I was discussing an interesting topic with a close friend of mine and it made me wonder a bit. The topic of discussion was whether or not it is beneficial to live with your significant other. My friend and her boyfriend of 5 years currently do not live together and rarely discuss living together either. What surprised me is the fact that they both moved into their own apartments while they were in a relationship. It’s actually referred to living apart together (LAT).
At the beginning of their relationship, the goal was to have their relationship grow into something serious and eventually move in together. Now, 5 years into the relationship, my friend feels it’s time to make that progress. After listening to her story and doing my own research, I’ve learned that there are some advantages of living apart and it’s not as uncommon as we may believe.
The most common advantages of living together as opposed to living apart include saving money and it adds an advantage to getting to know one another better. But let’s focus on the advantages of living apart together (LAT) when you are in a committed relationship.
Comfort. Who doesn’t like to be comfortable? Your comfort will be altered when sharing a space with your significant other. Everything from rules, space, and possessions will be different whether you chose to or not. Surprisingly, according to a recent survey I came across, 23 percent of couples (that’s 2.2 million people) in a serious relationship live apart, whether by choice or circumstance, and this number is growing rapidly.
Excitement. When you live together some of the excitement in the relationship slowly dies down. There are no more useless stories you were dieing to tell your significant other from not seeing him/her for a couple of days. No more passionate kisses when you finally reunited after days of not seeing each other. Instead, you are forced to see that same person every day and those romantic arrivals and departures are gone.
Independence. You almost find yourself being dependent on one another when you live together. You rely on each other for different responsibilities such as household chores. When one lives on their own, there is no pressure to clean up the kitchen, take the trash out, or put down the toilet seat. When a couple lives together, you are expected to do “your part” and that can quickly become annoying if you aren’t as responsible as your partner.
Excess Baggage. Honestly, a lot of older couples may have their own family and career. Sharing the burden of your partner’s family and care may not be something you are ready for. For example, there are individuals who have children and their partners may have children too, it may not be to ideal to put the families together. Same concept goes for people with careers. Having to choose between career, family or partner may be too stressful for one individual. Older couples are more likely to be set in their ways and less willing to adapt to a new environment.
We live in a time where people tend to move in quickly with one another and move out just as quick if not quicker. I believe before moving in with your partner please understand that your relationship will change whether you like it or not. Be sure that you are someone that is willing to compromise for the better of the relationship. Moving in with your partner means you are pretty much closing the deal in your relationship. Be conscious and remember to make smart decisions that will ultimately benefit you and your relationship. Lastly, remember that living together isn’t always a must in a relationship, it’s a privilege!