Traditional trajectory of a relationship has not dramatically changed for us until recent years. The “normal” or natural progression includes an initial meeting, courtship, engagement ultimately ending in marriage. This is the way it’s always been done but change is here, as more couples are living together apart.
Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow shared details of her modern arrangement with husband, Brad Falchuk. Four days per week while Falchuk has custody of his children, he stays at a home nearby. Paltrow stays in her own residence during that period of time. The idea of LAT (living apart together) is slowly creeping into modern society. The arrangement is not embraced by conservative thinkers but is becoming a more popular option for the young and old. The practice is increasingly being adopted by couples in places like Canada and Sweden. There is limited research to rely on as to the effects the arrangement may have on a relationship. However, some benefits of LAT cannot be completely discarded. Although naysayers can always be found on the opposite side of any fence.
The unconventional arrangement has raised some eyebrows in my own life. I have been in a relationship for close to six years. We have a solid foundation and share an immense amount of love, respect, and trust. Similarly, like Paltrow and Falchuk both my partner and I have children. I spend three days with my partner and four days at my own place each week. The flexibility to have separate residences has helped me move along during my journey as a woman. The setup isn’t perfect but we tweak it as we go to make sure everyone gets what’s needed to feel satisfied. Depending on your age and personality the benefits outweigh the negative factors that may be manifest within LAT relationships such as separation anxiety or FOMO (fear of missing out).
My LAT experience is highlighted by the following three benefits:
Cohabitation creates a habit, inevitably monotony sets in shadowing the relationship. Choosing LAT can eliminate some of the mundane. Each time you get together entices you to make an extra effort to do things. Possibly, explore new adventures together that you may not necessarily feel inclined to do when you live together all the time. Missing each other creates excitement for the next meeting. As opposed to getting comfortable with your partner which sometimes makes us a bit lazy! Don’t you think?
Fosters Self Expression
Having the space to live out your identity and pursue own interests or hobbies is one of the most fulfilling parts of this type of arrangement. You get your time to do the things that make you happy. If you are happy then everyone will feel and share in the happiness.
Engenders Self Love
As a giver, you relinquish everything you have to make your tribe happy. LAT relationships limit how much you give of yourself. Having your independence part-time forces you to think about your own needs. It is essential to our personal growth to figure out who we are – passions, aversions and what we want out of life.
Do LAT relationships make couples happier? There isn’t enough research to demonstrate whether or not conventional beats the unconventional. But partners have a right to define and live out a relationship the way they choose. My experience has encouraged me to hold on to my identity, acquiring personal satisfaction that is priceless. Having the ability to carry a loving, trusting and healthy attachment with a partner while continuing to seek individual growth creates an immense amount of satisfaction. LAT relationships are not suitable for everyone but they can work. Having an open mind to the possibilities may be a good start to understanding that different things work for different people.