Dopers over 40 in a LAT, tell me about your relationship.

I want to hear from Dopers like me. You’re over 40. Over 50, over 60. Your life is full with work, family, friends, interests. You have kids, or you don’t, but either way you are sure you don’t want to have more kids with a new partner. You’re happy where you live and are reluctant to move out of town. You may or may not be able to afford to live alone (with your kids) in your house.

You look at your life, and you find that the old model -meet, love, and share money, time, house- does not necessarily apply anymore.

You’re basically free to ponder what you want from a new relationship. How a relationship fits in with the co-parenting, the care for aging parents, the career or job, the interests you want to develop, and maybe even the freedom and adventure you found in dating at 40 or 50. Now let’s assume that the woman or man you date might ponder the same question and that you basically can come to any compromise you both like.

So… what does your LAT-relationship look like?

State the (ballpark) ages of the partners and any of the kids involved, please.

I’ll go first. I’m 51, and 50% coparenting my son of about 10. half the time he’s with his dad, who lives a 10 minute bike ride away. I work 4 days a week.
I met a man, 52, three sons, aged 11-17. He has them every other weekend and sometimes an evening during the week. He’s a teacher and part-timing while looking for a new job. He likes his alone time and so do I.

Our compromise is that we see each other on
-our kid-less weekends, but only on Saturday night and Sunday. Friday and Saturday are for hobbies and chores.
-either monday or tuesday evening for dinner, at his place or mine.
-occasionally in between. We live a five minute walk from each other. That is not a coincidence: when I was dating, I looked for someone in a 10 minute radius. I’m not losing hours of my life again commuting and I don’t want to be in a position where someone has to move house. Especially with kids, that is not doable.
-we are starting to do the occasional activity with all the youngest boys together. The 14 and 17 year old have their own activities or what to stay home gaming.

What is your compromise?

What is LAT?

Google: “Couples living apart together (LAT) have an intimate relationship but live at separate addresses. LAT couples account for around 10% of adults in Britain, a figure which equates to over a quarter of all those not married or cohabiting.”

It’s a TLA.

Bad kayaker, bad! :smiley:


It is also an anagram of TLA! (I initially thought LAT was a test for acceptance to Law School)

Ah… “Friends with Benefits”.

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here

I think that’s a different thing entirely.

My Dad’s in a LAT. He’s in his early 60s, still working, owns his own home, and he’s got a girlfriend that similarly works and owns her own home, and they date each other exclusively and come to events as a couple but don’t live together. Dad has buried two wives (including my mother), and so is a bit dubious about committing again.

I can’t answer all of Maastricht’s questions for them, but there’s no children living at home involved, and no current parental care issues (There may be for her, I don’t know, but I haven’t heard of any).

They’ve been going like this for a while now, and there’s no particular suggestion that they will move in together.

is Living Apart Together such a strange notion, then? I’m surprised it is only 10% of adults in Britain.

Yes, I mean like Teuton’s dad.

I looked up Dutch numbers, and LAT-ers are registered as technically single, (= not married or cohabiting) but having a relationship. From self-reporting, of those "single"people about 25 % is in a LAT relationship.

My gf and I lived apart but were in a committed relationship for about a year. Our homes were 3 miles apart. I would finish doing my yard-work, then I’d go over and help with hers.

Selling my house and moving in with her made things much simpler (and cheaper).

Yes. The inclusion of both the words Apart and Together defies logic. I’m not 100% sure there’s not a term for this arrangement in the US, but if there is, it’s definitely not that. Most people I know simply say they don’t live with their SO.

I think that, in the US, at least, it’s at least an **unusual **notion for being the ongoing state of a long-term relationship.

Even for those who are over the age of 40, with already-established lives, who find themselves in a new relationship, I’d hazard a guess that most (though certainly not all) eventually do decide to (or at least plan to) move in together (and possibly get married), for tax and budgeting benefits, as well as closer companionship.

That said, my father-in-law is, I guess, in an LAT sort of relationship, and has been for the better part of a decade. He married his third wife (after two divorces) about 30 years ago, and 20 years ago, he and his wife moved into a new community. They became friends with the couple who had the house next door to theirs – but, this being South Florida, their neighbors were only at their Florida house part of the year (they spent summers back home on Long Island).

