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Moving in with your partner is exciting. You’ve been together for some time now, you love each other and you want to spend more time together. Also, driving back and forth between your home and theirs can be exhausting.
But before you move in together, you need to be sure you’re aligned on some important issues. You need to know that you agree on several topics which may come up later and have the potential to not only cause an ugly fight but an even uglier break up.
These are some of the conversations you need to have before you move in together.
Where do we live?
Deciding where you’ll live is an important first step. Your place? Their place? A new place? This likely depends on two key factors – how much space you’ll need and where both of you work. You’ll need sufficient space so you don’t start driving each other crazy. And your new home will need to be convenient for both of you.
How much do we contribute?
Discussing finances with your partner for the first time is always uncomfortable. But before you move in together, you need to have a good idea about how much each of you earns. In that way, you’ll know how much you need to contribute to rent, utilities and groceries. Some couples decide to split all expenses down the middle while others choose to pay bills as a percentage of their salary.
Do you want to have a family?
Knowing whether your partner wants to have a family is essential before becoming too serious. If they do want a family, you should also find out how they’d prefer to make that happen. While most couples choose to have their own children, adoption in South Africa is becoming increasingly popular.
What are your life goals?
It’s important to find out now whether your partner has specific life goals which could impact you. If they would like to live on a farm, in the middle of nowhere, within the next few years or retire early and travel the world, these are choices you need to know about. You’ll need to be sure your lives are in alignment over the long-term.
What happens if we break up?
This is never a pleasant conversation to have. But it is important that you both know what to expect should the worst happen. You’ll need to have a plan for who will continue living in your home and who will move out. You’ll need to know who keeps the washing machine and chairs you bought together. Rather discuss this when you love each other, than when you’re fighting over the end of your relationship. A couple in a long-term relationship can decide to enter into a cohabitation agreement, which will regulate the relationship during its existence and after it has come to an end.”