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Planning your exit strategy

An exit strategy should not be a vague notion of something you want to accomplish.  Like any goal, it should have a plan.  If you’re the type that plans things out on paper, I highly suggest you password protect the file so that your loved one doesn’t find it and bring things to a head immediately.

Things you need to consider and plan for:

  1. Finances:  If you share finances, half the debt is yours upon walking away and the entire debt is yours if the other person fails to live up to their obligations.  Try to get the debts paid down.  Set up a post-relationship budget.  Create a separate account and funnel whatever money you can into it without your partner getting suspicious.
  2. Legally:  Figure out what you’re responsible for and where possible, sever ties.  You may wish to consult a lawyer to draw up paperwork for the breakup (who owns what, who owes what, etc.)
  3. Housing:  Look for a living space within your price range.  Do a cursory look for furniture to know how much it will cost to furnish said new place.
  4. Friends:  Realize that you probably won’t get to keep all of them.  Figure out which ones you want to keep and begin cultivating a closer relationship with them.
  5. Emotionally:  Start to distance yourself from the relationship without stepping out of it.  It’s duplicitous so you probably won’t feel good about this part unless you’re a sociopath.
  6. Reputation:  Breakups can take a toll on your personal and professional life.  Decide now how you’ll explain your breakup to people.  Now be on your best behavior for the next few months, which is the length of the typical person’s recent memory.
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