This is becoming more and more popular – being in a committed relationship but not living together.

It’s so popular it has its own acronym – LAT. 

It’s particularly appealing for older adults.  One study found that 39% of adults over 50 who had a partner but were not married, were living apart.

This arrangement is not for everyone but there are distinct benefits:

  • Maintain a sense of independence
  • Have a greater appreciation for your partner
  • Less conflict on issues that come up naturally from cohabitating
  • Commitment is tied to your relationship and how you feel about each other rather than an artificial commitment resulting from your choice to live together
  • Alone time
  • It’s easier to walk away if things don’t work out

The downside?

  • Cost of maintaining two homes
  • Shuttling back and forth
  • Easier to stray from the relationship
  • Social pressure from family and friends
  • Avoiding conflict is too easy – one person can just go home rather than dealing with issues in the relationship
  • Easier to lose your connection and intimacy

The thing I find most intriguing about a LAT arrangement is that it breaks a norm.  It provides another choice to a couple.

More choices lead to freer thinking and we can certainly use more of that in relationships.

As a single man in his 50’s, I am glad to see more people thinking for themselves – making choices that are different and diverge from the crowd.

Societal expectations like getting married or living together can create problems in a relationship that might not be strong enough to handle it. 

LAT is a viable option if both you and your partner agree it fits your relationship.

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