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Is living together really a good way to build a strong relationship? A research study found plenty of British couples have found the opposite to be true.
The study found 9% of British adults voluntarily live separately from their partner, some for personal space issues and others due to the complexities of modern relationships.
Known as “Living Apart Together,” or LAT, the trend was studied by Birkbeck at the University of London, the University of Bradford and the National Center for Social Research.
Research showed the majority of LATs are under 35. Only around 11% were over 55.
Nearly two-thirds of LATs said they live less than 10 miles apart from their partner and 86% of respondents in the survey reported seeing their significant other on a daily basis.
According to the study, about 1 in 10 LATs live apart due their jobs.
“Nowadays, very few people settle into a life-long relationship in their early 20s,” said Professor Sasha Roseneil, of Birkbeck’s Psychosocial Studies Department. “People have complex relationship histories, and they often carry with them the emotional legacies of divorce and separation.”
“Nine percent of British adults
live separately from their partner.”
Roseneil said nearly one-third of adults were not yet ready to co-habitate with their romantic partner, although many couples report hoping to do so at some point down the road.
One-third reported the emotional buffer as a factor, allowing for both greater individual freedom and less risk of a painful break. Children, family commitments, and work responsibilities were also listed as contributing factors.
The final third of LATs consists of respondents unable to live together due to outside circumstances, ranging from working in different areas to being unable to afford the transition.
“As a bloke, it’s quite a good situation,” one male respondent said. “I can do what I want and have the best of both worlds.”
Roseneil points out that findings should not undercut the level of commitment often displayed in these short-distance relationships.
“Most people in LAT relationships have a strong sense that they are a couple,” she said. “Many are in long-term relationships to which they are deeply committed.”
Read the full study courtesy of Birbeck at the University of London.