View Poll Results: When is the right time for a breakup around V-day?
Right now is ALWAYS the right answer, regardless of context 39 72.22%
A little after Valentine's Day 7 12.96%
Comedy evil option - do it ON Valentine's Day, making it look like a proposal before breaking up 3 5.56%
Something else / explained in post 5 9.26%
Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:24 AM
Textual Innuendo Textual Innuendo is offline
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Breakup advice: Given a breakup is going to happen, when’s the best time?

I think the best generic answer is always “rip the bandaid off, right away,” but I don’t actually feel that’s the right answer here given the context, so wanted to ask the wiser heads here for advice.

So the context! I’ve recently had a major injury and will be a year or so in recovery. My girlfriend has lived with me for 5 years, and has been an anchor in the “weighs you down and makes everything more difficult” sense in the most recent years. This hasn’t been helped by the stress of me supporting my parents financially the last 3 years, which thank Og, has recently abated.

Given my injury, I feel I’m not going to be able to focus on what’s best for my health and recovery while dragging an anchor, and am set on breaking up.

I don’t think it should be today, because it’s 4 days from Valentines day, and because back in November, she quit her job for a better paying job, which she immediately quit on the first day because it was too hard / not right.

She’s a teacher and has been subbing for money since, while looking for another real job either in teaching or office/admin. Because subbing pays less than half real teaching, and because she has been taking time off to “help” me through my injury, I’ve been covering 100% of rent and groceries for our household the past few months, and was already paying 100% of car and insurance (she drives one of my cars, and used to pay the insurance cost of adding her as a driver back when actually employed).

So that’s why I think “right away” isn’t the right answer: Valentines Day soon (which I hear is a very popular breakup day, but don’t think that’s nice), and she’s semi-employed and not able to support herself in this high-COL area right now.

I don’t like “wait till she has a real job again” as an answer, because that will most likely be many months—6 months until the start of the new school year—and that’s another 6 months of putting up with her crap and impaired recovery on my part. It would also trap her in this area, and she hates this area to begin with, and if we broke up, she’d probably go back to the southwest desert area from whence she came.

And that’s my dilemma! The two natural break points don’t seem to work, so what would Dopers do in this situation?

Some thoughts:

Wait till a little after Valentines day?
Wait some defined period like 1 month and then pull the trigger regardless of job search status?

Either way, regardless of timing, I’m happy to let her stay for a month and figure out her stuff and the dog situation (she’s going to want to steal all the dogs including mine, which will need to be hashed out).

Either way, I’m happy to let her take / keep using my car, with the proviso she either gives it back or starts making payments on it within 3 months and finances it / buys it within 6 (the car's worth ~$15k, so not going to give it as a gift).

Either way, I'm happy to cover moving expenses / Uhaul / whatever up to a couple grand.

Either way, she is rash / tempestuous enough she will likely want to leave right away without spending any time on sorting her effects or figuring anything out. If we broke up now, she’d probably go back to her parents’ 2k miles away and then look for jobs out there, and would probably need to drive due to stuff/dogs.

I’d be particularly interested in anyone who’s either initiated or been the victim of a breakup while at a relatively low point (i.e. not fully employed, etc), for any insight into how bad it was/wasn’t.

I’ve been there myself (cheated on and broken up with while between jobs…she also stole my car and all the cash I had to top it off!), and was able to overcome it fine (and arguably it turned out for the better because it opened up all options at once instead of a constrained subset of options), but have learned long ago I shouldn’t be used as indicative of real-world results from other people.

I added a poll option, but feel free to free-form any responses.

So what say you, Dopers? When would YOU initiate this breakup, and what’s your reasoning?

Last edited by Textual Innuendo; 02-11-2019 at 10:28 AM.
  #2  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:32 AM
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That would depend on the reason for the breakup, wouldn't it?
  #3  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:45 AM
Isosleepy Isosleepy is online now
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The decision to break up, and any financial/support/logistics decisions are sort of seperate events. Closely linked of course, but not neccesarily simultaneous. If this were a divorce, the decision to split, and final division of assets etc could be months - more likely a year or more - apart.

So break up now. If she leaves in anger, that is her decision as a grown-ass adult (presumably) and not something you are responsible for proactively managing in some way, or protecting her from. If she does not walk out, be reasonable and kind in offering support in the transition. I would not engage in a payment scenario on a car - it looks like she may not be he best at meeting payment schedules, and you are not likely to be top priority when she is ranking her bills. Also, it interferes with a clean break.

