Alice, My Boyfriend Broke Up With Me and Now He's Stiffing Me On Our Shared Furniture

Alice, My Boyfriend Broke Up With Me and Now He's Stiffing Me On Our Shared Furniture

Ask Alice
Apr 2, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)
Dear Alice,

My boyfriend of 3 years (we lived together for 1.5) recently broke up with me. Currently, we are still living together in a two-bedroom apartment. Our agreement when we broke up was that we'd live together for awhile until I could afford to move (I recently switched jobs, so I'm not making a whole lot of money). Four weeks later he told me he's moving, which means I have to move, too, because I can't afford to stay in our two bedroom.
When we moved in together, we bought a number of furniture items, and split the cost equally. One of the items was a couch, for about $2400. I asked him if it was okay to sell the couch, and that was when he told me he wanted to buy it off of me, less the cost of any furniture items I was keeping that we had purchased together. Half of the cost of the couch minus half of the cost of everything I will be taking is $1015. He is unwilling to pay that to me because the couch isn't "worth" that. I explained to him that "worth" is different when you're splitting stuff up, versus when you're selling it to someone who doesn't already own it. He told me I was being petty and he's willing to give me $750 for it because he doesn't think we'll be able to sell it to a third party for more than $1500.
So, Alice: am I being petty or should I demand the full half of what it cost us, rather than taking what it's "worth?"


Broke and No Boyfriend

Dear BNB,

Even though it doesn't feel like it right now, I'm pretty sure your boyfriend just did you a huge favor by ending your relationship. I always say that the way someone ends a relationship is very telling about who they really are, and he is certainly showing himself to be a selfish and stingy soul.

As for the money, let me ask you this: how did you determine what you would pay for the items that you are keeping? Were those split down the middle? If so, then quid pro quo. It's not petty to try and get a fair deal. If he wants to keep the couch, he should pay you half of what it cost. If he can't agree to do that then tell him you will sell it and split the earnings with him. Then you will both see how much it's "worth."

But here's the thing: the money doesn't actually matter. Yes, you're broke and hurt and angry at your boyfriend for treating you this way, but ultimately your sanity is more important than the couple hundred dollar difference. If you can't work this out civilly, you may want to just take the high road; take what you can get and leave knowing you get to never speak to him again. You can always earn more money but he can't change the fact that he's a jerk.

Best of luck!



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