The title to this piece might sound like a contradiction in terms but apparently it isn't -- not by a long shot.
Elle Magazine wrote an article recently about happily married or long-term couples who have chosen to have private residences to themselves and then get together often for dates, dinner, just being together, sex and co-parenting.
Often, this lifestyle was for the rich or artistic, but nowadays there are regular couples who are living this way too.
While happily living apart is more common in shorter-term unmarried couples, many of these couples have been together for years -- sometimes far more than a decade. Some live within blocks of each other but simply choose not to live together, and not just because the stigma of "living in sin" is long gone in most Western parts (and some are actually married).
So why do happy couples do it?
For their own space -- a private place to go where one can live undisturbed, but knowing a loving partner is living somewhere close by.
If one is a slob and the other is neat, then neither have to deal with the others cleaning habits. Each can walk away and live in a harmonious coupledom -- separately.
Not everyone is cut out for living with others, which is why so many living-together couples say that they love their partners but the day-to-day interactions are what drive them crazy.
This is when two small residences (that may not be as expensive as one large one) can be a relationship saver. Nit-picking isn't common and the daily grind doesn't make them closer. It draws them apart.
When looking at the comments section under the article, the general consensus is one of agreement. Yes, marriage and long-term relationships can be great, but they're often better when living apart, especially when there are no children.
When there are chldren involved, it seems that there is one primary residence for the children, while the other is more of a fun house to hang out in. Kind of like a divorce, without the bitterness or anger.
Comments include this from "browneyedgirl" - "It definitely works for me. For such a long time, I thought that i [sic] was the only one living like this. I felt selfish, but not anymore. this is a good thing.
"M" said, "I am much happier living alone and seeing my husband several times a week than I was living with him all the time."
Comments against such a lifestyle were rare. Perhaps because many of the commentators have been around the block a time or two and see life -- and living -- differently.
According to the article where many living apart couples were interviewed, there is no extra risk of infidelity when couples live apart. Any many agree that the grating and downright irritating habits of a partner are far less an annoyance when a person doesn't have to live with him/her.
They come together because they want to, not due to the fact that they don't have much of a choice since they only have one residence between them.
Of course, none of this means that we'd all be happier living apart from our partners. For most of us, it seems to work pretty well.
But perhaps in the back of our minds, we'd all like a little place of our own, where we can remain undisturbed, enjoying our solitude and never feeling like we must always be communicating. Many find the concept tempting.
Elle Magazine. Life and Love. Divide and Conquer: Married But Separate." Web. Tuesday April 24, 2012.
Edited by Jody Smith
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