The Mating Grounds

Living Apart Together: A New Relationship Norm?

Living Apart Together Relationships: The New Normal? Are you in a long-term romantic relationship, but not living together?

If you are, then you are part of the growing trend of Living Apart Together (LAT) relationships. Living Apart Together relationships may sound unconventional, but it’s not new, and there are many good reasons why it’s becoming more popular than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the different scenarios, pros and cons, and why some people choose to have a long-term intimate relationship but live in different locations. What is a Living Apart Together Relationship?

Living Apart Together is a relationship arrangement where couples maintain an intimate relationship but choose to live in different physical locations. It is also referred to as a LAT relationship, apartnership, or apartness.

Partners in LAT are not roommates, friends, or casual dating partners. Instead, they are in committed, intimate relationships but live in separate homes or apartments.

Despite not sharing a home, they maintain a long-term, monogamous, and committed relationship.

Scenarios of Living Apart Together Relationships

Different couples may have different scenarios for choosing to live apart together. One scenario is when one partner needs to relocate due to work or family, and the other partner cannot move.

Another scenario is when a couple shares a strong emotional connection but has different lifestyles, and living separately is the best solution for harmony in the relationship. A third scenario is when couples want to maintain their independence and personal space while cherishing the time spent together.

Reasons for Choosing to Live Apart Together


Living Apart Together gives partners space and independence, which can make them feel happier and more fulfilled. It allows you to live the way you want, decorate your home how you like it, and set your preferences without having to adjust or compromise.

You can concentrate on your dreams, hobbies, and goals without worrying about how it will affect your partner. Having your space can also reduce stress, boost productivity, and improve mental health.

Alternative Expressions of Love

Some people opt for an LAT relationship because it allows them to show their love in different ways. Instead of performing traditional couple routines, they find creative ways to maintain the intimacy and connection, such as virtual dates, handwritten letters, and surprise gifts.

They may also choose to spend weekends or vacations together and establish specific routines for bonding.

Family Influence

In some cultures, living together before marriage is frowned upon, and some families might place restrictions on young adults. Religious beliefs may also influence living arrangements for many couples.

Living Apart Together is a greater solution to staying true to family values while still maintaining intimate relationships with partners.

Pros and Cons of Living Apart Together

Independence and Personal Space

Pros: With separate homes, couples get to enjoy personal space and independence. You don’t have to constantly adjust or compromise as you would when living together.

You can live your life the way you want without stressing about upsetting your partner. Moreover, being apart from your partner for a while can make you appreciate the time spent together.

Cons: The downside is that “personal space” quickly becomes “loneliness.” If you’re the kind of person who always wants their partner around, then you might find the distance difficult. It’s a balance between the need for independence and the need for intimacy and connection.

Cherishing Time Together

Pros: Additionally, Living Apart Together relationships may help couples cherish the time they spend together. Every date night, weekend, or vacation becomes special, intentional moments for bonding.

You get to look forward to spending time together, and there’s no chance of taking each other for granted. You also get to avoid daily routine disagreements, such as who’s going to cook dinner or do the dishes.

Cons: The downside is that you have to make an effort to plan, schedule, and remember. Sometimes, Lat relationships can feel like an LDR, Long-distance Relationship which means it can be hard to maintain the intimacy and connection, if you’re not actively trying to create it.

Control Over Schedule

Pros: Apartner couples get to have control over their schedule; they don’t have to fit into their partner’s calendar. They can prioritize work or projects, go out with friends until late without worrying they need to go home.

There is also no need to constantly clean up or tidy the house for any unannounced guests. Cons: The downside is that sometimes work can be the only priority in your life.

Being in a separate environment makes it easier to work more and forget about quality time with your partner. Seeing your partner busy all the time can also lead to feelings of abandonment.

Opportunity to Think for Yourself

Pros: In an LAT relationship, you get to decide what’s best for you, without consulting your partner. Sometimes, we might feel lost in a relationship, unable to tell the relationship from our partner.

Being in a separate space allows you to take the time to reflect and evaluate the relationship’s state. Being able to do this can lead to stronger relationships, because you get to decide what works for you.