Keep in mind that you cannot control what she, her family, her friends and even some of your friends will think of you. (Not to spoil it, but it won’t be highly). What you can control is whether they are correct about this.
  #4  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:51 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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If now is the right time for the relationship to end, that is independent of any financial considerations. Nothing stops you from continuing to support her financially until she returns to full-time work after you break up.

Also, Valentine's Day is irrelevant. There will always be another occasion coming up that makes the timing inconvenient ("I can't believe he left me a week before my birthday!" etc.) IME, women tend to focus on proximity to dates as it pertains to breakups more than men, but I've never broken up with a man and haven't consoled as many.
  #5  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:03 AM
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Technically Valentine's day is irrelevant. Realistically, it may very well be relevant to her. If you breakup before Valentine's, she's possibly going to be living with you during Valentine's day, and that may be made more unpleasant than necessary.

Other than that, once you're certain that the relationship must end, earlier is better.
  #6  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:17 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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I'd way rather be dumped before Valentine's day then realize later any expressions of love or affection on that day were actually bullshit. I'd especially be upset if I discovered someone had fucked me while knowing damn well they were going to dump me soon enough.

Having the memories tainted after the fact seems 1000 times worse than not making them in the first place.
  #7  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:29 AM
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I agree with Mando JO. It's really shitty to pretend everything is ok through Valentine's Day. Hell, even if you don't act like everything's ok, she's going to catch on and more than likely it's going to end in a nasty confrontation. Just tell her. Don't drag it out. Both of you have lives you need to get on with.

Also. Another vote for not doing the car thing. Unless you're perfectly willing to write it off as a loss when she inevitably stops paying.
  #8  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:40 AM
Sir T-Cups Sir T-Cups is offline
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I can speak to being broken up with at a low point. I didn't like it at all, but I survived is the best way to put it.

Girl who left me was love of my life and after three years up and decided "I don't really love you anymore, bye". We had just graduated from college and given that this was 2008 I couldn't find a job for the life of me. I got super-duper close to a dream job but was told no and was coming out of that depression when she broke it off.

I already have crazy head issues with depression/anxiety, so keep that in mind.

She left me and stayed in the city, so I knew I had to get out. I ended up moving a few hours south to Indianapolis hoping the job market would get better there (I stayed with a friend who lived by himself there).

Spoiler alert: It wasn't.

I ended up working for Target for three years never paying rent on time (my roommate made enough money and was nice to me) and was in a pretty damn deep depression over how my life turned out. But I did what I had to do and kept working. Ended up finding another relationship 2.5 or so years later...THAT didn't work out either because I was still hung up on the first girl (among other reasons...).

You don't care about my life's story, but I say all that to say I was in deep and she left me with nothing. I came out of it ok because I had a really, really good friend to support me and a nose-to-the-grindstone mindset. Does she have either of those things? I hesitate to think of where I would/could have lived if I didn't have my roommate, but if she has her parents then it might be the same situation. How's her mindset? Will she just give up and lay all day? Or will she do enough to get by?
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:40 AM
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I'm always in favor of now for almost anything; good, bad, happy or sad.
  #10  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:44 AM
PastTense PastTense is online now
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If she wants to move back to her parents she could rent a vehicle. And if she has a fair amount of stuff it probably wouldn't fit into your car anyway--so she could rent a truck or van if she wants to move back to her parents. So you might loan/give her $5,000 or so and until March 1 to move out.
  #11  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:52 AM
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If she hates where she's at and would move 2k miles away if it weren't for you, definitely don't wait until she's got a job before you dump her. Break it off, let her move to be with her parents, and let her be a financial burden to her parents so they can push her to get a job - out there.

I didn't have to break off a relationship with money ties, but I did have to kick out a tenant (well, roommate - he lived in my basement) that I was helping financially. I had to remind myself that we're adults and he has a family. His family needed to bear his financial and housing burden, not me. I needed to take care of myself.
  #12  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:08 PM
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We usually go to MadMex for Anti-Valentines Day Dinner. The idea is to enjoy a meal with your ex- (or soon to be ex-). It's a good deal, plenty of alcohol, and at the end of the meal they bring separate checks. The play list is great, including songs like POM's She Fucking Hates Me.
We play along; glaring at each other when the waitress asks if we need anything, etc.
  #13  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:09 PM
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If you're sure about the decision, then do it now. Offer to pay for the rental truck for her move back to her folks. Do not loan her anything. Whatever she takes or gets from you is a gift. A loan will complicate things and keep her in your life.

