The New Relationship: LATs (Living Alone Together)

I remember my aunt -- married 40 years at the time -- saying, when her husband retired, "I married you for better or worse.  Not for lunch."

I didn't see the humor in it until I began living with my boyfriend (later my husband), and having to think first if he'd mind if I went out with a friend after work and he'd have to get his own dinner.  When it was just me, hey, a bowl of cereal and a handful of M&Ms and right into bed to get ready for the next day, when I got home.

Certainly, living with someone changes your life.  But I got a kick out of Frank Bruni's column Sunday in The New York Times about LATs, or Living Alone Togethers.  He and his boyfriend each have an apartment and they stay with each other several times a week.  But the rest of the time, they can curl up on the couch with a pint of Heath Bar crunch, and watch "Sister Wives" all night long without anyone complaining I'm hogging the TV and let's watch Bill O'Reilly instead. Which I would always do, and then resent him for the rest of the night.

Of course, when you have kids, no one gets to do what they want!  But I'm wondering if living apart a couple days a week wouldn't make everyone a little bit happier?  Bruni claims it brings him and his lover closer, because time spent together is more precious.

I spent 29 years of my life on my own, living by myself in three different apartments and loving every minute.  When I met my husband, we still lived apart because his home and business were in Queens and mine, in Stamford.  For about two or three years, that worked fine.  We saw each other on Thursday nights and then Saturday and Sunday.  I had the rest of the time "off," for my friends, and movies I alone wanted to see, and just lying on the couch and relaxing, watching the lights go off one by one in the apartment building across from mine.  (I don't know why that was so relaxing, but it was!).

Then we decided to move in together and I went condo-hunting, which was fine for 10 years.  He was coming up to Stamford most nights, at that point, but we still had plenty of time alone.  Finally, he moved in for good, (though he kept his NYC apartment, "just in case").

Then we got married, bought a house and well, joined the rest of the human race. 

But over time, like Bruni and his partner, we've worked out a way to be alone together.  He takes Sunday mornings off to exercise and I get the rest of the day to myself, while he's responsible for our 12-year-old.   But in the evenings, we sit and talk when he gets home from work, and since our son no longer wants to be seen with us, we're having one dinner out a week, just the two of us and I'm beginning to remember why I fell in love with him 20 years ago.  We're even watching TV together. 

Though, I have to admit, I just can't warm up to Bill O'Reilly. 


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