Making Moves: How to Tell Your Roommate You’re Leaving

Sometimes I forget that putting myself first isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. I decided back in November that I was moving out of my apartment. It took me two months to finally break the news to my roommate. Why was this so hard for me?

via giphy

via giphy

Let me give you a preview of the thoughts that were going on in my head:

It makes sense. I should move. I would save $400 a month and live with two of my best friends! But wait… what about my roommate? She is going to have to look for a new roommate. How stressful! Well, maybe I can afford to live here another year and make it work. A 45 minute commute isn’t that bad. I feel like I’m “roommate cheating”. I just toured apartments with two other girls and she has no clue. Wait, I wonder if she is doing the same thing. I should figure this out and talk to her. This is so dumb. Why do I feel so guilty? It’s not like we were friends when I moved in here…

Wow. To say I overcomplicated things is an understatement. Here are some suggestions on how to move on without conflict:

  1. Communicate: The sooner they know you are leaving the better. That way they can start making other plans too.
  2. Timing: Don’t spring it on them right before they leave town for the weekend, or when they have limited time. Leave room for an open discussion.
  3. No Justification Needed: You don’t need to say that it’s because you don’t like their lifestyle, that rent is too expensive, or that you don’t get along. Keep it simple and straightforward.
  4. Do It In Person: Just like any “breakup”. Don’t do it through text, email or any passive aggressive medium. It is easy for them to read too much into the context. Also – you live with them… so you are bound to talk about it eventually.
  5. Make It Easy: If they are showing the apartment to potential new roommates, help them. Clean up the apartment, talk your roommate up if you feel inclined. The easier it is for them, the simpler it is for you.
  6. Don’t Burn Bridges: Be positive about the change and don’t turn anything into an attack. Even if you don’t get along, try your hardest to leave on good terms. Some people make horrible roommates but amazing friends.

See… simple as that! Telling your roommate you are moving doesn’t have to be hard if you approach it with the right attitude.



  1. It’s like breaking up but more awkward because you really mean it when you say ‘we can still be friends…’


    1. It really is! Love that comparison.


  2. Hope Gorman · · Reply

    Saying that you are moving out is such a iffy situation! THE worst feeling. I got a good laugh out of all the thoughts running in your head haha


    1. Ha glad you got a good laugh! I overanalyzed that decision wayyyy too much. It was way easier to do than I actually thought. : )


      1. Hope Gorman · ·

        Probably because you are nice :)


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