A few caveats: If you're covering health insurance, you might research what your obligations are and when you have to notify the insurance company. If this is a legal partnership, you should look into how those are dissolved in your state.
  #14  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:44 PM
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I say wait. You've been together five years, you can't wait two weeks? As said, there is no good time to do it, but Valentine's Day is a bad time to do it. No one wants to be around a bunch of young people in love and seeing the Facebook posts of all of the flowers and whatnots when they just got dumped. You pay for the meals, buy the flowers, you smile and wear the mask and in a couple of weeks say good byes. Is it fake? Sure, but you've been faking it for the last few months, so what's a little more time?
  #15  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:31 PM
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What state do you live in? You may be married under common law, and may need to effectively divorce.
  #16  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:01 PM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
If you're sure about the decision, then do it now. Offer to pay for the rental truck for her move back to her folks. Do not loan her anything. Whatever she takes or gets from you is a gift. A loan will complicate things and keep her in your life.
I agree with all of this. Even if Valentine's Day has some significance in your relationship, what difference does it make at this point? Nobody benefits from faking a relationship for two more weeks.
  #17  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:20 PM
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What state do you live in? You may be married under common law, and may need to effectively divorce.
AFAIK, just living together for an extended period doesn't constitute a common law marriage. You have to represent yourselves as married to the outside world (i.e. call each other husband/wife, etc...)
  #18  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:37 PM
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AFAIK, just living together for an extended period doesn't constitute a common law marriage. You have to represent yourselves as married to the outside world (i.e. call each other husband/wife, etc...)
The soon to be ex-girlfriend, in order to receive a certain amount of monetary settlement, could probably come up with many examples that they behaved as a married couple. It's not whether both parties agree that they hold themselves as such, but what one party who may have a vested financial interest may argue.

Better to be prepared than be caught unaware.
  #19  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:38 PM
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Wouldn't "I gave up my full time job to help him through his recovery" and 5 years of intermingled finances be of interest to a lawyer regardless of their legal status? I'd check on that OP and willingly offer enough to stop her going that route if she has any rights.

It seems you have left the relationship in your mind, I hope your body has followed suit, you shouldn't be shagging with her if she thinks it is part of your long relationship and you just think of it as sex.

If you are already gone you need to tell her.
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Last edited by Thylacine; 02-11-2019 at 03:39 PM.
  #20  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:47 PM
Isosleepy Isosleepy is online now
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
The soon to be ex-girlfriend, in order to receive a certain amount of monetary settlement, could probably come up with many examples that they behaved as a married couple. It's not whether both parties agree that they hold themselves as such, but what one party who may have a vested financial interest may argue.

Better to be prepared than be caught unaware.
Pretty sure that is not how it works. My understanding is that both parties must present themselves as being married. So stbeg would need proof ( witnesses, letters, video) of op actually doing so, and of herself doing so. And then only if they were both in the states where this is relevant (if memory serves SC, RI, and a handful of others) to even have a shot at having their arrangement seen as common-law marriage.

Now, she could try to sue for palimony ( not real legal term). Not easy to get, but I guess some of the factors (her arguably taking care of him and giving up earnings to do so) may be present. I am so not a lawyer, maybe someone who actually passed a bar somewhere would care to comment and correct me.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:32 PM
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The time to talk to her is right now. It will be a difficult conversation, probably the first of many. But I think she deserves more than simply a unilateral "breakup."
Tell her how you feel and why. Ask her what she thinks the status of your relationship is - what she's getting out of it; what she thinks you're getting out of it; what her imagined future looks like.
If you truly believe the two of you are broken beyond repair, say so - but also listen to her responses and let her help decide what comes next. It sounds as if your lives are pretty well tied together at this point; better to have her working with you than against you to undo the knots.

Question: If you do this today, will it be totally out of the blue for her? Or do you think maybe the bloom is off the rose for her as well? Maybe she'll be relieved.
  #22  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
The time to talk to her is right now. It will be a difficult conversation, probably the first of many. But I think she deserves more than simply a unilateral "breakup."
Tell her how you feel and why. Ask her what she thinks the status of your relationship is - what she's getting out of it; what she thinks you're getting out of it; what her imagined future looks like.
If you truly believe the two of you are broken beyond repair, say so - but also listen to her responses and let her help decide what comes next. It sounds as if your lives are pretty well tied together at this point; better to have her working with you than against you to undo the knots.

