Living Apart Together


‘Living apart together’ – the LAT relationship – is a recent phenomenon, which seems to have gained traction. The LAT relationship is a sexually intimate, unmarried relationship, which bucks the popular trend of unmarried cohabitation. Instead, couples living in LAT relationships have separate households, but visit frequently. This seems to suit couples who are not ready, or able, to live together, or to marry.

What sets the LAT relationship apart, is that many of the participants may see this as a permanent situation.

I am not sure if this LAT relationship style represents a positive evolution in human affairs. But it appears to be another rejection of marriage, or even of living together, in favor of casual unmarried sex.


Never heard this term before… but there is a couple in my town who have been together for +20 years, have 2 children together, yet still live in separate households. I don’t get it :shrug:


Definition of Living Apart Together, from

living apart together
n. A situation in which an unmarried couple live in separate residences while maintaining an intimate relationship; a person in such a relationship. —adj. Also: LAT.
—live apart together v.

Example Citations:
Another twist on the traditional family is that one out of every 12 Canadians was living apart from a partner in 2001 — most of them young adults. Many were living with their parents, the report found. In all, eight per cent of the population aged 20 and over were part of what is being termed LAT, living apart together, relationships, said Statistics Canada.

While most of those living apart from a partner — 56 per cent — were in their 20s, 19 per cent were in their 30s, 14 per cent in their 40s and 11 per cent were 50 and over. The survey also found that 36 per cent of those living apart lived with their parents.

Many Canadians involved in such relationships see the arrangement as a precursor to marriage; for others careers mean this type of union may be more permanent. About one-half of living apart together couples expect to live common law in the future.
—“Fewer want traditional family: Statistics Canada,” The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario), June 11, 2003

My bloke and I already exist happily as LATs (Living Apart Together) and there are compelling environmental reasons for our decision. Noise pollution, for one. Our arguments are the sort of things that keep decibel-measuring men from the council employed full-time. Also, we both know my way of life would damage my bloke’s mental environment. When he discovered I keep my screwdriver kit in an Alannah Hill velvet purse, fear showed in his eyes and talk of cohabiting ended. I think the poor man imagined himself arranged in the corner, draped in a beaded throw.
—Amy Cooper, “Changing Places,” Sun Herald (Sydney), March 9, 2003

Earliest Citation:
Frederick Barthelme is adept at writing short stories — until he tries to turn one into a novel. But that is precisely what he has done with his fifth book, Two Against One, his portrait of a modern marriage teetering on the brink of relapse. It tells the story of one weekend in the lives of Edward and Elise, a separated couple considering such yuppie marriage remedies as living apart together and living together with a third.
—Jason Sherman, “Inside this flabby novel lurks a taut short story,” The Toronto Star, March 11, 1989


I thought this kinda thing was common knowledge :confused: :stuck_out_tongue:

No seriously! It’s exactly what I did, and what every college student in a “relationship” does. It allows for the sin to be committed, for the nice soppy love feelings to be had, but without the real committment. I was in this kind of arrangement for 8 months with my ex. We lived apart, but in those 8 months we probably spent not more than 15 nights apart from each other. I had clothes there, my books, food in the fridge. She likewise for me. She even had a “side of the bed” with her own table and drawer :eek: It’s perfect isn’t it! Bleh. Horrible, hate bringing it up. But yup, it happens.


People create all sorts of relationships for themselves. For example, my husband’s parents, though happily married, live separately because they get on each other’s nerves. They have dinner together a couple nights each week and they spend the weekends together at their beach house. But, each has their own apartment.


Yeah, I think the only thing that’s ‘new’ about this is that it has a name. We just called it, uh, ‘dating’. :shrug:Sometimes, I wish my husband and I could have this relationship. I don’t want him to live far, ideally it would be right next door, and I don’t want to not be married to him, but man, I sure do miss having a place all to myself! LOL!


The term, Living Apart Together, has some currency with sociologists and writers who describe dating trends.

LAT intentionally differs from the current norm of cohabitation. Even most young adult Catholics, from what I hear, cohabit before they marry. Parents frequently advise their children to cohabit for a while, before getting married.

The LAT model suggests that some people want the nookie, but not the daily companionship.

That sounds like an arm’s length sexual relationship to me, one that will not tolerate a deeper and closer form of commitment.

Maybe LAT is another stage of relationship development progression; ascending from casual dating, to steady dating, to LAT, to cohabitation, to marriage.


Then you have another flavor of this madness - the un-divorced. Those who are separated yet don't get divorced.

What a crazy mixed up world this is.



There is another name for the un-divorced.

They are married.


[quote="Magickman, post:9, topic:210009"]
There is another name for the un-divorced.

They are married.


Uh yeah - I know that. I'm using the terminology of the article. :rolleyes:



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