Cons: Disagreements can arise about what is best for the relationship. You may see things differently from your partner, leading to more significant conflicts.

Breaking Societal Stereotypes

Pros: Living Apart Together relationships break the traditional gender norms and society’s view of relationships. We don’t have to follow the same path as everyone else; instead, we get to carve our path.

Together and apart, apartners can create a strong partnership that’s not necessarily tied to physical space. Cons: Living Apart Together relationships can be difficult to explain or justify to others who don’t view relationships the same way.

If you’re in a traditional community, you’ll need to be ready for stares or questioning about your arrangement. Conclusion:

The decision to live apart together is personal and can only be made by couples themselves.

Living Apart Together relationships allow partners to maintain their independence, cherish time spent together, and avoid the stresses of constant cohabitation. While the arrangement has its pros and cons, it may offer a unique solution to the challenges that some couples face.

Ultimately, it’s all about finding what works best for you as a couple.

Disadvantages of Living Apart Together Relationships

While Living Apart Together relationships allow for independence, flexibility, and individuality, they also have several disadvantages. Below are some potential downsides couples may encounter.

Jealousy Can Easily Brew

One significant disadvantage of Living Apart Together relationships is that without the constant physical presence of the other person, it can be easy to interpret actions as a lack of interest or affection. For instance, your partner missing your phone calls, going out without letting you know, or failing to include you in their plans could make you feel a sense of abandonment or rejection.

This can create a breeding ground for jealousy and trust issues, which can grow over time.

Can Be the Beginning of the End

Lack of emotional and physical closeness can cause feelings of loss and disconnectedness. This can lead to a decline in intimacy and, if not addressed, the breakdown of the relationship.

Additionally, the distance between partners can make it easier to develop romantic feelings for someone else. This temptation towards other love interests results from the absence of one’s partner as a physical and emotional outlet.

With the physical distance, there is an increased opportunity to meet and connect with other people who share similar interests or situations.

Intimacy is Somewhat Difficult

Physical and emotional intimacy can be somewhat challenging in LAT relationships. When separated physically, scheduling a time that works for both partners to be intimate together can be difficult.

Spontaneity is harder to achieve, and the need for planning intimacy kills the natural flow of things. Emotional intimacy can also be challenging due to the physical separation.

Face-to-face conversation and physical touch play a significant role in building and maintaining emotional closeness.

Financial Impact

Living Apart Together relationships may come with multiple financial burdens. Couples have to pay for two separate households, utilities, and other running costs that a household would normally have to do together.

These costs can be challenging for couples to balance with other aspects of their lives such as getting married, buying a house, or having children. The financial impact may also differ based on circumstances such as living in high-cost areas versus low-cost areas.

Takes Too Much Work to Maintain

Living Apart Together relationships require a lot of effort and commitment from both partners. The distance between each person makes it necessary to communicate consistently, plan visits, and coordinate schedules to navigate various difficulties.

Maintaining long-distance relationships can be draining and exhausting, especially for those who desire physical affection and constant companionship.

Effectiveness of Living Apart Together Relationships

The effectiveness of Living Apart Together relationships is specific to the couple’s particular situation and personality compatibility. It can be beneficial for couples who want independence, personal space, commitment, and space to reflect on their relationship.

Living apart together can be particularly effective for older adults who value autonomy and have more established lifestyles or for those entering new relationships. It allows them to maintain the independence they have built and not disrupt their lives.

On the other hand, Living Apart Together relationships can also pose emotional challenges that can lead to relationship dissolution. However, there are ways couples can address these challenges in a bid to ensure relationship success.


Living Apart Together relationships can be a successful relationship arrangement if both parties work jointly to make it work. It is essential to commit to clear communication, planning, and remaining consistent with visits and other connected activities.

Additionally, it may be beneficial to seek counseling when problems arise to help with communication, coping skills, and tools needed for long-distance relationships. Evaluating the relationship’s health consistently can help identify potential problems, and taking corrective measures can also ensure the relationship remains strong.

