There’s a lot we do and definitely don’t know about what goes on behind closed doors and often it isn’t because it’s shameful, but because people are too quick to judge. If people don’t follow the norm, it seems they are labelled as odd or weird, but maybe they are just doing what works for them: ‘I love you, but I love my life too.’
Couples today are just not opting for separate beds, but often separate houses and if you can and want to, there is nothing wrong with that. There are actually many positives. Some people are probably thinking: ‘When will these kinds of people make it real?’
Living Apart Together (abbreviation: LAT) is a term to describe couples who have an intimate relationship but live at separate addresses. LAT couples account for around 10% of adults in Britain, a figure which equates to over a quarter of all those not married or cohabiting. In Australia, 7% to 9% of the adult population has a partner who lives elsewhere, according to research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. In the US, 3.6 million married adults live apart from their partners, according to the US Census Bureau. In Canada, 7% of adults are in a stable relationship but don’t share an address, according to Statistics Canada.
‘Walking marriages’ are popular in Beijing and this is where a male partners live elsewhere and makes a nightly visit. A similar arrangement in Saudi Arabia is called misyar marriage. This involves the husband and wife living separately but meeting regularly.
Many pressures influence these decisions, such as past relationships, parental responsibilities, real estate realities, cultural customs, personal environmental preferences and career choices. There are likely as many explanations as there are couples pursuing this choice.
What is real is different for everybody and if some people need to feel secure by doing what is considered ‘the norm’ then nobody will judge them so why judge would they want to judge anyone else! People only need to judge if their situation isn’t so positive!
Traditionally marriage is sacred and couples must not live together before hand, but is that practical? Does it really matter? Religiously I know it is marriage that is preferred, but does that suit everyone?
I think society 20 years from now will be more interesting than it currently is because people are constantly breaking traditions and choosing to do what feels right rather than what is considered right.
I think there are more important issues in a relationship than the living arrangements. I don’t think a relationship will break down because couples are living apart. I think this situation can only spark positive outcomes.
A friend once said to me: “You can’t have the best of both worlds.”
I said: “Of course I can.”