Anyway, ten years ago, my stepmother-in-law died after a long battle with cancer. The husband of the neighboring couple had died not too long before that. My father-in-law, and his now-widowed neighbor, began doing social things together, and clearly enjoying the companionship.

Both of them have multiple grown children, none of whom live in Florida (though the neighbor still spends her summers back on Long Island, and one of her daughters lives nearby there). They’ve maintained the two houses, though one possible factor there is that I don’t know if their friendship has actually morphed into a romantic relationship or not – my wife is too freaked out by the idea to ask her father about it, and he’s never tipped his hand about it. (FWIW, he’s 80, and she’s in her mid 70s.)

For myself, if I found myself at age 69 alone and managed to find someone interested in me for an exclusive relationship, and vice versa, I’m pretty sure I would want to live together. There’s the economics of it (I can afford to live alone, but sharing expenses would be a boon to other activities like travel) but mostly it’s the intimacy of a personal relationship in the same place that I crave. Even if we didn’t sleep in the same bed or room, it’s great to have someone else in the house at least most of the time, someone more than a roommate or companion. Not that it’s necessary to jump in together right away, but after a few months of growing love and intimacy it would seem natural to me.

I’m not meaning to cast aspersions, but a living apart relationship seems to be less of a commitment than a living together relationship. Some people need or want more privacy and/or independence, I guess, than I do. I’m not sure what else would drive that living arrangement.

eta: forgot to mention, neither elderly parents nor children are a factor in my life, and I doubt they would be in any prospective partner’s. If they were, it might change things.

I was thinking it was “life after thirty”, but that didn’t fit with the thread title.

Personally, I’ve managed to avoid all these complications by living apart separately.

Honestly? This is the first I’ve heard of it. Or almost the first. I don’t know anybody IRL in this sort of situation that I could think of. I think I’ve heard of a couple relationships here on this message board like that, but that’s about it. For me? I don’t get the point, but to each their own. I could see how it would work for some people.

Huh… thats a cultural difference then. Honestly, some people in the US move in or marry after mere months? Many Dutch couples don’t even marry untill they’ve had a kid.

Maybe it has to do with the ease or difficulty to find housing or income. In the Netherlands, tax and social security benefits often work against living together.

I suspect that maybe some US singles are LAT-ers in disguise…

In the US, I believe, social security benefits can be better with marriage (surviving spouse can receive deceased spouse’s SS amount if higher than his/her own) and are never worse - individual SS payments are always the higher of the two possibilities, what one has earned for oneself or what one is entitled to as a spouse; income taxes can go either way, depending on the relative income of the two people.

Not to shock you, but my husband and I (then only recently lovers or partners by description) moved in together almost immediately, although that may have been affected by the fact that he had no permanent address at the time. Risky, but we’ve made it work for over 26 years.

Are there other benefits to living separately in the Netherlands, other than taxes and social security? It seems like the extra expense of keeping two establishments would outweigh those.

panache45 & husband are in a “living together next door to each other” relationship; swampbear and OYKW were LAT for years. But being gay and having met each other when marrying each other wasn’t only not legally recognized but pretty much unthinkable, they had to define their relationship outside of expected American norms.

Americans do indeed have very, very different notions about marriage from Europeans; they tend to jump into marriage at speeds which leave many of us scratching our heads. They even talk about marriage expectations in the first date, when most foreigners who haven’t been specifically introduced by a matchmaker are going for “let’s eat something, look at something interesting and figure out if we’ve got common interests”.

Okay…so on the one hand, you say Europeans wait and take it more slowly than Americans. I can understand that.

But on the other hand , they use matchmakers?
Yeah, that’s a very,very different notion!
Is that a thing?
The concept of a matchmaker doesn’t exist at all in America, except for the tiny numbers of a few religious sects. (Amish and Hassidic Jews.)

And as for the term LAT: this thread is the first time I’ve ever heard of the term.
I’ve known a few people of retirement age who have lost a spouse and found a new partner.
But I just sorta called them “friends”. It’s none of my business if they’re having sex. :slight_smile: