“We didn’t get into a fight.”  “We are doing just fine.”  “Thanks for your concern.”  I’ve said that a hundred times to everyone I know for the last month.  This is not a prelude to a split, nor a separation.  We really are doing great.

The reason why we are going for a “Living Apart Together” relationship is…

The reason for this decision is purely work related.  My boyfriend and I live near Wembley, on the northwest side of London.  My job has been moved to the Gatwick area, which might as well be in Ushuaia.  It’s far away.  Backpackers travel less than I do every day.  Frodo would have checked out after a week.  If I manage to get all my connections just right, I’m at my desk 1 hour 43 minutes after I leave my door.  This means that on a perfect day, I have a commute of a mere 3 hours and 26 minutes.  On top of all this, my job is not the 8 hour check in, check out kind.  I work in logistics.  If the cake hits the fan, you don’t go home until it’s fixed.  My average day is 9 hours.  Plus commute, it’s 12 hours 26 minutes.  Plus sleep, that’s 20 hours, 26 minutes.  Plus cooking, eating, showering, dressing, and brushing my teeth, it’s 22 hour and 53 minutes.  1 hour and 7 minutes is the time I have left over for myself and my boyfriend.  And this is on an average day with the connections going just right.  You know how many of those days I’ve had since I got this job?  Twice in four months.  I cannot do this anymore.

 I sometimes feel this “Living Apart Together” label makes it feel a lot “bigger” than what it actually is if you ask me. 
There are other times though, that I feel as if I could be solving one problem and creating another.

The option of quitting my job is not there at this time.  It has taken me years to get the position I have and I am not about to let that go.  True, it’s extremely unlucky that they moved my work location so far away, but in 18 months we are going to go through a major reorganization.  I will see to it that I get reassigned somewhere closer to home.  If that doesn’t happen, then and only then would I consider a career change.  

The possibility of both of us moving closer to my new job was a no go from the start.  First of all we both want to stay where we currently live.  Our lives are here, our friends, our families, I wouldn’t do this to us.  Second, my boyfriend’s work has not changed, he works in this area.  I wouldn’t feel right asking him to move, the change happened on my side. This is my problem to solve.

Frodo would have checked out after a week.

The solution eventually came in the form of my colleague Janet.  Her roommate had moved out a few weeks back, and knowing about my dilemma, she floated the idea of us sharing her flat during the weekdays.  She didn’t have a good experience with the last housemate and was keen on sharing the flat again with someone that she had a good vibe with.  (That would be me.)  I would have my own room, private bathroom, and a fully loaded kitchen.  She lives 35 minutes away from our office.  I felt my eyes tearing up when she said that.  As much as I would want to hear my man pop the question one of these days, this was the best thing anyone could have said to me at that moment.  There was a catch though, I needed to commit to my half of the rent for at least a year.  Otherwise she would just move to a smaller flat.  

My boyfriend’s reaction when I proposed a LAT relationship was…

We spoke about it with my boyfriend that same night.  This could not wait.  I had no idea how he would take it, even though he could have seen this coming a mile away.  I don’t even lie on the couch with him after dinner anymore, I just go straight to bed.  It has been like this for almost 3 months now.  

His reaction was, as I would have expected.  Wobbly.  He did understand why I was doing this, but that didn’t at all mean he was fully behind the idea.  His first reaction I would have categorized as “willing but reluctant”.  Which made complete sense to me, and made me feel a bit relieved he didn’t want to see me move away.  After all, you never know, right?  What if his eyes would have lit up when I said I was moving to Janet’s?  (Gulp!)  But they didn’t.  So I love him a little bit more nowadays.

As much as I would want to hear my man pop the question one of these days, this was the best thing anyone could have said to me at that moment.

The days that followed, I could see the topic was hanging heavy above his head.  He was quite distracted, in his own shell.  When he eventually did pick the topic up again, it had a bounce in it.  He sounded a lot more positive about it.  I guess he eventually started thinking about all the things he could do with his time while I was at Janet’s.  It took us a few weeks but we found our peace with the LAT decision.  It was a GO!

So here we are!  We’re going into a Living Apart Together relationship!

Bucketlist:  Do something progressive with your partner.

Our Living Apart Together Q & A session went like this

So what are all the things you need to discuss when going from living together to a LAT relationship?  I didn’t really feel I was in the position to ask any questions, plus I didn’t really have any.  These were his:

  • QUESTION:  What will be the schedule?
  • ANSWER  Monday to Thursday away, Friday to Sunday home.  All holidays, home.

  • QUESTION:  Who will pay for the room, and all the other expenses related?
  • ANSWER:  I will.  The way I am seeing this, I am actually buying time.

  • QUESTION:  How will it work during the week?  Will we call each other?  Text? 
  • ANSWER:  We’ll call each other when we feel like it, and the same for texts.  No schedules, or set times, just go with how you feel.  But, if you don’t call me every day I will send out a ninja for your head.

  • QUESTION: Will we have dinner together Zooming in front of our phones? 
  • ANSWER: I would love that 🙂

  • QUESTION:  How about all the series we are watching together on Netflix?  
  • ANSWER  It will be a new experience to do this from different locations, but we’ll continue to watch them together.  The same thing goes for everything else we do in the bedroom.

  • QUESTION: How about good morning and good night texts every day? 
  • ANSWER:  That’s a yes. Remember the ninja.

  • QUESTION: So this is kind of like when you go to your Mom’s?  Just every week. 
  • ANSWER:  I would not have put it like that, but yes.

  • QUESTION:  Can I come over and stay with you during the week?
  • ANSWER:  Yes. Janet allows pets.  And I would love it!  

That was pretty much it.  To be completely honest, I sometimes feel this “Living Apart Together” label makes it feel a lot “bigger” than what it actually is if you ask me.  There are other times though, that I feel as if I could be solving one problem and creating another.  One that I couldn’t forgive myself if it would cause us to falter.  But then again, perhaps it is like he said…it’s like going off to my mother’s, just more often.  I can work with that if he can.  But what do we know, we haven’t done it yet.  

We are going to go for it in two week’s time.  We will usher our relationship into the new era of LAT!  I will be writing an update on how things are going in the coming months.  I need to let this run a bit, sink in, get used to my new place, see what things pop up.  How we both feel about it.  And even though this is purely a work related decision, I need to be 100% aware this can certainly have an impact on our relationship. 

I will report back on our LAT progress.

Part 2 of this LAT story is here.

We will usher our relationship into the new era of LAT!

  • If you would like to learn more about LAT:

Pros and Cons of LAT
FAQs about LAT
Is LAT a phase, or is it forever?
Why LAT was the right decision for us
All LAT articles

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