One day over coffee my good friend Jane and I were discussing relationships. Since we are both divorced Baby-boomers and carried a fair amount of baggage, we were able to keep this conversation going for quite some time.
“Would you ever get married again?” I asked Jane after she told me about the new man in her life.
“Good grief girl, nobody gets married these days” was Jane’s immediate reply.
While the trend toward relationships without marriage seems to be on the rise in Europe, Australians have also jumped on the bandwagon. North Americans are a little slower to get started but the trend is well on the way.
Some Baby-boomers are concerned about complicating their inheritance, particularly if there are children and step-children involved. Others may want to have the freedom to live on their own terms.
If money is not an issue and both partners can afford to maintain a home, it may be easier than learning to compromise at this age. Even couples who have much in common, may find every day togetherness challenging.
Researchers have coined the phrase “living apart together” or LAT relationship to describe the unconventional set-up that is growing more popular among people of all ages.
While Jane is content with her LAT relationship, it’s not for everyone. Some feel that intimacy is lost with this type of an arrangement. Also, there is security in having a resident caregiver in the event of illness or accident.
Proponents of LAT say they enjoy the freedom of choosing when to spend time with a loved one and feel that it keeps the relationship fresh.
Fortunately, in a free society we can make our own decisions on what lifestyle suits us best. Where the problem can arise is when a potentially well-suited couple is unable to agree.