Tips you need before moving in with a partner

Thursday September 27 2018

Tips need before moving in with partner

Before you even begin looking at houses, first get a realistic idea of how much space you need by figuring out how much stuff you will both have after deciding what to keep and what to sell or donate. COURTESY PHOTO 

By Dorcus Murungi

The longer you date someone, the more relationship milestones you will reach together. These include defining the relationship, meeting the parents, and, of course, moving in together. It is a huge step, and there are certain things you should know before moving in together.

Julius Akankwasa says he broke up with his girlfriend shortly after they moved in together. He says although they had dated for more than two years, it is only after moving in that he learnt of his girlfriend’s nagging and quarrelsome character.
“I realised that she never talked in a calm way and would shout at the slightest issue. I reached a time when I failed to define the exact reason for her shouting until I broke up with her,” he recalls.

Like Akankwasa, many couples breakup shortly after moving in because of some unexpected issues. Today, we discuss some of the things that you should expect as you move in with your partner.

You are no longer single
Margaret Tumusiime, a counsellor at Girl Talk Uganda, says a number of young people are moving in with their partner as a test of marital life.
“If you moved in with your partner as a test, accept that you are already married however much it may not yet be official. Stop acting single and disconnect yourself from all possible suitors and focus on your marriage,” she advises.

Incompatibilities
Tumusiime adds that although you might think you know everything about your partner, it is only after living with them that you will realise many things you were not aware of.
“Living together will probably bring out incompatibilities you may not have encountered thus far, and it will certainly bring conflicts to the surface much quicker. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the nature of the individuals,” she says.

However, she says, it is better for partners to learn to understand each other’s incompatibilities so that they can find a way of addressing them.

Be yourself
Brendah Ahabwe says when she moved in with her boyfriend, she suffocated her real character just to please him.
“My boyfriend was a Born Again Christian. Although I love listening to secular music, when I moved in with him, I only played gospel music whenever he was around. I later started playing my own kind of music and let him know that this was me,” she recalls.

Ahabwe says couples have disagreeable tastes but some of these somehow make them who they are. She says it is important to let your partner know the real you, for example what makes you laugh, cry and get angry, among others.

No room for privacy
Tumusiime says when you move in with your partner, you must get used to doing everything in somebody else’s presence. “For example, if you were accustomed to staying out late, without informing anyone, now you will have to first inform someone else or even ask for permission before leaving,” she says.

According to Tumusiime, when you live together, it is very easy to get into arguments. “You say something inoffensive according to your standards only to find out it is extremely contentious, and you are both locked in a fight, defending opinions you did not even know you held until they were challenged.
However, what you need to know is that disagreements can be solved without arguing and forgiveness is not a sign of weakness,” she advises.

Communicate
Ahabwe says to maintain a healthy relationship, couples have to know how to communicate effectively, and once you start living together full-time, it will be very crucial than ever to communicate openly and resolve arguments.

The money talk
According to Bustle.com, an online portal, one of the most important but difficult conversations every long-term couple has to have is the money talk — and it is especially crucial to talk finances with your partner before deciding to move in together.
“Moving in together is often the first time you will start managing money together. This means you will start sharing expenses such as rent and utilities. So, before deciding to move in together, have a conversation with your partner about money and make sure there are not any red flags or big areas of disagreement,” the site states.

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