I'm a 37-year-old man, who has been in a monogamous relationship with the same woman for six years. Shortly after moving in with me in the house I own, she quit her job. She's been unemployed for five years now. We've had sex once in the last three years. Even though I care about her and want her to be okay, I'm ready to DTMFA. In fact, I already have. Four times in the last three weeks. I can't seem to get it to stick with her. I don't want to just throw her out. She'll be homeless. I've offered to help her out with some money, but she refuses. Eventually, she either asks me to give us more time or simply pretends like we haven't broken up, forcing me to restate our breakup and breaking her heart again. It's wearing me down. What can I do to help her get out on her own without being a monster?

Get Out

As I was recently saying...

We need someone's consent before we kiss them, suck them, fuck them, spank them, spoon them, marry them, collar them, etc. But we do not need someone's consent to leave them. Breakups are the only aspect of our romantic and/or sexual lives where the other person's consent is irrelevant. The other person's pain is relevant, of course, and we should be as compassionate and considerate as possible when ending a relationship. (Unless we're talking about dumping an abuser, in which case safety and self-care are all that matters.) But we don't need someone's consent to dump them.

I'm was tempted to rattle that off to you—you don't need your girlfriend's consent to dump her—but you aren't her boyfriend and haven't been for a long time and she isn't your girlfriend and hasn't been for a long time. You're her landlord, she's your tenant. While you didn't agree on any rules, sign a lease, you own property and she's currently living in that property. Look up the landlord-tenant laws in your area. Depending on the state, you may be unable to require her to leave this weekend, but you could provide a 30 day written notice. Regardless, set a strict timeline and let her know when she needs to be out. Go to her close friends/family members/persons-she-is-likely-to-squat-with-next and let them know she needs someone—someone else—to step up for her. Because you're done. Organize for her personal property to be removed from your home. Draft an official tenant eviction letter with your local courts if she refuses to leave.

If all of that sounds too harsh, and you're up for more weeks of DTMFA'ing, then put the ball in her court. Make her give you the date she expects to leave. Ask her how you can help. Make your offer literal and factual, not figurative and emotional. "Being my boyfriend" is not on the table. Helping her apply for jobs could be. And she have refused the money you offered her when doing so made you hesitate, GO, but she's unlikely to refuse a loaded up cash card when her shit is on the porch or in a storage unit you've generously paid the six month's fees on.

Finally, GO: You can't DTMFA someone four times in three weeks. Because you can't DTMFA someone after you've already DTMFA'd them because the D'ing was done—or should've been done—the first time you DTMFA'd them. By allowing your soon-to-be-ex-tenant to veto your DTMFA, be buying into the bullshit belief that you can't break up with someone without their consent, you've essentially gotten back together with your ex-girlfriend/current tenant four times in three weeks. Stop.

DTMFA it for good.

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