Living together apart is a growing trend among heterosexual couples. If your first thought were Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, don’t worry; there are better examples.
The wealthiest couples living in separate homes is more than acceptable. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Philip have been married forever, and they embraced the LAT lifestyle from the beginning of time.
It’s not conventional, but before you judge it, let’s remember that divorce rates are rising. So, let’s demystify the whole LAT concept. To see what’s in it for your family life, and evaluate the good, the bad, and the in-between.
A romantic relationship that lasts a lifetime is a goal to most of us, regardless of our sexual orientation.
Not that long ago, Gillian Anderson opened up about her relationship, adding that LAT is “new creativity nowadays” to what a relationship should look like.
The first and obvious question is: will it improve your relationship.
Living apart together is more beneficial than you think
The psychotherapist and broadcaster Lucy Beresford explained that LAT relationships achieve a balance between independence and emotional commitment.
It’s a way to avoid his game watching nights or her hair all over the place. But, the real benefit comes from having your space, to reset and explore your interests.
The upside of living together apart is that you don’t have to make compromises that might kill your creativity or the need to express yourself outside your marriage life.
There are many types of relationships, and as we evolve and let’s face it, live longer, we have to be more flexible, to keep our romance alive.
LAT is testing traditional marriage
Obviously, it’s easy for the rich: each partner gets a palace, and you have date nights all the time.
It’s fun, exciting, and since we’re talking about committed relationships, not trial separations, it will make each meeting more special. You won’t take your partner for granted since they aren’t with you 24/7.
Traditionally, moving in with a partner has long been considered one of the critical stages in any relationship. It signifies that a relationship is long-lasting, stable, and secure, and an act of proving commitment.
LAT is at its core, a comfortable and enjoyable system of functioning. We are still looking forward to an unplanned invitation to a drink, or a few days together. After, everyone has their own safety zone to return to.
Sounds great, but only if you can afford to live together yet apart. Because it is essentially taking care of two households, no matter how small your places might be.
The many benefits of not living with your partner
The living arrangements of couples who manage to escape the traditionalism allows them to have it all.
You feel secure, emotionally supported, but you’re not clingy, and the level of trust is high. There’s also a whole new dimension of respect, and lack of unhealthy codependency.
Sounds fantastic, because it can be if you can afford it. However, it should not be a way to salvage your relationship, nor is it any kind of trial separation.
Many people see it as selfish, but who cares? In the era of self-care, does it matter what others might think? If you want to give Living together apart relationship a try, the only thing that matters is that both of you are on the same page.
That attitude is also what brings you close to your partner. You are a progressive duo, and breaking away from society’s norms means that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep your relationship happy and healthy.
Since humans are full of flaws, we can create an idyllic concept and turn into something ugly. So, let’s see what the downsides of LAP are.
Living apart as an excuse
How do you handle significant disagreements when you’re living together apart? And aren’t you only choosing this lifestyle because living together is unbearable?
There’s no rule book about LAT because we’re already individuals. So, instead of growing together, you’re risking into becoming so resilient that, in time, you might ask yourself, do you even need a partner.
Men will continue to live like bachelors, minus the other women. And ladies will put their focus on careers, and neglect the nurturing side, which every woman has.
So, the big question is: are you using this great concept to avoid responsibilities, compromises, and finding common ground?
And of course, if you have kids, or when you decide to have them, what about family life, family time? These are all things you should take into consideration before making dramatic changes in your relationship.
People will talk, and it won’t be pretty
As I said, breaking traditions will make you closer, but you know that it comes with a burden.
People will start asking questions, most commonly, “when will you move in together.” That’s harmless enough, though it’s none of their business.
The problems come when you start hearing stories about your partner. Funnily enough, people who want to cheat will do so behind a supermarket, but when you explain to your friends that your man has his own place, they will be opinions. And gossip.
It’s not a matter of trust, rather a matter of pressure. But, it’s also a great test to show your emotional support and make up for any emotional growth you missed because you are living together apart.
Tips from Gillian Anderson, agent Scully
The LAT trend is rising in the UK, USA, and Sweden. So, instead of only relying on what therapists have to say, it’s good to hear an opinion of a real person, who’s not your typical Hollywood superstar nor is a member of the royal family.
Gillian Anderson, who plays Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of The Crown, praised her living arrangement:
Nothing is locking us in, nothing that brings up that fear of, ‘Oh gosh, I can’t leave because what will happen to the house, how will we separate? I start to miss the person I want to be with, which is a lovely feeling.
She and Peter Morgan have been together for four years, and former X files star swears that they would break up if they didn’t embrace living together apart.