Nuvo Dating
Dating Tips & Relationship Advice


November 26, 2013

A Look at Living Apart Together (LAT) Relationships


When you think of the traditional couple you envision them living together at some point right? While that may be the case with many couples, there is a growing number of long-term couples around the world who choose not to abide by that rule. The types of relationships these couples have are called “living apart together” (LAT) relationships and the term is defined as ” intimate relationships between unmarried partners who live in separate households but identify themselves as part of a couple.”

You may be thinking, “why wouldn’t someone want to live with the person they love?” Well, for some people living separately just works out better. Helena Bonham Carter and her long-time love Tim Burton have adjoining houses where they live and raise their children. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were together for years and never lived together. Allen said this about their living situation in an interview, “I think it’s because we don’t live together and that she has her own life completely and that I have mine that we’re able to maintain this relationship with a certain proper tension.”

For those who choose a LAT lifestyle, they may view it as a way to keep excitement in the relationship. It’s very easy for couples who live together to fall into a rut and lose the spark in their relationship. Maybe they don’t go out as much or don’t spend time getting dressed up for each other anymore. While it is easy enough to jumpstart the excitement in your relationship, people in LATs may want to completely avoid having to do that by living in two separate residences. If they aren’t around their loved one 24/7 then the whole “distance makes the heart grow fonder” idea is always there. The couple has to work on scheduling date nights and outings together, so the novelty is always there.

Maybe there are more people like the New Yorkers mentioned in a recent article in The New York Times who just have certain preferences on where they want to live and don’t want to have to compromise. The article mentioned couples who had really great deals on their apartments or co-ops in areas they loved far too much to leave. For those couples, they don’t mind the taxi or subway ride to their loved one because they are perfectly happy in their current residence.

If you’re thinking that a LAT relationship may work for you, there are a few things you might need to consider before you go through with it:

Financials matter.

Maybe you both live in really great apartments or houses, but is it really worth it? Will you guys be struggling to put up the separate rents or can you comfortably swing the dual rent payments? If down the line, you think money get tight with the LAT situation, reconsider it and break down all your finances. You might just need to compromise and move in together, which may not necessarily be a bad thing for the growth of your relationship.

Trust in the relationship matters.

If you guys have any sort of trust issues, living separately may cause those issues to surface again. Let’s say you once thought your significant other was cheating on you. Will you be sitting around in your apartment and wondering what they are doing in theirs? Maybe they did something else to cause you to lose a little trust in them. No matter what the case, you need to sit down and figure all of your trust issues out before settling into a long-term LAT relationship. Otherwise, these trust issues will haunt you and your relationship.

You have discussed the benefits of a LAT relationship vs. living together.

If you had a lengthy conversation about the benefits of the two living situations and both agree that living separately is the best route, then go for it. Each couple is different and their views on living together and being with someone 24/7 will vary. If, for whatever reason, you’d rather live apart from each other, just make sure you address the topic again as time passes so you know it’s still the best option for the both of you.

Only you and your partner will know what the best living situation is for your relationship. When the time comes to have that discussion, weigh all of your options and views on the subject and come to a mutual decision.

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About the Author

Elisa Freese
Elisa Freese is a lifelong New Yorker with a Bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz and a Master’s degree from New York University. She has always had a love for writing and now that school and homework are finally done forever, Elisa is going back to writing on a regular basis. In addition to writing, Elisa loves anything that has to do with traveling, shopping, social media and TV/movies. With her experiences, as well as the experiences of her friends and family, Elisa hopes to shed some light on the ins and outs of dating to the readers of Nouveau Dating.

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