Generally, people expect to one day get married and live in the same house with their partner. However, considering high divorce rates, does that help or hinder relationships? A growing trend shows couples living apart together and the results seem to have had a positive impact on relationships.
Living Apart Together is Trending
Sometime in 2019, Gwyneth Paltrow shared that she and husband, Brad Fulchuk had been living apart together. She revealed that the couple split their time between a shared home and their own homes.
Unsurprisingly, her announcement sparked debate across social media as people discussed the pros and cons of living apart together. People have a tendency to fear change, and there’s almost always a sense of skepticism when doing things unconventionally. As a result, many expressed concerns that living apart together may cause a lack of intimacy. On the contrary, Gwyneth revealed the opposite happened within her relationship. “I think it certainly helps with preserving mystery and also preserving the idea that this person has their own life,” she said.
Impacting Celebrities and Citizens Alike
Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t the only celebrity experimenting with the notion of ‘living apart together.’ Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton were next-door neighbors for the duration of their 13-year relationship. Other celebrity couples include David and Victoria Beckham and Julia Roberts and Danny Moder. However, celebrities aren’t the only people navigating the waters of living apart together with their life partners.
Canadian couple Kathie Brosemer and Louis St. Pierre were interviewed last year regarding their relationship status. “I’ve been in my house for almost 35 years, and I’ve got it just the way I love it. And when I met Louis six years ago, he was in a house about a mile away,” Kathie said. The arrangement has been working so well for the pair, that last year, Louis purchased the house next door to Kathie and their relationship appears to be thriving.
Gaining International Popularity
The trend of living apart together started in the US with nearly 4 million people admitting they happily live this way. Experts estimate the number has grown by 1/3 since the pandemic. The trend has even spread to other parts of the world. Reports reflect countries such as Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden have also adopted this way of life.
Read: Women Who Remain Single For Long End up The Happiest
Living Solo to Living Apart Together
Jana Hocking, a columnist for NY Post, shared a recent experience in which she established that getting into a relationship at all isn’t ideal for her, but how living apart together could solve that dilemma. She had gone out for New Year’s Eve and then spent most of the next day in bed, hungover and thankful she didn’t have to share her bed or space in those moments. She further explains that she appreciates her own space and solitude after a long workday. On the other hand, she acknowledges that there are times when you need someone to vent to, suggesting that the “honeymoon” phase can be extended with more dates and fewer fights about “putting the toilet seat down.”
Marriage, like everything else in life, has a list of pros and a list of cons. Pros include having a life partner, a support system, and possibly enough luck to share a life with your best friend. On the other hand, when people join their lives together, they no longer have an independent identity. Sleep habits become disrupted. People have to make adjustments and compromises for one another. Decorating the house, what to have for dinner, and even what shows to binge on a lazy Saturday.
Experts Note Some Benefits
It turns out that this trend may have been around longer than most people would expect. Back in 2011, a survey was conducted in Wisconsin in which 7,700 people were asked about their relationship status. All participants were aged 50 years or older. The findings were that 39% of unmarried participants were living apart from their significant other.
There will always be conflicting views. However, some experts agree that for the right personality type, this set up has the potential to be very successful.
“Some couples do very well with LAT, especially those who have very independent and active lives on their own,” says Toni Coleman. She is a published author and licensed divorce mediator in Virginia. Furthermore, her credentials include a license to practice psychotherapy. She further explained, “living together part-time allows both people to get a good night’s sleep their own way, without feeling they have to adjust to the other’s routine or habits.”
Society has expectations, new things trend online, conflicting relationships, and life advice comes from all angles. For a variety of reasons, people are unable to navigate their journey their own way, but living apart together with your partner is an option that supports having the “best of both worlds” regarding your relationship status.
Keep Reading: Why Modern Relationships Are Falling Apart So Easily Today
- “Living apart together: The new dating trend sweeping the US that might just save your relationship.” New York Post. Jana Hocking. January 5, 2023
- “Living apart together” is the new trend that might save your relationship. Mic. Natalia Lusinski. June 19, 2019
- “How couples living in separate homes say they have more success at love – national. Global News. Carol McGrath. March 12, 2022.