Is Living Apart Together Dating Right For You?

If you feel a little bitter about your partner's share of the chores, you're not alone. According to Psych News Daily, arguments about household chores plague 72% of couples who live together. Cohabiting couples spend an average of 75 minutes arguing about chores every month. Even if you and your partner don't often tussle over tasks, it's normal to wish for a little more personal space and alone time sometimes. 

They say good fences make good neighbors — could separate residences make better relationships? Living Apart Together is a new relationship trend that many couples are happily embracing, including both dating and married couples. The number of married people who intentionally live separately has risen more than 25% since the year 2000, and approximately 2.95% of all married Americans follow an L.A.T. lifestyle (via The New York Times). Does moving into your own apartment sound like a freeing dream or a lonely nightmare? Before signing the lease on your own place, let's explore what it means to be L.A.T. dating and some of the benefits and drawbacks of this lifestyle. 

The spoils of solitude

Couples who decide to live separately often weigh the pros and cons before taking the plunge. As it turns out, there are numerous potential benefits to living alone. For one, women who live alone spend slightly more time doing the things they enjoy and are much more likely to be satisfied with their friendships (via Psychology Today). Having your own space could also reignite your romance, allowing you to plan dates and build anticipation between encounters. Even famous people are in on the trend; journalist Terry Gross says that her L.A.T. relationship taught her, "I didn't need somebody with me at all times to validate my experience. That I could enjoy something on my own, I could enjoy eating by myself, sitting by myself, or exercising by myself, or taking a walk by myself" (via PopSugar).

Having your own place obviously means more time to be alone, but it could also mean less cleaning up after your partner. For this reason, living alone may be especially beneficial to women in heterosexual relationships. A study by Harvard University found that both men and women can identify when a room is messy. However, men will only spend an average of 10 minutes tidying up every day, while women spend about an hour and 20 minutes doing this every day. According to Psychology Today, men tend to reap more benefits in a cohabiting straight relationship than women; married men live longer, are healthier, and spend significantly more time pursuing hobbies than single men. 

Some downsides to dividing

L.A.T. isn't for everyone. For most people, it can be very challenging to be separated from your romantic partner — even for a few days. To determine if L.A.T. dating is right for you, you'll need to consider some of its drawbacks. Firstly, L.A.T is an atypical lifestyle, so you can expect to receive a lot of confused comments from friends and family, especially if you were previously cohabiting with your partner. Living independently could be difficult if you decide to get married or have children together. L.A.T. relationships also require an immense amount of trust, as living alone makes it much easier for partners to cheat on each other

Finally, an L.A.T. relationship simply isn't economically feasible for a vast majority of people. The median cost of a one-bedroom apartment in America is over $1,216 per month, with some cities costing up to $3,000. (via Insider). Unless you are willing to split the rent with roommates, L.A.T. requires both partners to have a rather high income. Luckily, there are some more budget-friendly L.A.T. alternatives for couples craving personal space. Separate bedrooms are a currently trending solution that can help you get a better night's sleep, personalize your space, and have more alone time (via Realtor). At the very least, it's healthy to have a designated area, like a computer desk or reading nook that is yours and yours alone.