The Perks of Not Living Together

The Perks of Not Living Together

Are You Thinking About Living Together?

It’s true that nothing kills romance like reality. That’s why when trying to assess the perks of being in a relationship but not living together, the first thing that came to mind was the word “mystery.”

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Perk No. 1: Keeping Romance Alive

Having an air of mystery around you is always part of the romance game. If you’re not living together, he’ll never know if you left the blow dryer plugged in after using it, or if your bedroom looks like a tornado went through it just because you couldn’t decide what to wear, or that you dropped makeup on the floor but didn’t have time to clean it up. And she’ll never know if you’re always this neat or you just shoved all your stuff under the couch before she came over, or if you typically leave the toilet seat up in the middle of the night.

When you’re in a good relationship, all you want to do is get more of a good thing. You want to make plans and spend as much time together as possible. Sometimes you want to stay over, but a sleepover, even one that lasts for days, is not the same as sharing your space 100% of the time. And it turns out that not just new relationships are enjoying the perks of not living together. Some married couples are doing it too.

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Perk No. 2: Independence

There is one growing group of people who choose to be in committed relationships but not live together. They are known as LATs which stands for Living Apart Together. These are committed relationships/marriages where people are faithful, exclusive and dedicated to their relationships but still choose to live apart. An article on, stated that most LATs would site the benefits of this arrangement as “enjoying a committed and exclusive relationship while still maintaining their independence.”

Perk No. 3: Being Able to Take a Break

For some people who are older and/or more set in their ways, being a LAT is a great opportunity to have the closeness of a relationship while not giving up their right to be messy, quirky, or whatever they’ve grown to be comfortable with while alone. For younger couples, the reasons are pretty much the same. There are no fights about housecleaning, and when they need a break from being a parent, they can send the kids “next door” to the other parent.

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Perk No. 4: Having the Ability to End Things Without Entanglements

Some couples will move in together when they’re planning to get married. Whether they call it a test or not, it basically is a test called, “Can We Live Together Happily Ever After?” If you’re in a solid relationship with a plan to marry, this test can prove whether or not you’re able to cohabitate with your mate. If it works, you set the date and get married and go on living together. If it doesn’t work or if you get married and that doesn’t work, it can be difficult to untangle the mess of mixed finances and co-owned property. And how do you split the dog in two? According to an article in the Huffington Post, this is known to researchers as “relationship inertia.” It’s the result of when “couples [are] emotionally and financially invested in relationships that might have ended had the couple not cohabited.” Not many things in life can be more difficult than living with someone you no longer get along with.

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Perk No. 5: Appreciation for Time Spent Together

There’s one saying that can pretty much sum up the perks of not living together, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” When you don’t spend every waking moment with a person, you can really grow to miss their company and you can get excited about seeing them again.

Basically, the perks of not living together can be tempting: You can keep the romance alive, you can be independent, you can take a break, you can end things without entanglements (if that’s where it leads) and you can better appreciate the time you get to spend together, but it’s not for everyone.

12 thoughts on “The Perks of Not Living Together

  1. LJ

    Hi Gina Rose:
    Thanks. I must admit, there seems to be some obvious perks, but like we both said – it’s not for everyone. Although, if you think about it, every night could be “date” night. Hmmmm. 🙂

  2. LJ

    Marc from UK: Glad to see you liked the article. You’re a faithful reader, that’s for sure. See? I don’t just write articles “for women.” LOL Always great to see your comments.

  3. LJ

    Dear Linda: Doing the research for this article was fascinating so I’ll be sure to check out the book. I’m fascinated at the responses here. I’ve seen couples who are actually divorced who remain roomies (mostly for economic reasons) which is the worst possible scenario I could think of. But there are certainly a lot of shifts going on – including LATs – that have started to redefine the “traditional relationship.” Could it be the new normal? We’ll see.

  4. LJ

    Dear Alexis: Katharine Hepburn once said, “Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” I would say you’re of like minds.
    ~LJ (PS: always follow your hunches)

  5. LJ

    Dear Justina: So sorry it’s not working for you. You may be compatible astrologically and otherwise, but you aren’t sounding too happy. In truth, what you’re experiencing as far as togetherness might be a little too much togetherness for a lot of couples. You might want to suggest become LATs – it just might save your relationship.

  6. LJ

    Dear Dorothy: It sounds like you’re experiencing the best of both relationship worlds – together and apart. And it seems to be working; you sound happy. Awesome.

  7. Dorothy Baker

    We have been married five years and when he gets on my nerves, he goes to his apt. When I get on his nerves, he goes to his apt!!! We meet each morning for prayer before he goes to work, I cook his dinner sometimes, he does my laundry and my shopping!!!! Oh, did I forget to mention, I was in a walker when we first met[ he is six years younger than I] but he has stuck by me even when I couldn’t get out of bed!!!! I feel so blessed to have him!!!

  8. Justina

    This is why my marriage is falling apart. My husband is old fashioned, but I was raised to be independent and be able to take care of myself, so I like my space. Now, I am with my husband ALL the time; we work together, we live together, and we basically spend 24/7 together and I just cannot deal w/it anymore. He was raised to be the bread winner of the family and the woman to be the housewife/mother. I don’t want kids. So, I am slowly falling apart b/c he just doesn’t get it. I love him very much and we are compatible. He is a Taurus and I am a Virgo, so he has a lot of patience, but .. I am more of the cold, hostile one in the relationship b/c of this situation.

  9. Alexis Stevens

    I agree! LAT!

    In my last long-term relationship (12 MISERABLE YEARS), before we bought a house, I had decided it would be best for us to find a duplex or side-by-side apartments. I WISH to GOD I HAD STUCK WITH IT. Only there seemed to be nothing available in the place we were looking. The guy turned out to be a little piggy – and a selfish one, too. Only child of an only child, and a real momma’s boy.

    It might have been possible to salvage the affection if he had only told the truth about his habits when I asked him and when I showed him evidence of mine, but he didn’t. He just wanted what he wanted and would have said ANYTHING to get it. The last thing I want to do is clean up after some grumpy old selfish spoiled angry man who thinks I am his momma. Sorry, but I’m not living with a man again. LAT or BUST! Thanks of for advice.

    I actually have a house design that I think would work GREAT: A shared common area which connects two entirely separate houses, each with its own kitchen, living area, bathroom, guest room/bath, master, Master bath, closet, and garage. He can do what he wants with his own pig stye. Mine says up to my standards, then I don’t have to be angry with him!!! Yay!

  10. Linda Breault

    If you ‘d like to read the stories of couples who have chosen LAT relationships, you might want to read our book: Living Apart Together-A New Possibility for Loving Couples. It’s an anthology of tales by couples in LAT relationships and available on Amazon.

  11. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    REALLY loved this article !!!!!

    Liked the LAT idea for sure…..where do I sign up ????? LOL

    Now I know that this LAT thing is not for everybody, but for us really independent types that need our space, especially us older folks, this would work for me. The best of both worlds !

    Great article !

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500


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