So you moved in with your girlfriend after only dating her for three months, you idiot. Now she’s dumped you and it’s ruined your whole life. You drink every night and wake up on the floor covered in tears, cat hair, and all the predictable regret. You have no sacred space anymore because the whole apartment smells like her. You are a miserable, moping wreck and you’re not even sure if she’s going to let you keep the cats, the heartbreaker. Get it together and figure it out. All’s not lost; your dignity and heart can be saved. Here’s how to get over your live-in girlfriend with as few casualties as possible. Oh, and remember: do as I say, not as I do. If I followed my own advice, I’d be a well-rounded individual right now.

Get out of the house!

Either she moves out or you do. When my girlfriend dumped me, we stayed living together for MONTHS. This, predictably, did not end well. Me sleeping with other people didn’t make her happy, and her freaking out about me sleeping with other people didn’t make me happy. In the end, we just suckered ourselves back into a non-relationship – by sleeping with each other, because it was the easiest option. Stop this cycle! Stay at your friend’s place for a night or two. Find an apartment of your own, as long as you don’t have to live with a crack dealer roommate. Heck, just get out of there!

Can you remain friends?

Lesbian relationships are both infinitely stronger and a thousand times more fragile than heterosexual ones. As girls, we understand each other on levels that are more intimate than physical, and sometimes more spiritual than sexual. Most lesbians I know are friends with at least two of their exes, if not more. That’s just the way it is. They’re not just friends with their ex, they’re exceptional friends, friends who know each other on levels regular friends do not.

My ex is one of my best friends, with whom I have sleepovers and hang out with almost daily. She lives a five-minute walk away from my apartment, and when I was looking for a place, I settled on this one because I wanted to be close to her. That being said, it’s not always the case. One of my exes is my worst enemy. She’s a horrible human being and I hate her with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I wasted two years of my life on a dead-end, mentally exhausting and unsatisfying relationship and became a new person when it finally ended.

Point is, can you remain friends with your ex? Now, or later? Sometimes, having your hand held throughout a tough time is necessary, and it becomes even more helpful with the comforting embrace of someone you already know. My ex dumped me and I was heartbroken – but I spent the better part of a month comforting her in her own confusing heartbreak, simply because there was nobody else to talk to who understood.

Separate your stuff

If you still live together, separate your stuff into different rooms. Create a space for yourself that is yours and yours alone. You need to feel at home in your home until either she or you move out. Otherwise, you’re just going to keep coming home and feeling weird and sleeping on the couch and awkwardly bumping into each other on the way to the bathroom. A home doesn’t feel like a home when there’s a horrible energy involved.

If I let you keep the cats, will you stop crying and calling me at night?

FAIRLY and MATURELY decide who gets the cats. I mean, with us it was pretty straightforward – I keep my cat and you keep yours. Then again, if you got the cat together, you may have quite the battle on your hands. Who does the cat like more? Remember: If anybody tries to get in the way of your special bond with Peanuts or Mr. Whiskers or President Fluffyboots, they’re not worth your time anyway. Don’t give in. She broke your heart – you get to keep the cat.

Stop stalking her on the damn Internet

So you’re back on OkCupid. It’s 2015, after all. Isn’t that how you met What’s-her-face in the first place? Maybe you’ll have some more luck. But speak of the devil, you see her profile on there and you’re both livid and hurt. How dare she be trying to talk to new people, and so soon after breaking your poor heart? CHILL. Get offline. Don’t be trying to chat people up if you’re not ready to see that she’s chatting to people too. You’re going to get weird about it and it’s going to eat you up inside, dissecting all of the comments on her Facebook and Instagram, watching her text and not knowing who she’s texting.

When I was stalking my ex, I saw that one of her exes commented on a picture she took, and I LOST IT. Cried for hours. Drank a whole bottle of wine. Didn’t tell anyone. Except you guys, now.

Get dancing

There are sooo many queer lady events in Toronto, so get your sorry butt off the couch and hit the floor. You know that saying, about getting over someone by getting under someone else? It’s 100% true. Who knows, you may even go home with someone who looks like your ex to satisfy that weird need you have for self-destruction. Remember, though: Don’t head out to these events if you’re not ready yet – everybody needs downtime after a breakup, straight or gay.

Do your own thing

Remember all the boring stuff your ex would drag you to, like weird lesbian parties you had no interest in, and awkward meetings with her family? Well, guess what, champ? You don’t have to do any of that stuff anymore. Ever! The best part of a breakup is that you no longer have to pretend to like your partner’s friends or family, and you can go out and do the things you like to do with your mates without feeling bad for a) leaving her out of it or b) dragging her somewhere she obviously won’t like. You are free of any obligation. You can literally do whatever you want.