Living with an ex … again

Our first chat of 2017 is at 1 p.m.

Meredith, I am stuck in an awful situation. It started in March when my boyfriend of more than three years broke up with me. I was heartbroken. We lived together and our shared lease was not up for another two months. While still living together, he started seeing someone after a couple of weeks. I didn't mind because I met someone, too. We'll call him Joe. Joe seemed to be everything my ex was not. He was caring, loving, supportive, and committed. He and his ex broke up a few months before we met, and we bonded over breakup experiences and shared interests. I fell in love like I never had before, and it seemed he felt the same way. After the lease was up, Joe and I moved in together. After two months of being together. Yes, I know how ridiculous that is. I was so in love, I didn't even stop to think.

Of course things fell apart after a couple of months. He acted distant, cold, etc. He broke up with me in September. I was heartbroken but I knew things weren't working. Again, I lived with an ex. The lease does not end until next July and neither of us are financially sound enough to afford the place by ourselves. Looking for a roommate has been extremely unsuccessful in such a small town.

He recently asked me to get back together, claiming he doesn't love me but still cares about me and wants to start over. I struggled with the idea for a week and agreed. We have been exclusive but rather casual, no commitment, just having a good time. That worked for a little while, but now I've become bitter that I am stuck in this situation. He's distant as usual, but I deal with it because we are no longer in a serious relationship.

I can break things off but it won't change my living situation. When I bring up my frustration and potential ways to make the situation better, he just shuts down. Now, assuming I can't physically move away, I have no clue what I should do. I am emotionally drained. And I have no where to go. Any thoughts?

– StuckinOhio

I understand that you live in a small town and that finding someone to sublet a room isn't a simple task. But that doesn't mean you should stop trying. Your free time should be dedicated to posting ads and seeking out alternatives. You should also talk to your landlord about an early departure. Leases get broken all the time.

Also, yes, it's time to end the relationship. A casual connection probably seemed nice and convenient because of your living situation, but it's already gone sour. Instead of trying to turn Joe into something he isn't, use your energy to see friends (or make new ones), watch some good television, and plan for your future. I know it'll be scary to be alone (that's why you did this move-in, right?), but it's a good kind of scary, I promise.

– Meredith

Readers? Can this last until summer?