Learned about the concept, "Living Apart Together," (LAT), when I was surfing the 'net for "couples living apart happily," as I love my apartment and my town, Beacon, but miss having a woman (I am a cisgender Lesbian) to love and care about, because my community (Dutchess County, NY) is very TLGB-phobic. My additional reasons are that I am a loud snorer, and have some other habits that I am too embarrassed to talk about.
Interestingly, "Living Apart Together," (LAT) came up. Most of the information about it came from England, Australia, and Germany, with a little about it from the U.S. This is probably because the U.S. is a relatively sexually conservative country.
How it came about was in England, during their census (like ours, every ten years), they noticed starting in the year 2000, but dramatically increasing in 2010, a lot of handwritten comments on people's census forms, explaining they were somewhere between being single and living together. The British government hired three universities to better explain this new social trend.
Most of these couples were monogamous, and had various reasons for being in LATs.
Also, without knowing it, I realized that I was in a LAT! Was very much in love and went with a transwoman for ten years, until her friends started getting married (at that time, Holy Unions), and she wanted to get married, too. Was very happy to marry her, but my reasons for not marrying was I knew Straight and Gay disabled people lost their disability benefits due to marriage, fear of bankrupting my beloved (she wanted to marry me anyways), because she would then be responsible for my medical bills and medications (at that time, insurance did not cover Gay partners), she lived ten miles off the bus line (she was ok dropping me off at the nearest bus stop on the way to work), and, as a butch, I was not comfortable with a fem supporting me. Of course, TODAY, I would have had an "underground marriage," (very common even today for people on disability), and would have kept my public housing apartment, using it for storage and as a mail depot, while living with her, just visiting my apartment once a week to clean, check my phone messages and pick up the mail.
The advantages may be:
- Be able to avoid getting "underfoot" with one another
- Great for those who travel long distances for work
- Be able to keep the relationship "fresh" and "special"
- Be able to connect regularly by e-mail, telephone, texting, Skype and snail mail
- Be able to be more romantic by sending packages and gifts
The disadvantages may be:
- In a crisis, may not be able to get together as quickly as you may want to
- Both of you must NOT have trust issues
- Won't be able to share quality time together on a day to day basis
- May not be the best way to raise children
Realized that my relationship was a LAT, even before they had a name for it. Also, I realized had we moved in together, our relationship would have very likely been short lived.
Today, I am open to a LAT, either as a prelude to a living together arrangement or as a permanent arrangement. Would try a living together arrangement on a trial basis, and, if there are problems caused by living habits, return to the LAT arrangement.
Here are some links about LATs:
Would like to hear from others who have been in a LAT and/or living together arrangement and what you think about each!