Living Apart Together: A relationship status or transition?
One in ten adults live apart from their partner, according to the latest research by NatCen, Bradford University and Birkbeck University.
The research, titled Living Apart Together: uncoupling intimacy and co-residence, describes this particular style of relationship as ‘Living Apart Together’ (LAT). In other words, these couples consider themselves, and are viewed by others, as a couple but they do not live together.
However, most of these people are inaccurately classed as ‘single’ in official statistics.
Two decades ago it was becoming increasingly common for dating couples to move in together quite quickly, but this research suggests that for many people involved in the study living apart is the better option.
- Some 30% of adults don’t feel that they’re ready to live with their partner.
- Other groups in the study are prevented from living together for financial reasons, because of jobs or education, or because of their commitments to others, such as children.
When it comes to staying in touch, almost 90% of LATs talk to their partner every day by phone, email, text or online. Just under 70% said they have face-to-face time with their partner several times a week.
This lack of face-to-face time has a direct affect on the intimacy in LAT relationships. When asked who would care for them if they were ill with flu, only 20% said their partner. If dealing with problems that require emotional support, just 34% said they would turn to their partner for help.
A relationship is usually considered strong when partners are able to rely on each other for physical, emotional and financial support. So it would seem that despite considering themselves to be a couple and believing that fidelity is important, LATs are perhaps less reliant on each other than couples who cohabit or are married.
Below you can watch clips that tell you more about LAT relationships:
What do you think? Are you in a LAT relationship? How does it affect you and your partner? Do you intend to move in together in future or are you both satisfied with the status quo? Share your stories below or on the forum.