Experts And Researches Have Noticed A Trend In Older Adults Choosing To “Live Apart Together” And Keeping Their Own Separate Homes.
A growing trend in recent years has seen older adults choosing to maintain intimate relationships without ever moving in with their partner.
According to researchers, the phenomenon known as ‘living apart together’ marks a new form of commitment.
As divorce rates have increased alongside life expectancy, experts say this tactic may be a new way of establishing long-lasting relationships, and should be recognized as a ‘legitimate choice.’
In the study, researchers from University of Missouri Health interviewed adults aged 60 and older.
All were in committed relationships, but lived separately from their partners.
The interviews revealed there were a number of reasons people chose to live on their own, including a desire to stay independent, maintain their own home, sustain existing family boundaries, and remain financially independent.
But, many of the participants noted that they struggled to express the nature of their relationships to others, as they felt it was ‘awkward’ to use terms like ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ at their ages.
‘What has long been understood about late-in-life relationships is largely based on long-term marriage,’ said Jacquelyn Benson, assistant professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.
‘There are now more divorced and widowed adults who are interested in forging new intimate relationships outside the confines of marriage.
‘Recent research demonstrates that there are other ways of establishing long-lasting, high-quality relationships without committing to marriage or living together.
‘However, US society has yet to recognize LAT as a legitimate choice.
‘If more people – young and old, married or not – saw LAT as an option, it might save them from a lot of future heartache.’