My boyfriend and I have been Living Apart Together for around 6 months now and I promised to check back in and give you all a little update on how our “Forced LAT Experiment”…(or how we like to call it “FLATE”)…has been going.
The first 6 weeks of Living Apart Together…
I didn’t feel the “Together” part in the “Living Apart Together” concept during the first several weeks, but the “Apart” part was very very present. It felt so so so weird going from the office to…somewhere other than my house with my partner. Not getting a “hello hug”, a kiss…not even a bad one…having dinner with him…watching him chew his food like a Jack Russel…not having his warm body next to mine as I fall asleep…hmmm…that was a tad rougher than I had accounted for.
BTW, don’t get me wrong, Janet has been a total sweetheart, but it just felt weird to have a partner and not be with him at the end of the day.
Chatting the evening away every night with Janet has been great, and it has added a sort of “freshness” to my life’s day that feels very pleasant. I’ve always wanted to have this sort of connection with another woman, but I never thought I would get the chance. This has been a very wonderful added bonus I hadn’t counted on.
During the week my long distance relationship proceeds to send and receive countless texts, way more than we ever did. There is something to be said about the kiss emoticon. It has emotional gravitas. We went over to memes for a while, but that got out of hand quickly. We have established a “meme quota per day” now. At night we would Skype, or just watch a movie together with our headphones on. We watched Game of Thrones for the third time again. One note of advice, this is the type of series that if you watch from different locations, you really need to make sure your audio is synced up to the millisecond.
The 5 day weeks felt eternal but eventually, every week had its Friday…and I got to go back to my man and our home! It was just brilliant! Our time together was grand, it was like we were on holiday! And there was that thing we hadn’t had in a while…we had actually missed each other. I knew I had missed him, but to see it back in him, and to share it in our space was…very very warm, fuzzy, and mmmmmm….
The weekends were at home, at our place of residence, a place we knew well…but we didn’t do the same things as before. We went bowling, played croquet, went on walks in the woods, bought fresh food at the farmer’s market, cooked together every night, made love before and after the cooking every night, we slept like angels, woke up and had breakfast in bed…we had never done that!!…it was awesome!!!
I loved being back home again, I truly appreciated something I had taken for granted for such a long time. He did a great job of keeping up the place, the nest was in safe hands 🙂 I actually felt very proud of him. This was an area that truly concerned me… Would I come back to an Amazonian jungle, with dirty plates crawling across the floor, and pizza boxes stacked to the roof? No. He turned on his civilized self when I left….good on him 🙂
3 months into Living Apart Together
Something that we realized during the first couple of months is that we ACTUALLY needed to spend some time apart even if we weren’t going to go for the whole LAT plan that my work forced us into doing.
I saw it much more in him than in me. After all, his life changed by having less in it after I moved away. My life, had lost him -during the week- but that empty space was filled by Janet. I could see that he had more time to himself. I felt him more relaxed, at ease, and much more rested than I had ever remembered seeing him. I was not going to say, “It almost seemed good that I left…”, but I was certainly thinking it. He looked good, and I was so very happy for him. Even more so, that good looking man, was oh so happy to see ME!
As for my side, let me start with the reason why we are doing this in the first place…work. My work is going a lot better. I am way more rested, have a lot more energy, I can feel I am doing some of my best work in this office in years. This is not the “pat on the back” sort of company, but the few monosyllabic compliments have meant a lot to me. Not only as a confirmation that my long term career objective is going in the right direction, but that my efforts are being acknowledged and they are paying off. Imagine if I would have done all this and there would have been no tangible positive changes!?…..Urghrhhrhhh!!!
As for us, the relationship…I have to say I’ve never felt in a much more mature and evolved relationship. Not for the smugness of it, but it’s as if we’ve reached this sort of connection that is now much more based on substance than on time spent. We’ve become masters of the moment. We enjoy our time together intensely, we don’t argue…or hardly…
During the week there have been some changes. We don’t call as often, and we don’t watch movies together…or hardly. At the beginning we felt we needed to hold on to some of our routines and just general stuff we used to do together. Now, we don’t feel the need to. We have developed our new patterns and our new ways of connecting and communicating.
6 months into Living Apart Together
I would say we have reached “cruising altitude”. It is going as good as I could have ever hoped for. It’s hard to even think that it is possible, but the truth is, we are doing better now than 8 months ago. Not that we were doing bad back then, but we were just “inert”. We were together like crackers in a packet, rather than together like dancing dolphins in the ocean. OK, I know, that was a bit much…but you get it
One thing that I have grown to love, is “being welcomed”. My guy prepares before I get there on Fridays. He cleans the house, he hoovers the floors, he buys nice food, and nice wine: because I am coming home. When the man you love, does that for you week in, week out…believe me…you are good. Him doing all this with a sense of loving anticipation perfumes our home with the air of love…if or when we move back together, I will miss this profoundly. But for now, I love being loved so intensely every Friday night to Monday morning.
Conclusion at the 6 month mark of Living Apart Together
At this point, I would have to say, we are all “Thumbs Up!” on the Living Apart Together experiment. And it feels strange to call it an experiment, it’s now our way of life. A life that we have grown to love. A life that at least for now, makes us happy…happier than we thought it would…happier than we were before.
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