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LAT (living apart together) relationships

Updated on September 7, 2015
A.A. Zavala profile image

Served in the U.S. Army, attended and graduated from The University of Texas-Arlington with a bachelors in psychology and minor in sociology

Living apart together

LAT (living apart together) relationships could be considered families because there are two or more individuals involved in the living arrangement. It’s a form of cohabitation that fulfills the specific needs of the couple’s relationship. They have their own homes, but occasionally stay at each other’s house. Depending on the situation one of the p...artners in the relationship may share or have contact with the other person’s family, such as parents and children. But for the most part they spend a significant amount of time away from each other depending on their family circumstances or obligations. The LAT relationship is a new norm that resulted from the emergence of cohabitation, divorce and separation. Many people who became divorced wanted to start new relationships, but didn’t want to go thru the stress of another divorce. The new relationship gives couples flexibility to see be in relationships with other people, and still fulfill their obligations to family, children.


The convenience of the LAT relationship

People in LAT relationships choose this arrangement for several reasons. One reason is that they may have been involved a divorce. They may feel that if the get married or live with another person they could re-create the same environment or conditions for a divorce to occur again. Maintaining separate households allow them to have a place of their own away from their partner. Maybe the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” rings true here.
Another reason would be family obligations. An LAT couple may not want to impact the lives of their children by moving into a new household. Doing so may cause their kids to move away from friends and schools their attending. The new relationship may cause problems for the children, making them feel that their second best. Moving to another city may cause difficulties in finding a new job for one or both of the partners in a LAT relationship.

Retired couples in LAT relationships may not want to give up their own household. One of the partners would have to give up redundant furniture, sell cherished items with memories attached. If they have grandchildren, then they may have an emotional attachment to grandmas or grandpas house.

© 2009 Augustine A. Zavala

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