If family and friends are an important subject for you, it’s important you look at the impact a Living Apart Together relationship will have on your social circles. At this point, I would divide them into the following groups:
Your family and friends
When it comes to your family and friends, you will have a lot more time to spend with them. If you have the sort of family that is used to seeing each other often and spending regular time together, Living Apart Together Relationships can offer you that space better than any other. In a LAT relationship, once you are done with your work and responsibilities, you can truly do whatever you want. Think about this for a second, it is not a small detail at all. Sharing this time with your family can be a very rewarding element in this relationship format and can help fill the void you sometimes feel when living alone.
For many, the friendship bond can be even stronger than with most blood relatives. Having abundant time to spend with your friends is a central point for many individuals. Not having to make difficult decisions between time for your partner or time for your friends can be a luxury some are not willing to pass. You could see a LAT relationship as the best thing that could happen to your family and social life.
You as a couple with your family and friends
Once you bring your partner inside a close group such as your family, or a tight group of friends, they will either find their chemistry, or not. This holds true of course for both LAT and living together relationships. Now, what happens afterwards is where the difference lies. And it is big. A partner in a LAT relationship will most likely not feel compelled to attend Mikey’s 3rd birthday party, your cousin’s graduation, or your best friend Stella’s poetry recital -whereas in a living together relationship- 2 out of those 3 will probably happen. This is not to say LATers don’t go to all of these events, but if the chemistry is not there, the feeling of “having to go” is substantially less present.
For a big part, LAT has a lot to do with time, and how to spend it. If spending time with each other’s family and friends is something you both value, and you both enjoy, then like in any other relationship, this will continue. What happens most often in practice is that the time you have with your friends and family will increase, but the time you as a couple spend with your friends and family will likely decrease. As a result, you save those really important events throughout the year where you really want to have your partner with you, and you stick to those. In a time constrained world as we live in today, that sounds like a fair approach to most LATers.
- If you would like to learn more about LAT:
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Is Living Alone Together (LAT) a phase, or is it meant to be forever?