The LAT phenomenon: Living Apart Together

The LAT phenomenon: Living Apart Together

In a world where we all too eagerly label people with all kinds of acronyms, it only stands to reason to have it trickle down to other areas of our lives.

There is a new phenomenon in the relationship world changing the way we live…literally!  And it even has it’s own acronym: LAT! Living Apart Together.

Quite simply, two individuals who are in a monogamous relationship and live their lives together on a regular basis, but each have their own living accommodations. It’s different than a long-distance relationship, as this is a conscious decision between consenting adults to be in a relationship while living in the same general vicinity, but acknowledging that, at times, people need a home sanctuary, and that in no way diminishes their love.

Their are many variations to the scenario and they depend on many factors.

For some, it could be because one partner has children or an aging parent at home. For others, one or both partners could be recovering from a long-term relationship or marriage, and just need some independence and space for a time.

It’s interesting that in most cases the decision to be a LAT couple seems to generate from the woman’s desire more so than the man’s. When I asked someone why they live apart yet have been together for years, the answer was, “it keeps the relationship fresh. When we don’t see each other for a couple days (which rarely happens), we both feel we missed each other and are excited to reconnect. ” Another LAT-er told me that “we don’t fight about money and the daily chores. He is a slob and I would be constantly nagging him to pick up after himself.”

I remember I used to tell my kids that I found it interesting that they had more privacy and independence in our home than I did. I think these LAT people are onto something…

Think about it. We grow up in our parents’ home, strive to become independent and move out, only to get married and then not only share a home but a bed, bathroom and cupboard with someone. In the meantime, we provide our children with separate beds, usually their own bedroom and, for the lucky privileged few, their own bathroom too! Most moms don’t even have their own bathroom!

At a glance, living he LAT life sounds like loving without the commitment, but for those living the lifestyle, that’s not the case at all; most feel 100% connected and devoted to their partner.

According a study done by  Dr. Laura Funk, assistant professor of department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba, that apparent lack of commitment couldn’t be further from the truth. The couples opting for this kind of relationship are totally committed and appreciate their time together as much as those who are married, and in some cases more.

Statistics show that 1.9 million Canadians, especially around 60+ age category, are not opting  for cohabitation or marriage, again. People just want to enjoy their own lives while appreciating their partner for what they bring to the table on a daily basis, without that continual presence in the home.

Is LAT the way of the future? There’s an argument to be made that this is where relationships are headed…

– Cheryl xo

Listen Saturday night at 10 pm to Solo in the City on CJAD 800 as Dr. Laura Funk discusses her study while our  very own Arron Rand and a special surprise guest share their points of view on the subject.

Thanks to Dr. Funk for sending us some additional reading: A related study from the Vanier Institute, figures from Statistics Canada and reports from Maclean’s, CBC News, Psychology Today and Everything Zoomer.


Cheryl Besner

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