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LAT: Living Apart Together

 
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In a time when an increasing number of couples are eager to live together before marriage, a unique trend is occurring: married couples are choosing to live apart after marriage. Called "living apart together", or "LAT", couples who happily and mutually choose this non-traditional living arrangement cite many reasons, one being LAT has improved their relationship, as they can be committed, exclusive and still independent.

Living with another person is difficult at times, especially someone you love. Not only do the everyday demands of laundry, dishes, cooking, bills and other chores take away any feeling of romance or spontaneity, this person makes other demands on your personal time and space. Remember the days when you were just dating your beloved, and how much fun it was to get ready for the date, anticipate the fun evening ahead, and call your friends to talk about the details? Now, once you are married, this butterflies-in-stomach feeling of anticipation is gone, and the reality sets in that this person is there. Always.

Not only do you need to compromise, negotiate and share constantly with another person, it is difficult for many couples to regain the surprise, spontaneity and romance when they are together day-in-and-day-out. Jokingly, a few of my girlfriends and I have talked about how great it would be if our husbands lived next door. We could see each other whenever we wanted, there is still all the commitments, but we could decorate the way we wanted, not have the stress of preparing meals that another person may not like, not have to worry if one person is a clean-freak and the other one is messy. You could send the kids next door to play, while you get some much needed alone-time in your own house.

Happily-married couples who go beyond the fantasy and actually choose LAT describe how this plays out in their life. (One note: these couples are 100 percent in love and faithful to each other; it is not being used (in this context) as one-step away from divorce...quite the opposite!) Some couples marry later in life, and each want to keep their respective houses.

Add a Comment24 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I was married for 23 years then divorced. A year later met someone and we had a LAT relationship for 3 years....lived in the same city, different places. It was good. Then he moved into my place. I hated it almost immediately. After 4 months I knew it was a HUGE mistake, by 6 months things were going downhill and now, not a year in, I've told him he needs to move out and get a place of his own! He does not want to do LAT long term so sadly, it will be the end of a relationship. Living together is not what I want.

December 18, 2015 - 4:32pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

OK, I see this article is from 2011 but I have to comment anyway. I'm involved with a man who lives in my building one flight down! This has been a life-long dream of mine, seriously. And it's as great as I thought it would be. We're not married yet but I'm trying to get him interested in the idea of FAKE-marriage. That's where you go to Cosco and buy wedding bands and tell everyone you know that you just got married and they are happy for you and thereafter you get to talk about "my wife" or "my husband." Isn't that great?! And nothing else changes. There is not a chance in hell that I'd let this man (or any man) move into my hard-earned private space (I'm referring here to my apartment, haha). This is the best way to live, hands down.

June 3, 2015 - 11:49am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I decided to divorce after 43 years of marriage rather than stay married and live separately. Now I am seeing a widower who I think would like to live together but I dont know if I ever want to live with anyone again, male or female, or even to marry.

June 6, 2015 - 8:55am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

am a 3rd year student in University of Bristol and my Disseration studies women who are in LAT (living apart together relationship). Would you be interested in participating in interview regarding your experience in LAT relationship.
If you are interested can you please contact me on Polinache@live.ru and I will give you detailed explanation of my research.
Thank you for you time
Polina

March 1, 2015 - 3:55pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have been thinking of living in two separate houses in the last year. We haven´t done it yet cause we have to organize a lot of things but I do believe it´s a great way of solving this getting used to your couple and losing, for example, sexual desire, that´s exactly what has happened to me. Another thing I do believe in is that this type of living allows love to be there in a spontaneous fashion instead of some kind of burden. I also do not believe that love has necessarily to imply marriage or monogamy, we can love someone very much and also have other friends with whom you may or may not have sex. I truly believe the sexual tabu is also something that will change in a few years. Exclusivity belongs to the series of values related to capitalism, materialism and possessivity. Love has nothing to do with that. Thanks!

January 4, 2015 - 8:18am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

am a 3rd year student in University of Bristol and my Disseration studies women who are in LAT (living apart together relationship). Would you be interested in participating in interview regarding your experience in LAT relationship.
If you are interested can you please contact me on Polinache@live.ru (or here) and I will give you detailed explanation of my research.
Thank you for you time
Polina

March 1, 2015 - 4:03pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi! I really enjoyed your article. Just learning a bit more about LAT living and happy to find that it's a growing trend. I think it may be the only thing that will save our relationship! We got married (2nd marriage for both) and tried to live together but had many conflicts the least of which was parenting (my) children. I think we would be much happier living apart together in our own space with our own responsibilities. There are people that claim that will never work but I would rather be apart and happy than live together miserable and willing to take the chance! Wish me luck :)

October 16, 2014 - 11:41am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Your post was almost a year ago, just wondering how it worked for you. I have just asked my liive in to move out trying to salvage our realationship

September 25, 2015 - 9:53am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

am a 3rd year student in University of Bristol and my Disseration studies women who are in LAT (living apart together relationship). Would you be interested in participating in interview regarding your experience in LAT relationship.
If you are interested can you please contact me on Polinache@live.ru and I will give you detailed explanation of my research.
Thank you for you time
Polina

March 1, 2015 - 3:56pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I never heard of the acronym LAT. But at 50 years old, I have been married twice . My boyfriend who is 56 never got married, but had a long term live in SO and had 3 kids. We are both independent and love our freedom and space. However, we care about each other and our relationship remains fresh and exciting and the sexual chemistry is still strong since we first started dating 2 years ago. We live 46 miles apart and when we don't get together we catch up with long phone calls and emails. Neither on of us would change a thing!

May 4, 2014 - 2:26pm
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