When you moved in together, you thought you were both on the same page about the future. Lately, however, it’s become increasingly clear that you both have very different ideas about where your lives — and this relationship — are headed. According to Dr. Brown, if you start to realize that your goals are not the same (for example, you want kids and your partner has no interest), then living together might not be the best idea. After all, if your lives are headed in different directions, then it’s important to face that fact sooner rather than later.
That said, having some differences in terms of how you envision the future doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to call it quits on your relationship. Just because bae is eager to buy a house and you’re perfectly content renting for the next few years, for example, doesn’t mean you can’t find a compromise somehow. But if you get the nagging feeling that you won’t be able to reach a middle ground — in other words, your differences are insurmountable — then moving out is one way to get some space so you can gain clarity in terms of how to proceed in this relationship.
So, do any of these signs sound familiar? Only you know whether your current living situation needs to change — and very often, it comes down to relying on your gut instinct to tell you what’s right. However, if you feel like your emotional or mental health has suffered at all while living with your significant other, that’s a solid indicator that something needs to change — which may mean getting out of your current living situation (and potentially your relationship as well, depending).
“The longer you stay in this kind of situation, the more you risk emotional damage to yourself, and the longer it is going to take to recover,” explains Dr. Brown.
If you're still uncertain about whether it's time to move out, Dr. Brown recommends talking to trusted family and friends who are familiar with your relationship.
“Having the input of others can help can help us gain some perspective that we might not have on our own,” he adds. “If you still don't have clarity, consider talking to a therapist who specializes in relationship issues. Understanding what the key issues are can help you with the uncertainty you are feeling.”
Certainly, some issues are worth talking out with your partner before making any hasty decisions about moving. A friend, family member, or therapist may be able to help you decide whether you can overcome your relationship problems with some open conversations or whether you need to gain some distance by moving out and away from your partner. Remember: Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home — and recognizing that you don’t is the first step you can take toward a healthier, happier life.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.