We've been living together for about two years, and we've been broken up for close to a month.
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Image by Sarah Mac Reading Two years ago, my then-boyfriend and I moved across the country together to Los Angeles, where I was starting grad school. I couldn't afford the $1,200 rent on my own and we'd signed a one-year lease, so we decided to live together for another six months, one of us sleeping in the bedroom and the other sleeping on a tiny couch in the living room.
It was awkward, but in a new city, it was comforting to have a familiar face when I got home. For young people in expensive cities, cohabiting after a breakup is sometimes the only way to pay the rent.
I spoke to three people who are currently living with their exes about their experiences—how it affects the healing process, what it's like dating other people, and how they get along in such close quarters.
These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Before that, right after the breakup happened, she had hurt her leg and couldn't get around too much.
She was uncomfortable with sleeping together, so she would sleep on the couch.
After about a week of this, one night, she came home, stormed upstairs, and asked, "Why do you get the bed?
My leg hurts, and we shared this bed for two years. " It was a misunderstanding, because she felt I was disrespecting her space by de facto making her sleep on the couch by sleeping in the bed first.
I perceived it as her [trying to] kick me out of the bed and getting mad at me for the same thing.
I'm away from the apartment four or five times a week, and I work at night on the weekends.
The only times when we are at the apartment together is after work for an hour or two.