“Living Apart” Together: The New Trend that Might Save Your Relationship

Many people learn to commit to a relationship but not cohabit, and that’s okay – sometimes partners need their personal space and can’t maintain a healthy relationship if they don’t have it.

The latest study reveals that many couples who cannot get along by living together surprisingly do so by living apart from each other.

According to a psychotherapist and broadcaster, Lucy Beresford, couples who live apart together can easily maintain a balance between their emotional commitment to each other and autonomy.

“It allows for something called individuation. Some people might like a “calm space to go to, or a little meditation room” – a more extreme version of the garden shed bolt hole. But presumably, some have more mundane wishes, such as a space where lids are replaced on bottles and jars, and the toilet flushed. Either way, living apart together “gives you breathing space”, she said.

Adding on Living Apart Relationships (LAT), Beresford said many people could learn to rely on themselves instead of solely depending on their partner, which could lead to giving up on one’s autonomy and even individuality.

“When people complain, ‘My husband doesn’t support me,’ or ‘My wife isn’t there for me emotionally,’ those are very important observations in a relationship. But we must never expect someone else to rescue us. Emotionally, we need to be resilient. It’s the opposite of codependency and collapsing on your partner.”

LAT relationships can especially help those couples with a personality clash – for example, if one partner is an outgoing extrovert and the other is a shy introvert who doesn’t like hanging out much and doesn’t even like having people over every weekend then it would be difficult for both to cohabit in a small apartment where both have different lifestyle preferences.

But if a couple adopts the “living apart together” strategy, they could easily and happily maintain a healthy relationship without getting on each other’s nerves.

“Many couples struggle with sharing a bed with a light sleeper or someone who snores or has a very different schedule,” says Tony Coleman, a divorce mediator and psychotherapist.

 “In that case, living together part-time allows both people to get a good night’s sleep their own way, without feeling they have to adjust to the other’s routine or habits.”

“Some couples do very well with LAT, especially those who have very independent and active lives on their own,” he added.

However, a few experts also disagree with this new relationship trend, and LAT has more downsides than advantages.

According to Dr. Simon Duncan, an emeritus professor at the University of Bradford in Social Policy, LAT is a negative preference in a relationship.

“A choice to preserve the relationship when living together is unbearable. He cites one woman whose partner’s ‘hardcore’ green lifestyle meant a lack of washing and no central heating,” The Guardian wrote.

Meanwhile, Dr. Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist, says this approach does not allow couples to develop a strong bond.

“It often hinders the bonding process as living separately places obstacles in front of the couple’s ability to connect and form a level of intimacy that can help keep them together for the long run.”

However, he said it ultimately depends on the couple and how they make things work

“As long as both people are truly happy, fulfilled, and satisfied, then the LAT approach is not for others to judge.”

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Sources: The GuardianMIC

1 comment
  1. My partner and I do this. We have been together 3 years,2 of which I have lived at her house. But I rent the basement apartment.opposite weekends we spend upstairs or downstairs,and occotionally during week. We eat together at times and do all the normal living together items,but we have our own space and place we can go to for the me time. We both come and go from each other’s place at will,doors are never closed,we do everything outside the household as a couple as well. We maintain the property together during summer and winter.some raise eyebrows at the way we r doing it,some think its the bomb of a deal, but we are happy and eventually do plan to live in 1 space,each their own and kudos for doing what makes you and your partner happy

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