Should You Date Someone Who Lives With Their Ex?

Adhideb Ghosh
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Breakup means a total separation between two people who are done with their relationship. Cutting all possible contacts, attachment, and leaving the place they lived in together are the basics that follow. 

However, in rare circumstances, some people may choose to stay back in the same apartment. Mostly this is the case in cities where renting and accommodation are highly expensive. 

In one of my previous blogs, I talked about my high school love story with Charlotte. As Charlotte and I graduated from University, things went bitter between us and we grew apart. I will tell about our breakup story maybe in some other post. However, dealing with this breakup was far easier than finding a new apartment to stay in. You know it is so expensive to live in buzzing cities, especially when you have just started earning. Charlotte and I made a deal to live in the same apartment but of course, move on with life.

With the new life after break up, comes new attachments, relationships. Now if you ask me whether you should date someone if they’re living with their ex, I will say, It can’t be answered in the code of yes or no! it depends both on you and your partner. Look for signs that he/she is totally done with their past relationship even if they’re living with EX. And if you can prepare yourself to see your partner living with her/her ex-partner, there’s shouldn’t be any problem in such dating. If otherwise, think twice before dating someone who lives with their ex.

So fellow men, if you are confused about dating someone who lives with their ex, I have a perfect write-up to guide you in this situation. Read On!

Can Someone Get Over Their Relationship While Living With Their Ex?

Yes! While it is not easy, it is positively possible to move on while living with an ex. Let me get this straight to all my readers who came here, questioning to date the person they desire right now. 

No one said that dating is an easy game in life. Love will enter your life with all new sets of roses and thorns! Some situations may give all good feelings one would love, the others will be comparatively bitter. 

In this “staying with an ex” situation, the most difficult part I personally felt is to live with someone I once loved dearly. Though Charlotte and I were done being together, that soft corner for her somewhere remained. Moving on and healing from a breakup was never easy for me at least.

But, we were then two young people, recently joined our corporate jobs. This breakup along with our initial salary was not enough to afford a new apartment for any of us. The only solution was to continue living together with her in this apartment in the heart of a buzzing city. 

Staying with Charlotte was both mentally and emotionally stressful; take this from a man like me who doesn’t get broken easily by the challenges life throws at. If someone has NOT moved on from his/her past relationship emotionally, living together is very challenging. 

So, if you are also planning to date someone who is still living with their ex-partner, make sure he/she has emotionally moved on. Your desired person must be able to accept the situation and open totally to a new person. 

Rachel was one of my colleagues whom I dated after five months of my breakup with Charlotte. When she came to know that I share my living apartment with an ex-partner (whom I dated for around three years), she came up with uncountable questions.

A doubtful eye or insecurity from the beginning of any bonding, be it a friendship, or relationship is not healthy for the future. In case, you are having any questions, doubts, challenges, or insecure feelings about the person you are dating (if they are living with an ex-partner) speak about it openly and have a healthy conversation.

Learning how to communicate is a skill set that will be of huge help in such a situation. 

Signs They Have Moved On Even If Living With Ex

You will understand if the person you are dating or planning to date has healed from the past and is ready to enter a new relationship. It is otherwise not possible to clear the air of constant confusion in your head. NEVER DATE IF YOU ARE NOT SURE ABOUT YOUR PERSON. 

Having a romantic connection (thought past) with a roommate or flatmate can be easily triggering for some partners to re-engage. Keep looking for these certain signs to identify if your partner has healed from the past.

They Must Have Specified Boundaries In Their New Partnership

Setting healthy boundaries is a habit most humans tend to miss. Giving more than needed, not being able to say NO, are the two most common things. When someone is living with their ex-partner, it is not easy to establish a platonic relationship all of a sudden. 

If you are dating someone of this sort, make sure that they have strong and healthy boundaries with their ex. Their new platonic relationship should be based on friendly terms and no back and forth of emotions are included. Your date-mate must have sound and firm boundaries, in case you are still confused about them, it is better to have direct communication. 

They Have Separate Living Spaces Or Rooms

The next thing to make sure is that your date-mate is having a separate living space walled apart from her ex-partner. Living together never means staying together. 

Speaking from experience, even Charlotte moved to the next room with all her needed stuff. When she started dating her new partner after six (or seven) months after our breakup, I remember her boyfriend coming over. I specifically remember his first visit when he learned that we both live in different rooms now. The smile on his face proved that his confusion has taken a toll. 

They Do Not Share The Same Bed

In some cases, your partner may be staying in a one-room apartment. As big cities often offer such studio apartments as accommodation for two people, make sure that the person you are planning to date is not sleeping with their ex-partner (literally sharing their bed). 

This can be a huge point to note before you step into a relationship with this person. I understand being open and accepting about the situation. But, remember this can cause major fights, misunderstandings, and insecurities in the future. 

He/she Doesn’t Hide Or Ignore Conversation When You Ask About Ex

What else could be the possible reason they are not open about their ex-partner, also, in this case, their flatmates?  Men! try to watch your partner’s reaction while you’re trying to have an open conversation about the most striking part of your relationship here. If you find her ignoring your questions or you suppose they are lying, it is time to slow down and think again about dating them. 

These are some of the basics you can look for in your partner during the initial stages of dating. Besides, men must learn to read the body language of women/men they are dating. 

