both live in the same place.

There’s a lot to think about before deciding to move out and break up. It is important to remember that all couples fight and that living together takes some hard work. Just because it isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it’s broken. When we live with someone—whoever it is— there are always going to be little things that bother us or that we disagree on. It is important to recognize those things and address them when they come up instead of pushing them down which can build resentment. If you’re harboring resentment, it’s easy to blow up at the person today over something he or she did weeks ago. It is also easy to be passive aggressive, which can be very hurtful to your partner and your relationship. Long term resentment and anger can lead to the blow out fights. Sometimes the best way to get perspective is to give each other a little space. It is important to know when you both need alone time to process instead of doing things together. I have known a lot of couples who have struggled with one another because they didn’t create their own space to which they could retreat. Creating that, even if it is just in a corner of a room you can always go to, is important. Another suggestion to try is getting out of your shared space and going to a neutral place to process.

With that being said, it is also important to know when a relationship really isn’t good for you. It’s too easy to stay in a place that is comfortable but harmful. Since we are so wrapped up in our relationship, it is often hard for us to get the neutral perspective we need to know what’s healthy and what’s unhealthy in our actions and our partner’s actions. Talk it out with a trusted friend, a parent, or a close mentor, someone who knows you really well and whose opinion matters to you. The people closest to you can often see what you cannot see. Remember that even if you decide you do need space, it doesn’t mean that you have to break up. Sometimes having your own place of refuge allows you to truly tap into what you want and need.

If in the end, if after all this, you are sure that you need to break up, make sure you have the support around you. It is always important to have a Plan B. This can be a safe place that is nearby where you can stay if you need your space or an extra two month’s rent saved up in the bank in case you need to break your lease sooner than you expected. It can be a great comfort for you to just acknowledge that--whatever happens—you will be okay. Plan B’s help us remember that we are okay, and that we have other loved ones in our lives to whom we can turn to. By having a Plan B, you will be able to have the courage to do what feels right to you. And believe me— it takes A LOT of courage. It is easy to say, “Oh I’ll just wait until next year when my lease is up because I don’t want to have to drop the lease.” It is easy to say, “I really don’t want to hurt the person I am with, so I’ll just wait.”

Be honest with yourself. Remember that you have to do what is right for you and you are the most important person to take care of. You never know—breaking up with your significant other might even be the best thing for him or her even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment. Always stay true to yourself.