What To Do If You Want To Break Up With Your SO But You’re Stuck In Isolation Together

By Meghan Dillon··  4 min read
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what to do if you want to break up but youre stuck in isolation together

Breakups are the worst. Wanting to break up with your SO when you’re stuck in COVID-19 isolation together is a nightmare.

Many aspects of our lives have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 crisis. For some of us, that involves being stuck in isolation with a significant other whom we want to break up with. Luckily, there are ways to make it through.

Seek Help If Needed

Before I dive into the rest of this article, it’s important to address that some people are in isolation with violent and abusive partners. Staying at home with an abuser during isolation can be dangerous, so it’s important to try your best to get out of that situation. See if you can stay with a friend or a family member and call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, which is 1-800-799-7233. If calling isn’t an option, text LOVEIS to 22522 or visit

Real Life Reality Show

Because I’m addicted to reality television, this topic made me think of all the breakups I’ve seen when two people are stuck in a house together. The example that sticks out the most is on Season 33 of The Challenge, when Georgia discovered her boyfriend, Bear, had a girlfriend back home. He said the girl on the Skype call was his cousin, and hilarity ensued.

Those of us stuck in isolation with a significant other we want to break up with likely won’t have the luxury of a strong support system within isolation, and definitely not the opportunity to kick your SO out. However, there are lessons we can learn from Georgia’s response. She vowed to focus on herself. Despite getting back with him a week later (Georgia, if you’re reading this, you deserve so much better), keeping the majority of her energy on herself led her to finish the season in eighth place.

In short, focusing on herself led her to success, and you can do the same thing.

Focus on You

Like living with any other roommate in isolation, it’s important to keep some distance and focus on yourself. Find a space where you can be alone and do things you enjoy. Watch a show on Netflix or read a good book to take your mind off things. I would try to stick to more of an inspirational book like Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis or something that makes you laugh.

Find a space where you can be alone and do things you enjoy. 

You can still have a support system in isolation. Keep in touch with family members and friends and be open with them about what you’re experiencing. Try to stick with texting, so your SO doesn’t overhear anything.

Be Cordial

When you inevitably come in contact with your SO, it’s important to be kind. Chances are that he or she can tell that something is up, and most likely neither of you wants to start an argument while stuck in isolation. It’s going to be awkward, but much less awkward than if you just break up on the spot. If you think they don’t sense anything is wrong, try to be as normal and cordial as possible without making yourself uncomfortable.

If the breakup conversation does come up, be honest, but also be as cordial as possible. You will likely be stuck in isolation for a few more weeks, and the last thing you want to do is to make the situation more uncomfortable than it already is.

Bedroom Boundaries

If you share a bed with your SO and they try to initiate sex while in isolation, simply say you’re not in the mood or that you’re tired. If they don’t respect your wishes and try to go forward, that’s assault. If that happens, you should reach out to someone who can give you a safe environment so you can report the crime.

If you share a bed with your SO and they try to initiate sex while in isolation, simply say you’re not in the mood or that you’re tired. 

Remember This Is Temporary

It seems like we’ve all been in quarantine forever, but it’s important to remember that this is temporary. Make sure you remind yourself of this every day and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how hard it is right now, you will get through this, and this experience will make you stronger.

Closing Thoughts

Nothing about being in quarantine and isolation during the COVID-19 is ideal, and being in isolation with a significant other that you want to break up with is far from pleasant. But there are ways to get through, like focusing on yourself, being cordial, setting boundaries, and remembering that this is temporary.

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