Question: If you do this today, will it be totally out of the blue for her? Or do you think maybe the bloom is off the rose for her as well? Maybe she'll be relieved.
Best answer so far.
Quote:
She’s a teacher and has been subbing for money since, while looking for another real job either in teaching or office/admin. Because subbing pays less than half real teaching, and because she has been taking time off to “help” me through my injury, I’ve been covering 100% of rent and groceries for our household the past few months, and was already paying 100% of car and insurance (she drives one of my cars, and used to pay the insurance cost of adding her as a driver back when actually employed).
I'm wondering about the part in bold. Did she IYO genuinely try to help you but for whatever reason was not helpful? Or did she use your needing help as an excuse not to work? Or something else?

I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned your injury and recovery. That really seems like the most important factor, other than just being a decent human being. Surely languishing in this dead zone is not helping you (or her).

Whenever you do it, do it completely. Don't make any arrangements beyond what it takes for her to get on her way. If she drives off in the car, it's gone. The only way to get it back is through long-distance legal action, which is just the kind of crap you're trying to be done with.
  #23  
Old 02-11-2019, 08:24 PM
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DO NOT loan her the car unless youre ok to just lose it.
There would be absolutely no recourse if she takes it and never pays a dime.....even if there were you'll never be able to enforce it across states for less than it's value. Even reporting it stolen is not an option, she's just driving it as long as she wants or at least until plates expire and it gets impounded and you have the expense of recovery 2k miles away

That said , offering moving expenses is probably a good way to get her to leave because after 5 years living there, it's almost certainly just as much her residence as yours in a legal sense.

I'd say if you're gonna do it , now is good. I'd hate to waste a perfectly good vday with a soon to be x when I could be at any number of singles events.
Offer to rent the truck right away. She could be back with family on the day and have a good day.

It will likely garnish her a bit more sympathy and support too.
  #24  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:29 PM
bump bump is offline
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Pretty sure that is not how it works. My understanding is that both parties must present themselves as being married. So stbeg would need proof ( witnesses, letters, video) of op actually doing so, and of herself doing so. And then only if they were both in the states where this is relevant (if memory serves SC, RI, and a handful of others) to even have a shot at having their arrangement seen as common-law marriage.

Now, she could try to sue for palimony ( not real legal term). Not easy to get, but I guess some of the factors (her arguably taking care of him and giving up earnings to do so) may be present. I am so not a lawyer, maybe someone who actually passed a bar somewhere would care to comment and correct me.
My source is my wife (a lawyer) and a friend of hers (also a lawyer) who cohabited with her boyfriend for nearly 20 years, but were not married, common-law or otherwise. The explanation I was given is basically what is listed above- the parties involved have to represent themselves as married for it to be valid, and there would probably have to be something other than hearsay evidence for that to hold up.

This is in Texas, so it may differ in other states.
  #25  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:09 PM
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I answered Something Else. Something Else means you should break up with them RIGHT NOW, unless their pet or grandparent died that week, a parent or sibling died that month, or they were diagnosed with cancer in the last two months.

Valentine's day is bullshit, and her job his Her Problem.
  #26  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:33 PM
Textual Innuendo Textual Innuendo is offline
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Thanks for all the opinions, everyone, I have been reading them, even if not posting replies.

It seems the dominant answer is "screw V-day, right now is the right time," save a few holdouts in the "it's only another few days/weeks, what does it matter?" camp, which is where my head was at. I appreciate the candor and responses.

A lot of folk chimed in on not letting her drive off in the car, which was kind of surprising to me, but I guess I see the logic.

On "helping," yes, it was less "help" and more "complain constantly about having to go to the store / bring you stuff in the hospital" when she was literally doing nothing else and I was paying for all her expenses for months.

This won't be out of the blue for her, but it will be messy and difficult.

Thanks again for all the advice, everyone. Here's to a good recovery and a better life for us both!
  #27  
Old 02-12-2019, 08:16 PM
Ranger Jeff Ranger Jeff is offline
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If you're going to loan her a vehicle or some money, you may want to consider getting something in writing.
  #28  
Old 02-12-2019, 09:50 PM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is online now
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My vote is to tell her right away. The fact that you show very little emotion towards breaking up after 5 years shows that you are really not in love with her. So it helps no one to continue a charade.Getting her to leave may be the bigger issue because she is undoubtedly considered a legal tenant in your home. Doesn’t really matter if she pays if you lived together as a couple. You may actually have to go through the hoops of evicting her.

I also agree that you should not let her continue to drive your car. The last thing you want is an angry ex driving around in a car to which you are legally tied.

Good luck on your recovery.
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