It’s 2018 and as far as relationships are concerned, a lot of folks are finally coming around to the idea that “whatever works for you” is fine. And one trend that’s gaining popularity has some scratching their heads: couples who are "living apart together."
The trend, also called LAT, is especially popular with older folks, and it seems to be catching on more. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like - couples who are totally committed to each other but live apart in separate homes. It’s appealing because it gives people their own time and space, which can lead to less conflict and control issues between couples.
Relationship expert Margaret Paul, Ph.D. explains that couples who live apart together get the benefits of companionship, friendship and intimacy without the responsibilities of living together. They also get that “distance makes the heart grow fonder perk,” she says. “They have the chance to miss each other and there’s less a sense of obligation and more a sense of choice.”
Living apart together works well for older couples because they’re in a phase of life where being married or living together isn’t as important. It’s probably not an arrangement that a young couple with small kids would want because it’s expensive to maintain two households and it’s always nice to have another pair of helpful hands around to take care of babies and toddlers, but when couples are older, the flexibility of being partners who live apart could be appealing. And if it’s working for you and not hurting anyone else, more power to you.