If you've just recently experienced a breakup or divorce, you probably had to make a decision about who moves out of the house or apartment. You may be the person that had to go and find a new place to live or you could be the person who stayed. Alternatively, maybe both of you moved out and you are faced with selling a house together.
No matter your circumstance after your breakup or divorce -- whether you moved out or stayed behind -- each situation has its advantages and disadvantages. The key is figuring out how you want to deal with the problems you're faced with.
Maybe you had no choice, and you had to leave your living situation or perhaps you wanted to move out. Looking for a new place to live can be a very stressful thing to embark upon while you are also dealing with the confusing and painful feelings surrounding your breakup or divorce. You might start small with a simple efficiency apartment as you transition to finding the perfect location and living arrangement. Think of this first place after the end of your relationship as a sort of base camp -- a place of operations to plan your next move over the coming year.
Consider renting a house or an apartment on a short term or month-to-month lease for your temporary space. If you have family or friends that are willing to put you up for a month or two, then this might help you make a smoother transition because you will have their emotional support. Do you want to live alone or do you want roommates to help liven things up? Will you be sharing custody of the kids? If so, make sure you consider the space obligations you will need to fulfill if you will be having the kids spend the night.
Should you pack up everything you need or take as little as possible and start afresh? When I moved out I took just the essentials and added new things later. In this way, it felt like building a new nest, and I wasn't weighed down with lots of memories attached to the objects in my life.
Moving out has drama attached to it because someone is dislocated from their home and has to find a new place to live. However, staying behind can be equally as challenging, because you are faced with remaining in an environment that is filled with memories of your love relationship. It might actually be more difficult to feel like you are starting afresh because you are constantly reminded of your love relationship in the space you inhabit.
A suggestion to make this easier is to consider doing some purging and redecorating. Get rid of the stuff you don't need. Rethink how your living space is used. Now that your partner left, do you have an empty room that could be turned into an art studio or home office? Do a deep cleaning of your home. Paint the walls a new color, move furniture around, and purchase relatively inexpensive items that have big impact like bedding, curtains, plants, and accessories. If you don't have a whole lot of money, shop at thrift stores or ask your friends if they have anything they'd like to get rid of or trade.
When you move out, you may feel like you have made a clean break and can start rebuilding your life. However, because you left the environment of your relationship, it may actually take more time to grieve your loss because denial could be getting in the way of you moving forward. Having to stay behind and face the end of your relationship in the home you both built together could be incredibly difficult but in the long run you might actually confront your grief head on.