L.A.T. (Living Apart Together) is the new age way for couples to be together without living together. Married and unmarried couples alike are taking to this lifestyle because it offers a great deal of freedom while still giving each person someone to share their lives with. L.A.T. is making its way around the world, from famous movie stars to everyday people. Divorce rates are staggering in the United States alone.DivorceRate.Org reports that 50% of first marriages in the United States will end in divorce (as a likely scenario). This number sounds high. It is nothing compared to second and third marriages, which come in at 67% and 74% respectively. L.A.T. might help resolve some of the issues that are associated with the high levels of divorce.
Living apart together allows each person to keep their own home (space) while continuing in a loving and exclusive relationship with each other. Each person is responsible for his or her own finances and the running of the home. The couple spends a great deal of time together, and then goes their respective homes. L.A.T. can work wonders for a failing relationship or in a relationship in which each person prefers to live alone, yet have a partner.
Advantages of L.A.T. (Living Apart Together)
Couples who live together do not have much time apart. In fact, work may be the only time apart that the two might get. In order to have a good relationship, it is important to spend time separately. Spending time apart allows the couple to miss each other and to engage in activities that both may not enjoy together. Often, in marriages or when living together without a marriage, one or both of the “team” will begin to get frustrated with the other party. That frustration can grow if there is no time apart from each other. It becomes like a fungus that will not go away. In order to get rid of the “fungus”, many couples end up in divorce court. L.A.T. can virtually eliminate this problem.
Everyone on earth has a bad habit. Most people have more than one. When two people from different backgrounds come together in a living situation, those habits can make the situation difficult. For instance, the man may prefer the house to be clutter free while the woman does not mind the disarray. Most people have a clear understanding of what they feel is clutter. These two types of people might find it easier to live in separate spaces, yet they have enough in common that they wish to have a relationship. That is where L.A.T. comes in. Living apart together allows each person to have his or her own habits without getting in the way of the other person. Habits can be very difficult to break when they have been in practice a lifetime.
Privacy is the first thing people give up when they live together. This is not generally an issue when the couple first gets married. It develops over time. Five minutes alone can be a difficult thing to find when people live together. That is not an altogether bad thing; however, everyone should have private time for himself or herself. Privacy is not just about spending time alone though. For instance, she likes to keep a journal; he wants to know what the journal says. He thinks he has the right to read the journal (which in fact, he does not). He cannot help himself. He sneaks into her journal to read it. She wrote things in the journal that hurt his feelings and lashes out at her. The problem is she wrote something when she was angry. She wrote it to get it off her mind without causing a problem. L.A.T. would allow her to have her private journal without his knowledge. She was not doing anything wrong. A journal is just her outlet.
Most people can come up with a scenario of their own that describes just this type of privacy issue. Privacy issues such as wanting to take a bubble bath without interruption, talking to a friend on the phone, or even walking through the house in underwear can become a major source of tension in the home. Living apart together allows each person to do as he/she wishes, while continuing with the relationship in a loving manner rather than an grudging one.
In a world where working at home has become the norm, L.A.T. can serve a couple well. Work at home people are not the only people who benefit though. Professionals that work outside the home have benefited greatly from the extra time allotted by living apart together. On the “Elle” website, Kimberly Kaye, a 26-year-old professional, describes how she and her live-in boyfriend decided to live the L.A.T. life. She conveys that she received a promotion on her job outside of the home within months of living separately from her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, who freelances from home, has built his business tremendously. She attributes this to the fact that they have more time to concentrate on certain factors of their careers without someone interrupting.
When two people fall in love, it is still difficult to bring the two worlds together without some issues. Add a mix of children to the equation and it is a recipe for disaster. Two families that begin to live together are often very explosive. Children will often fight the concept of yet another adult having a “say” in their lives. When using the L.A.T. idea, couples are able to have their cake and eat it too. In other words, the children do not have to get used to another adult setting down rules. Even people who have similar concepts on raising children have differences. Those differences can cause extreme problems in a blended family home. Living apart separately allows each parent to deal with his or her own children without “interference” from the other.
When a couple moves into a home together, everything changes. Décor even changes. Most people have an idea of how they wish their home to appear. This is an especially important area of the living apart together idea for people who have been divorced. People who have already been through a marriage have learned, in many cases, that living without a partner in the home suits them just fine. The couple has to address many issues when cohabitating. Pet peeves come to mind. For instance, this writer prefers that the closets and cupboards stay organized at all times. Not every person feels this way though. When another person is involved, the cupboards ultimately become unorganized. The cupboard organizer becomes frustrated at the lack of organization in the other person. It boils down to a fight over Tupperware containers. What is the answer? L.A.T. (living apart together) is the perfect solution if a relationship is necessary. The cupboards will stay straightened because she is the only one using them.
Sleeping habits deserve a special mention. Snoring, night owls, early risers and late night bathroom runners are often disturbing to their partners and vice versa. The night owl cannot understand why the early riser has to be awake so early. The early riser cannot understand how people can sleep so late. Living apart together eliminates that worry altogether. The only exception is when the couple chooses to spend the night together.
The first year a couple lives together is usually the best. It is after the first year that things begin to decline. That is when people would greatly benefit from the L.A.T. lifestyle. Love does not cease after the first year. It does take the rose-colored glasses off though. Living apart together may not be for everyone. It is a good option for those who are not ready for a full commitment of marriage or who can see how L.A.T. can enhance their relationship with their partner. It works best for those who have an established life and who are secure that the relationship will not only survive, but also grow because they are living apart together. People who prefer the confines of a traditional marriage will likely disregard this idea. That is in regards to those who prefer to live with their partner. Unfortunately, for some it could mean the end of an otherwise excellent relationship. The idea of L.A.T. does not mean the lack of a relationship, but the building of one.
The definition of “love” has nothing to do with living together. Two people who live together do not necessarily love one another. Two people can live in opposite sides of the world and love each other completely. Two people living in the same home can despise each other. The saddest part of the latter is that in most cases, neither party will admit it until it is too late. Humans have a funny nature. They fall in love with the person they meet, get married or move in together, and then spend the rest of their lives trying to change that thing they most loved about the person to start with. It is a perverted way of life, yet most of us have a habit of doing it. In such cases, L.A.T. (Living Apart Together) makes the most sense.