Together, but separately, that is, the compounds of the LAT. “I don’t want to hear what he is doing in the bathroom in the morning”

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Many people will probably agree that the greatest test of the quality and durability of a relationship is living under one roof. That only then, in common everyday life, can the partners really get to know each other well. It comes as no surprise to anyone that the routine and responsibilities of having a shared outlet finally emerge in their lives. Suddenly it turns out that he prefers to go to bed earlier and is disturbed by the lights on, and she cannot function without the TV constantly running in the background, which in turn drives him crazy. It turns out that he doesn’t pay the bills until he gets a reprimand, and she does it scrupulously to the day. In turn, she is not bothered by dirty clothes scattered around the house, and he does not understand how not to throw them into the washing machine right away. And then what? Because apart from these everyday details, they create a successful relationship, are happy with each other, and plan their future together. Maybe YEARS?

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One relationship, two addresses

LAT, which stands for “Living Apart Together”, means roughly the same as “together but apart”. This is a type of relationship where partners live at different addresses.

It must be remembered that this relationship model is not invented today. It has been known for a very long time. The term was coined by Michel Berkiel, a Dutch journalist who, in the 1980s, called his relationship with his beloved

– explains Ela Grabarczyk, psychologist, therapist, mediator from the Warsaw Psychological Assistance Laboratory Salamandra. He says statistics show that more and more people of all ages are consciously choosing to live in LAT relationships.

It is estimated that approx. 10% of people live in this way. societies in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. In Germany, this percentage is even greater and reaches 14 percent. In the UK, the number of couples choosing the LAT model is around 10 percent. Most often they are people under 35 years of age. We do not have such research on Poles yet

– he adds. Why don’t some couples want to live together? There are many reasons.

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Living for two houses

Dorota is raising her son from a previous relationship on her own and for five years she has been meeting Tomek, who shares the care of his daughter with his ex-partner. They create a successful relationship, their children get along well, all four of them often go to the cinema, go on vacation, even have a joint account for such expenses. But they live separately every day.

It’s not about children at all. I value independence, I need a lot of freedom and the feeling that I am the master of my own time. I do not want to argue about unspent garbage or unattended laundry. I don’t want to hear what he does in the bathroom every morning. Tomek has the same

– Dorota assures.

Besides, we have completely different lifestyles and we are aware of it. I know what a shared flat would end up with. Sometimes one of us stays with the other one for the night, but always comes back home in the morning. It is good as it is, we do not want to change it. We don’t want to risk

– he adds. He also says that, despite everything, they can count on mutual support in any situation. They help themselves when they get sick, when there are problems with a child, etc. When something breaks in her house, he comes to the rescue with tools. In turn she settles taxes for him and sometimes cooks something “to go”.

Above all, independence

Models of interpersonal and family relations are changing very dynamically today. In the past, a relationship like LAT was considered an ordinary romance, an artistic bohemian relationship or just a relationship of two weirdos. Today, it is a consciously chosen model of relationship that allows partners to maintain independence and is tailored to their individual needs. So it suits individualists, independent people and those who need more personal space, are not afraid of loneliness. But not only.

Many people forming LAT relationships are people who have already been in a relationship and have stated that the model of living together, for some reason, has not worked. The decision about this relationship model stems from the belief that living separately will minimize the risk of difficulties with which they have struggled in previous relationships

– believes the psychologist.

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Another group that prefer this type of relationship, at least as a temporary solution, are single parents with single children. Before they decide to live together, they want to be sure of their decisions for the sake of their offspring

– adds Ela Grabarczyk.

Passion does not like routine

We know it for a long time. People in LAT relationships often admit that passion does not cease under the pressure of everyday affairs and troubles. Partners are more attractive to each other, devote more attention to each other, are more sensitive to the needs of the other. The time they spend together is a conscious decision, something special, not something everyday. Also the one in bed. At the same time, however, they have a sense of security resulting from being in a relationship.

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Fragile balance – beware of jealousy

There are no quarrels about dirty socks scattered about, too loud TV or unpaid bills on time. Each of the partners lives in their own way and in this everyday life they are basically responsible only for themselves. It sounds like an idyll, but such a relationship also has its darker sides.

This model is actually quite demanding, it only works if the partners trust each other and they both want to live together, but separately. This is a solution for people who want to share intimacy and at the same time enjoy their own autonomy. And living together provides more opportunities for intimacy and receiving support, both instrumental and emotional, on a daily basis

– believes Ela Grabarczyk.

For people who are ambivalent about living together but living apart, the shape of the LAT relationship can create discomfort, dissatisfaction, or a sense of insecurity. Reluctance to live together may be interpreted as reluctance to be together

– adds the psychologist. It also highlights the fact that if jealousy or the will to control the other person creeps into such a relationship, the balance can be disturbed. But this applies to the relationship of partners in any type of relationship. Regardless of whether they have a common address or not.