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Living Apart Together (abbreviation: LAT) is a term for couples who, whilst committed to each other, decide to have separate homes rather than one shared residence. Research in 2007 suggested that there were as many LAT relationships in the United Kingdom as there were cohabiting relationships.[1]

There are three approaches LAT couples can take, concerning decision to keep separate domestic residences. The majority are the "gladly apart", along with the "regretfully apart" (due to work commitments, family responsibilities, legal or residency requirements, or other reasons) and the "undecidedly apart" (committed but not especially moving towards cohabitation at the time).

Contents

LAT research

Sweden, which has witnessed similar trends to the UK in marriage, divorce and people living alone, has seen LATs rise from 6% in 1993 to more than 14% in 2001/02. Two UK studies support this - research at Oxford University by John Haskey (2005) estimating up to 2 million UK couples were living separately, and research by Professor Sasha Roseneil of the University of Leeds (On Not Living With A Partner, 2007).

Demographics

Whilst living apart appears to be more "popular among younger people",[1] the studies found "hundreds of thousands" of couples age 35-59 choosing separate living as well, including an estimated 14% of 50-59 year olds. Roseneil's conclusion includes that LATs are on the increase, and other experts are stated to agree that LATs are "now part of the social landscape".[1]

The decision to live apart

Although research is far from conclusive as to motive, common themes suggested[1] include the benefits to both individual and joint lives it confers on the couple and also on their children. LAT couples claim that these include:

  • LAT having "kept their relationship fresh while providing the ideal environment in which to bring up [...] children".[1]
  • Having both an intimate relationship and one's own space is a treat.[2]
  • The anticipation of time together always being special.[2]
  • Having bases in two cultures – for example both a busy city and a country village.[2]
  • Freedom to do things without consultation, and the freedom not to do things in one's own abode.[2]
  • Independent finances and homes meaning that financial dispute and negotiation is not a source of friction in the couple's relationship.[2]
  • Ability to focus on work or one's own activities without interruption at times when one wishes to work.[1]

Reasons also include emotional bases, such as the breakdown of a previous cohabiting relationship, or unwillingness to impose a new partner onto children from a previous relationship.[1]

Professional opinions

Whilst professionals appear to consider LATs a viable lifestyle, it is an area requiring further research to determine long term sociological affects of LATs. Critics of LATs raise concerns that this social deconstructionism displaces the traditional family unit.

Example LATs

The Times cites the following examples of LATs: Woody Allen and Mia Farrow (different homes either side of Central Park, New York), Margaret Drabble and Michael Holroyd (married 24 years as of 2007, separate homes), Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton (two children, two houses next door to each other in Hampstead, London), and Booker prizewinner Arundhati Roy and husband Pradip Krishen (separate homes in Delhi, India).[1]

In times past, the famous composer Frédéric Chopin (1810–49) had a sort of LAT-relation with a feminist, George Sand (1804-1876); their relation was between about 1837 and 1847. The famous writer Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) had for many years a similar relation with feminist Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986).

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Couples that live apart . . . stay together" The Times, 12 May 2007: "New research estimates that there are now as many as two million couples who, despite being in a committed relationship, live separately. The number of couples who live apart together (LATs) is now roughly the same as those who live under the same roof. [...] Her findings bear out the first research on British LATs conducted by the University of Oxford research fellow John Haskey, who in 2005 estimated that up to two million couples were living in separate homes."
  2. ^ a b c d e "Why we love this singular relationship", 12 May 2007

See also

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Living Apart Together (abbreviation: LAT) is a term for couples who, while committed to each other, decide to have separate homes rather than one shared residence. Research in 2007 suggested that there were as many LAT relationships in the United Kingdom as there were cohabiting relationships.[1]

There are three approaches LAT couples can take, concerning decision to keep separate domestic residences. The majority are the "gladly apart", along with the "regretfully apart" (due to work commitments, family responsibilities, legal or residency requirements, or other reasons) and the "undecidedly apart" (committed but not especially moving towards cohabitation at the time).

Contents

LAT research

Sweden, which has witnessed similar trends to the UK in marriage, divorce and people living alone, has seen LATs rise from 6% in 1993 to more than 14% in 2001/02. Two UK studies support this - research at Oxford University by John Haskey (2005) estimating up to 2 million UK couples were living separately, and research by Professor Sasha Roseneil of the University of Leeds (On Not Living With A Partner, 2007).

Demographics

While living apart appears to be more "popular among younger people",[1] the studies found "hundreds of thousands" of couples age 35-59 choosing separate living as well, including an estimated 14% of 50-59 year olds. Roseneil's conclusion includes that LATs are on the increase, and other experts are stated to agree that LATs are "now part of the social landscape".[1]

The decision to live apart

Although research is far from conclusive as to motive, common themes suggested[1] include the benefits to both individual and joint lives it confers on the couple and also on their children. LAT couples claim that these include:

  • LAT having "kept their relationship fresh while providing the ideal environment in which to bring up [...] children".[1]
  • Having both an intimate relationship and one's own space is a treat.[2]
  • The anticipation of time together always being special.[2]
  • Having bases in two cultures – for example both a busy city and a country village.[2]
  • Freedom to do things without consultation, and the freedom not to do things in one's own abode.[2]
  • Independent finances and homes meaning that financial dispute and negotiation is not a source of friction in the couple's relationship.[2]
  • Ability to focus on work or one's own activities without interruption at times when one wishes to work.[1]

Reasons also include emotional bases, such as the breakdown of a previous cohabiting relationship, or unwillingness to impose a new partner onto children from a previous relationship.[1]

Professional opinions

While professionals appear to consider LATs a viable lifestyle[citation needed], it is an area requiring further research to determine long term sociological affects of LATs. Critics of LATs raise concerns that this social deconstructionism displaces the traditional family unit.[citation needed]

Example LATs

The Times cites the following examples of LATs: Woody Allen and Mia Farrow (different homes either side of Central Park, New York), Margaret Drabble and Michael Holroyd (married 24 years as of 2007, separate homes), Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton (two children, two houses next door to each other in Hampstead, London), and Booker prizewinner Arundhati Roy and husband Pradip Krishen (separate homes in Delhi, India).[1]

In times past, the famous composer Frédéric Chopin (1810–49) had a sort of LAT-relation with noted feminist George Sand (1804–1876); their relation was between about 1837 and 1847. The famous writer Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980) had for many years a similar relation with the feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986).

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Couples that live apart . . . stay together" The Times, 12 May 2007: "New research estimates that there are now as many as two million couples who, despite being in a committed relationship, live separately. The number of couples who live apart together (LATs) is now roughly the same as those who live under the same roof. [...] Her findings bear out the first research on British LATs conducted by the University of Oxford research fellow John Haskey, who in 2005 estimated that up to two million couples were living in separate homes."
  2. ^ a b c d e "Why we love this singular relationship", 12 May 2007

See also


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