Living apart together, the new way to be in a relationship

Living apart together, the new way to be in a relationship

What is living apart together?

Living apart together is a concept that has recently gained in traction to solve some common relationship difficulties. It is the idea that those in intimate relationships need not share all living and sleeping spaces but may feel more comfortable living apart. For some couples this may mean having separate spaces in the same home while for others it may mean living in separate homes nearby to one another. Some people find that this works for them on a temporary basis while for others it is a permanent state.


Common reasons for living apart together

People decide to live apart together for many reasons, such as:

Later life relationships: Living apart together is thought to be more common in people over the age of 50. Such couples may have been single for many years before starting a new relationship. They may want to retain their home and lifestyle. Alternatively, couples who have been together for many years may find themselves moving towards living apart together, perhaps within the same house. If they would otherwise spend all day and night together this may provide them with the opportunity to come back together to share their day in a similar way to couples who spend the day apart for work.

Preferring to maintain independence: Some couples may be cautious of overcommitting, either at an early stage of a relationship, due to previous difficult experiences or due to a desire to remain financially independent.

Having young children: for partners who have children from previous relationships, living apart together may be helpful in maintaining stability in their children’s lives. If moving in together would mean the children changing schools, losing friends or disrupting their lifestyle then parents may find that living apart together works well for them.

Wanting to maintain excitement: the honeymoon period of relationships may include more structured and exciting dates and more affection and sex. For many couples this experience changes over time. Some people prefer the stability and contentment of living together, while others prefer to maintain the experience of the early parts of the relationship by remaining apart.

Having different goals, hobbies or careers: some people’s hobbies or careers can only be achieved in certain geographical areas or require a certain type of home. These couples may find that living apart together suits their lifestyles better and allows them to feel more fulfilled.

Having dependent family members: if one or more partners is responsible for another person, for example, a parent with physical or mental health problems then it may make more sense for a couple to live apart together. This will allow the cared for person to maintain structure and any practical support they need as well as giving the carer space to go for a break when needed.


If you would like to discuss living apart together or relationship difficulties further then call Dr Julie Hannan now on 07530 854530.