Living apart together (LAT), a current a lifestyle choice of Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Brad Falchuk, has got some attention of late, but what does it mean for the rest of us? Is anyone doing it and is it as good as it sounds?
My partner and I are currently in a LAT relationship. In fact, we don’t just live apart together, we are long distance LATs, meaning that every second weekend, one of us is on a plane somewhere between Melbourne and Sydney.
Having both exited other relationships, my partner and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve discussed it at length, from every angle and have answered the questions of many of our concerned friends, who use words such as unsustainable; or phrases such as I like coming home to someone. Which is great, if that works for you, but what it if doesn’t?
What if your greatest fear isn’t going home alone, but your passionate relationship becoming that of siblings or flatmates? For some, companionship is everything, and we aren’t judgemental of the traditional relationships that have dominated our society, but what if there was another way - if two people chose it?
I have two children under 10. In all honesty, I don’t want my partner here in the middle of the week when I’m making lunches; the kids are fighting and I’m trying to remember which night the bins go out. Similarly, he doesn’t want me in his apartment asking him what time he’s coming home from work; and neither of us have decided how much he should or shouldn’t be involved in the parenting of my children.
My entire life has been about trying to fit myself into boxes that have never fit me well. What I do love, is running out of the airport every fortnight to see him, that every kiss still feels like the first, that when we are together, we are completely soaked in one another’s presence because we know that we have many days ahead of us where we can work on that report, sit in front of the television or figure out which day the bins go out.
With two children who require help with homework, school drop offs and pick-ups and gymnastic runs, I never feel lonely. What I’m learning, is that it’s not the number of hours in a day that count, it’s what you do with them.