Breaking up is hard. Breaking up when you live together is harder. Here are three steps for doing so as painlessly as possible:

One, be as honest as you can during the breakup. Clearly and respectfully communicate why you want or need to end the relationship. This will lessen the discomfort of staying under the same roof while you figure out new living situations.

Two, establish clear boundaries. As your relationship evolves and you transition from partners to exes, it’s important to discuss what living together will look like. Be sure to uphold the boundaries you decide on, such as refraining from jumping into another relationship until you’ve separated.

Three, create a plan for moving out and stick to it. The truth is that living with an ex is not ideal—you both deserve to feel happy and comfortable in your home. So, talk it out and quickly establish a plan for new living situations: Is your lease up soon? Are either of you willing to move in with a friend? Discuss the specifics and agree on a smart plan for going your separate ways. 

Breaking up when you live together can be painful—but these three steps will help to minimize the discomfort.