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You're Doing What?: Why "Living Apart Together" is the New Relationship Trend
There's a trend among Baby Boomers who are are in monogamous dating relationships: It's called "Living Apart Together," or LAT. These "Apartners," as they're called are perfectly happy in their coupled relationship -- they just want to have their own bed at the end of the day. It seems this phenomenon could have some potential pitfalls, but there also are some very positive outcomes of two people living apart while being together. Read on to learn our top three reasons for why "Living Apart Together" is becoming the new trend among Baby Boomers in relationships.
Reason #1: Financial stability is important
At this stage in life, Baby Boomers want financial stability. They've probably worked hard to own a home and to establish themselves as they prepare for retirement. If they've been through a painful or contentious divorce, then they don't want to go through one again. That thought leads them to continue maintaining their own homes and financial resources. They can share in a committed relationship, but they don't have to share the big assets of their lives at this stage in life.
Reason #2: Women want their space
It's true that most "Apartners" begin with women suggesting it. Why? Because men who are approaching later life traditionally want their wives or partners to take care of them. Living apart gives women the freedom to break apart the traditional gender norms. Of course, these couples will take care of one another -- but the burden is not on the female partner to assume traditional cultural roles in a household when two people are sharing the burden of work. They take care of each other when they are together and take care of themselves when they are apart.
Reason #3: Partners want freedom to choose
Getting older means getting accustomed to a particular way of thinking and being. Yes, we all can change and adapt -- but by the time one is in the 50s or 60s, there are certain changes one doesn't want to make. Living apart allows each partner to live with his or her own idiosyncrasies without having to change. It also goes a long way in keeping the passions and excitement alive in the relationship because the partners are not living with each other enough for those annoying habits and traits really to interfere. There potentially is less arguing and more focus on advancing what is good and energizing about the relationship instead of arguing about why someone didn't make the bed or wash the last coffee cup.
In conclusion, once de-mystified, "Living Apart Together" is a trend that actually makes sense for where Baby Boomers are in their lives. This generation is traditional yet they are open to trying new things. They want to experience all life has to offer as they head into their retirement years. They want comfort and surety. They want stability and excitement at the same time -- and maintaining two households following messy divorces can give them that stability while they pursue what is fun and passionate about a new relationship.
Living apart doesn't mean these couples are unstable or uncommitted. It can be a perplexing trend for younger generations to understand because living together means saving money. But "Apartners" probably don't need to save as much money. Many of them have saved their entire lives, and now are ready to experience fun in life. That alone actually could mean that "Apartners" are smart.
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