The world is changing, but with it, so do we…
And with it, so do our traditional values. Like or not, traditional relationships, or in other words, most heteronormative, monogamous relationships are slowly fading away. As the new generations come, the old traditional relationship styles are becoming a thing of the past and they are getting replaced with new (non-traditional) partnership styles that complement their progressive, lifestyle choices.
One of the newest, and currently trending relationship is LAT (Living Apart Together). If you are someone who has never heard of this term before, living together apart by choice is a fresh, new approach to dating which emphasizes the individuals in the relationship, rather than the relationship itself. People who are in LAT relationships are committed to each other, but unlike other traditional couples, they choose to live apart from one another, without that affecting their partnership as well as their intimate relationship.
Well, for one because it allows people to design the relationship that works best for them without compromising certain aspects of their life. That is the main reason why more and more millennials are signing up for this partnership style. Because not all of the young people out there feel like they have to do what their parents did. And really, why would they?
They are realizing that while finding true love is one of the greatest blessings in life, having that doesn’t necessarily mean getting married, having children and living together. It may sound a bit controversial to some people, but that doesn’t make it less true.
Linda Breault, who co-authored the book Living Apart Together — A New Possibility for Loving Couples, said, “Women now are much better educated, more affluent, and better aware of their options than any other generation before. So many now have successful professional or semi-professional careers and are financially independent. That makes a difference.”
According to psychotherapists and sociologists, one of the greatest perks of having a LAT relationship is the opportunity to create a balance between your independence and your emotional commitment. Lucy Beresford, the author of the book Happy Relationships, psychotherapist and broadcaster thinks that practicing a LAT relationship helps people achieve 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 space where lids are replaced on bottles and jars, and the toilet flushed. Either way, living apart together “gives you breathing space”, she says.
Learning to be more self-reliant is a skill that all LAT cohabitees learn from their relationships. “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,” Beresford says. “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.”
Ultimately, it is all about finding your place in life, finding your breathing space while at the same time committing to a loving relationship with a person who shares the same feelings about their personal space. It is pursuing your dreams and interests but also nurturing the connection with your loved one. And even though this subject will always provoke controversy, it is of great importance to emphasize that regardless of all the stigma, people are beginning to understand that there is nothing wrong with designing a relationship your way. As a result, more and more couples have started accepting and testing this new partnership style.
However, it is also important to note that not everyone can and will thrive in a LAT relationship. Having said that, not everyone should. According to relationship experts, those who are interested in a LAT relationship should first try it out before going any further with their partner. Because while for some this arrangement may work wonderfully, for others it may only bring heartbreak and disappointment. In the end, there is no right or wrong choice, only different preferences, and different lifestyles.