Can we be in healthy relationship and live separately?

Living apart-Together


Exploring the concept of Living apart-Together

We tend to believe that there are different stages in relationships that must be crossed, in a mandatory manner, such as having children, having a common bank account, getting married, and before all this, living together. Couples living apart-together (LAT couples) refers to couples who are in an intimate relationship, but who choose to live apart for various reasons. Those reasons may be financial, personal, or both. "In the last decade or two it has become more of a lifestyle option. It is no longer because you cannot live with your partner, it is because you are choosing not to want to live with them," Vicki Larson explains in an interview with BBC Mundo , co-author of the book "The New 'I Do': Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists, and Rebels." [1] Although couples did not consider it much before, this option is increasingly widespread in developed countries, such as the United Kingdom or the Nordic countries, where it is estimated that about 10% of couples live in different houses.[2]


Why choose to Live apart-together?

These couples "arise as a consequence of the deinstitutionalization of marriage, the independence of women and the impact of new technologies, which have not only changed the way we know each other, but have also reduced the impact of physical distance," Luis Manuel Ayuso explains, a sociologist at the University of Malaga, who came across this phenomenon while researching mating among widows in Spain. "I spoke to women who told me that they no longer wanted to wash anyone's underwear, but rather someone to go dancing with or go on a cruise with, and then each one goes back to their own house." [3] It is clear that gender equality, which leads women to have more financial and psychological freedom, influences their desire to live an independent life, focusing on their own goals in addition to their partner.

Another factor to take into account is that many couples make this decision as a result of difficult access to a home for two, the labor market, degree of commitment, among others. But there are also those who see this couple model as a model based on emotional, individual and intimate freedom, where being a "LAT" couple is a completely personal decision.

There are couples who start living together and then go on to live separately through their own decision, without this having to be considered a "step back" because in the end each relationship is different and the way of living a relationship is a totally personal decision and specific to each one. Many couples feel pressured to take this step, as it may be considered strange and out of the "status quo." However, I wonder, why would we prioritize what others think before our relational well-being? In the end, it is about finding what is best for each one and no decision is permanent.


Does it work?

However, is it possible to establish a long, lasting relationship, with goals and emotional well-being, living apart? We could say yes, it is, since living apart is a way to continue, in the best possible way, the projects that both started before they met. It reduces the conflicts that could be generated in this coexistence and that, as a consequence, could bring about the wear and tear of the relationship bond. Something to also consider is that if one or both members of the relationship have children separately, it is often easier to cope with it that way, even if they all get along well.


Tips for Living apart-together

What would I recommend for a couple who wants to take the step? It is clear that this is a conversation that should take place from the beginning and where both partners must agree, or at least be willing to give it a try and see if it is suitable for their relationship.

Attending couples therapy is always a good place to talk about these things. Like going from a monogamous relationship to an open relationship style, having children or making a new change in the relationship, living apart is something that can be scary so this process can be carried out whilst being accompanied by a professional who can help to manage the fears and lessons that arise.

It's important to check in with each other often and listen to how your partner feels about living apart, and like all other couples, prioritize spending quality time together.

With this I conclude that it is not living under the same roof that makes relationships more successful or long-lasting, but how they take care of each other, respecting each other's boundaries and personal space, striving to nurture the relationship with moments of intimacy and quality and mutual support and respect.


By PlaisirSolitaire


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