Why more and more married couples are choosing to live like this.

Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster. They don't live together all the time. But look how happy they are!
Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster. They don’t live together all the time. But look how happy they are!

 

The first example that springs to mind is Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake. The Aussie couple got married earlier this year and when they did, she took part of his name. But neither Zoe nor Hamish took each other’s addresses.

It’s widely known that while Hamish still lives in Melbourne where he works on his radio show with co-host Andy Lee, Zoe spends most of her time in Sydney.

In a couple of interviews with News Limited recently, Zoe’s said: “We are up and down and all over the place so I guess we will have to find ‘normal’ one day…. We want to live together. Hamish is worried about ending up like my parents who each spend time in their two homes in Bundanoon and Sydney. But that’s how their marriage has lasted.”

But Zoe and Hamish are not the only couple taking the less-traditional route.

Helena Bonham Carter and her husband Tim Burton live in adjacent homes in London. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow reportedly lived in homes on either side of New York’s Central Park back when they were married. And who knows how many people in Australia are living apart from their partners who are working in the mines.

New research has found that up to three million couples in the US are falling into the category of ‘living apart together.’ It might be choice or it might be circumstance but according to Nerve, those three million are three per cent of all couples in the US.

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And apparently it’s a number that’s rising. This from Nerve:

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. Married and neighbours.
Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. Married and neighbours.

The idea that if you like and love someone, then you ought to want to see their face every morning and night is a powerful cultural narrative.

But as gender roles continue to shift—now both men and women are equal partners capable of paying their own rent thank-you-very-much—the number of folks living independently while in a relationship is sure to rise.

Independent living arrangements within a committed, long-term relationship radically re-imagines what it is to be “serious” or “married”. It’s possible that this scenario will continue to play out more and more often.

There’s no doubt that technology has made living apart less painful; Skype, email and unlimited phone contracts are a big jump from the days when getting in contact meant sending a carrier pigeon or paying more than the price of a good bottle of vino to make a phone call.

But the question is, could you do it? Or – more to the point – would you want to?

We all know that spending a few nights away from your partner can often be a good thing – because it gives you time to miss them. But could you handle that time apart being more than just the occasional business trip?

This is an extract from piece by author Deborah Moggach. She wrote a piece for the UK’s Daily Mail called: “Want to stay in love? Then don’t stay together?”

Deborah and her partner lived apart for 19 years before he died. And while the arrangement was unconventional, she said it worked for them and kept romance alive:

Deborah Moggach is the author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Deborah Moggach is the author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

In a two-home arrangement, you are a guest in the other person’s house and guests are more polite. Better still, you don’t have all those conversations about the guttering and bills and who’s phoning the plumber.

Nor do you build up resentments about doing more than your fair share of the washing up. Domesticity is a relationship killer.

People nowadays seem to move in together very quickly, but I think you should have a long, hard look before you jump into buying a bed together, because sharing a home changes a relationship.For a start, you no longer get to enjoy romantic arrivals and departures.

When you don’t live together you always kiss when you’re reunited and you have lots of stored up news. You don’t take each other for granted. You dress up for each other rather than slobbing around in a tracksuit.

Whatever works, right?

Do you think it’s okay for couples to live apart? Or do you believe couples who are in love should want to spend all their time together?

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