Lastly, when in doubt, trust your gut. Your gut feeling is your spirit guide! So if you feel that there may be something fishy going on between your date-mate and their ex-partner, trust that! 

How To Know If They Are Honestly “Just Friends” After The Breakup?

Well, now if the person you are enquiring about has ticked off all the above-mentioned boxes, I suggest you guys slow down that excitement level. 

The “we are just friends now!” is a common phrase quoted by most couples even when they are physically, emotionally, or mentally attached to each other. 

As I mentioned earlier, I was living with my ex Charlotte. Her new boyfriend often visited our apartment and looked at me suspiciously. Honestly, though I was done in the relationship, the romantic temptations were still lingering in the air on certain evenings. However, it varies from person to person, and Charlotte made sure we continue living only on platonic terms. Of course, it took time enough to alter our habits, but once she was dating again and I was with Rachel, things were totally on platonic terms between us. 

Here are some other very interesting matters that men must check before dating someone who lives with their ex.

  • Did she introduce you to her ex?

Has she introduced you to her ex already? If she is honest enough, to tell the truth about her living parameters, chances are she will happily introduce you to her ex. Her attitude towards this new connection with you speaks volumes. You must watch them together in a happy and friendly environment with mutual respectful terms. This establishes a firm base for the healthy growth of your future bonding as well. 

  • Are you aware if he has moved on as well?

If you know her ex-partner or have a chance to engage in an open conversation, it will be great to know about his opinion on dating. The basic idea is to understand that this man has also moved on or is in the process of moving on from his past relationship. A man-to-man talk with light-heartedness and an accepting friendly way is also a great way to fan off any air of confusion, insecurity, and doubts.

  • What is their “why” about living together?

As I mentioned earlier, Charlotte and I were living in the same apartment due to our financial constraints in the same city we were working in. Ask your date-mate about her reasons for staying in the same house with their partner. Their answers to your question will reveal a lot. People have various reasons for the same. However, if you have a chance, ask them to move out if possible and watch their reaction! 

My Advise To Gay People, Asking The Same Question

If you’re gay or bisexual and planning to date a man who is living with their ex-partner, the scenario may change sometimes. As for some it still takes courage and time to accept their identity, it may happen that you are desiring a similar partner (who has not yet revealed their sexual identity). I advise being further slow and supportive to this person. 

Relationships are sensitive chapters of our life. It will demand more of you, especially while you are in love. Try building a firm base of friendships, support, and understanding. Ask them the same questions I mentioned above and walk your way through finding solutions that are best suited for your situation. 

You Will Know If They Are Not Over Their Ex

The person you are planning to date may verbally express that they have moved on from the ex-partner (with whom they are sharing a home). However, the truth will only be proved if their actions back up their words. 

You will know if they are looking for a genuine deep relationship or light flirting and surface-level intimacy. The parameters of a relationship will be revealed through these powerful signs.

  • Lack of in-depth conversations with the person you are dating

 If the person you are dating avoids in-depth conversations with you, lacks understanding, and spends the most time on their phone, you've got a red flag here. Man, you have just started dating and already feel her absence in the conversations you are trying to have. Understand that most women with unhealed past traumas, deep wounds from past breakups will only avoid depth while with a new person. 

  • She has closed off a part of her heart to you

If she has closed her heart to experience new romance and give herself totally to exploring new connections or a date-mate, chances are she is acting from her wounds. Though some people take time to open themselves up completely to a new date, it could be a possible reg flag if this attitude continues after months of dating. 

If they are not over the ex they are living with, their words, actions plus your observation will reveal the truth to you. Brothers reading this, you better know when to leave a person as it is utterly important to keep your salinity in place. 

  • Fast pace shallow physical intimacy

It is by the nature of a feminine partner, that she will look for stability, support, and depth in a man she is dating. Physical intimacy will never make you feel fulfilled in a relationship unless you are only looking for sex! If she is not over her ex yet, she will most likely engage in only physical level intimacy. This is a trauma response to avoid the painful breakup from her ex-partner( with whom they are now sharing a home).

  • Lack of problem-solving attitude on her part 

As I mentioned earlier, she is not fully present in this connection you are trying to build. She does not have a focused ear to your insecurities or problems you may feel in this otherwise blooming connection. She is not willing to solve her problems with you.

As she is still living with an ex, it may happen that the breakup was not mutual and it proved to be a mess for her. She is stuck, being not able to move out of the apartment or move on from this ex. It is not likely that you can solve this anyway unless she heals her heart from this past connection herself. However, you can continue to be a supportive friend if you wish to. But, be careful about how much you give, as the situation may end up stressful and hurting.

What To Do If You Dislike Their Living Together?

Well, we men can not do much in this case. By now I am sure my fellow brothers have decided whether to date this person or not! However, if your answer is yes for this person and she (or he ) is similarly interested in this connection, you can suggest moving out. 

Speak your truth about how you feel about them and their stay with an ex-partner. This will help you to build genuine connections through clear communication. Vulnerability and communication are rare in modern-day relationships, causing more breakups. 

The power to use an unfavorable situation in your favor lies with you, my fellow gentlemen. 

So, finally, I hope, this write-up was able to answer the question of whether to date someone who lives with their ex or not. Follow the above-mentioned steps and act from maturity and confidence and you will get to know what to do. Happy Dating!


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