In conclusion, Living Apart Together relationships come with their unique set of advantages and disadvantages. What matters most is that a couple finds the arrangement that works best for them based on their specific situation, personality, and compatibility.

Relationship success is about what works best for the couple, and as such, they should always work together to make their connection work, regardless of the distance.

Difference Between Dating and Living Together

Dating and living together represent two distinct stages of a romantic relationship. While dating is an initial phase focused on getting to know each other and evaluating compatibility, living together represents a more secure space focused on shared futures.

The differences between the two are apparent, and they involve the level of relationship involvement and commitment.

Relationship Stages

Dating is the initial romantic relationship stage where individuals assess compatibility, chemistry, and mutual interests. The couple remains separate, living in their homes and spending time together as their schedules allow.

They enjoy the novelty of the relationship and invest time in building their bond. During this stage, couples may go out more frequently, engage in new activities and adventures, and explore a broad spectrum of each other’s personalities.

Living together, on the other hand, is the stage where the couple chooses to consolidate their relationship into a shared space. Cohabitation involves pooling living resources, sharing space and activities.

It represents a more significant level of commitment to the relationship, as both parties bring their futures together in a shared space.

The Differences

Dating is generally less involved than living together and involves a lesser degree of commitment. While dating, couples are not accountable to one another and do not share the same space.

Couples maintain a certain level of independence and flexibility in their schedules, activities and personal spaces. Living together is a higher level of commitment where partners pool resources, share expenses, and compromise as a team.

They are no longer two individuals living separate lives; their future is a shared responsibility. Partners are now accountable to each other and to the relationship they have built.

Cohabitating couples make decisions together that secure their present and future together.

Reasons for Opting for Living Apart Together Relationships

Many reasons exist why people choose to live apart together. It could be in pursuit of individual aspirations, practical purposes, temporary pause or relationship dissolution.

Independence Maintenance

While living apart together relationships come with its share of challenges, many believe that it helps maintain their independence while in committed relationships. For instance, a couple may have different environmental preferences, lifestyle or geographical job requirements that may not be compatible with living together.

An LAT relationship gives a couple the space and freedom to balance individual and collective needs.

Practical Reasons

Sometimes, living together just doesn’t work out. The couple may find that they are incompatible after trying to share space, or they may discover that habits that were initially charming can become annoying or even unbearable over time.

Living apart but maintaining a relationship all the same affords them the space to work out the kinks without feeling as if the relationship is in imminent jeopardy. Additionally, some individuals may have been married or cohabitated in the past and seek a less involved relationship arrangement.

Temporary Pause Button

Living Apart Together can enable couples to hit pause on their relationship while they reenergize and reevaluate their connection. It reduces the expenses that come with breaking up and moving on when all you need is a break.

Temporary separation can enable the couple to address any outstanding issues by enabling them to reset their perspective, address communication problems, or other issues in a relatively cost-effective way.

Relationship Dissolution

When relationships take a turn for the worse, couples may opt for a Living Apart Together relationship as they contemplate their options. Such an arrangement enables them to focus on individual healing and building an essential measure of self-sufficiency.

Sometimes, breakup dilemmas don’t always have to lead to a complete breakup. Couples can learn how to manage independent living while maintaining their relationship.

Conclusively, Living Apart Together relationships offer couples a flexible relationship arrangement as they navigate their lives. It’s an alternative to a traditional cohabitation relationship setting that allows couples to maintain their individuality, economic freedom and build lasting and meaningful relationships.

It also enables couples to experiment, assess their connection and commit on their terms, making it an increasingly beneficial relationship model. In conclusion, Living Apart Together relationships present a unique and flexible model for committed couples.

While there are several drawbacks, including potential jealousy, lack of intimacy, and higher costs, this model offers couples a more individualistic approach to their relationship while maintaining a connection. Understanding the difference between dating and living together, as well as the reasons for opting for such a relationship model, can enable couples to make informed decisions about their relationships.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of this model is dependent on the specific couple’s compatibility and efforts. For those willing to put in the work, Living Apart Together relationships offer an alternative method of building meaningful and long-lasting relationships.

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