Lat (Living Apart Together) Relationships

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – July 30, 2021
By: Tom Blake – Columnist

Senior dating: Identifying the types of senior living relationships can be confusing

Lately, I’ve been receiving an increasing number of questions from Champs and single seniors regarding the various types of relationship living arrangements they are choosing or considering. The different acronyms can boggle the mind.

The most popular: LAT (living apart together) 

In checking my columns-written archives, I first mentioned LAT relationships in eNewsletters during March 2018. The LAT designation was applied to Champs who were in unconventional relationships. Some stated they were committed, loving, intimate relationships, and yet, they lived under separate roofs.

This week, I searched online but couldn’t find any articles– other than ours–that had been published anywhere in the world earlier than 2019 on the LAT relationship topic. Our Champs blazed a trial in senior dating relationship definitions.

In the three and a half years since that 2018 article mention, the single senior living arrangement topic has mushroomed among people who write about senior relationships. And I sure hear more about the topic.

The primary reason why LAT relationships will not become the norm for seniors is financial. Two separate households are more expensive to occupy vs. when two people share expenses under the same roof. For some, a LAT isn’t affordable. And for some, it’s not even a desirable way to live.

For example, Mary Ann emailed: “To me, if a couple doesn’t live together there is no ‘US.’ The pluses appear to be having their own space, privacy, and daily routines. But living this way does not bring them closer and committed enough. I call this a compromised relationship (CR).” I’ve been in a few of those myself.

Champ Mark sent me a link to an online New York Times article dated July 16, 2021, titled, “Older Singles Have Found a New Way to Partner Up: Living Apart,” written by Francine Russo.

In the article, Russo mentions a widow named Linda Randall, who lives in Chicago and was widowed in 2016. Randall is now 81 and has a romantic, intimate, relationship with a widower, age 87, who lives across the alley from her and spends most nights at her apartment.

When the widower asked Randall if he could move in with her, Randall said no because she liked where she lived and felt they were different in how they lived.

Plus, a big factor was that Randall didn’t want to become a full-time caregiver. Living apart but nearby, Randall and the widower remain intimate.
Russo also wrote in the article, “In Europe, the data clearly shows that later-life LAT relationships are on the rise. And Russo quoted a Canadian sociology professor who said, “LAT is now a ‘popular option’ in the United States and Canada.”

Champ Joel, emailed this week: “I saw this term, which was new to me: ‘living celibate together.’ When I entered that as a Google search, a lot of articles showed up.”

I responded to Joel, “So now we have LCT (living celibate together) senior relationships? I don’t want to be in one of those.”
Joel answered, “Nor I, an 

LCT doesn’t float my boat either.”

Another Champ, Ginny, whom we wrote about in April, a widow, age 80, has had a seven-year relationship with Harry, 87, a widower. They live three walking minutes apart.

Harry was the guy who didn’t want to remarry (he had been married 59 years). In April, Harry changed his mind and a November wedding was planned.

Now, Ginny says, they are planning to marry in September.

I asked her why they are getting married after seven years.
Ginny said, “I visit Harry nearly every evening. But I return home the same night. Because of our faith, we agreed years ago to abstain from sex unless married. It was difficult. After we marry, instead of coming home each night, I will come home the next morning. We can finally have sex.”

Ginny added, “Still, we will have a LAT marriage.”

“Why the LAT marriage?” I asked.

“We will have a prenup. We both have children and grandchildren. Our money stays separate as do our homes. I like my home. It’s a short walk. Why not?”

Tom’s comment 

I love Ginny’s story! Could LAT-M (Living Apart Together Married’ become another senior dating term introduced to the world by our Champs?

I smile at the reason Ginny and Harry are getting married. Intimacy–better late than never–bless them, both. Update on Ginny and Harry: They married in September and a NY Times’ “Wedding columnist” Tammy LaGorce attended and is doing an article on them

There are three primary reasons why these unconventional LAT-type relationships are gaining popularity among seniors:

1. Avoiding being a full-time caregiver (one of the biggest and most often stated reasons)
2. Wanting a companion while keeping one’s home
3. Maintaining independence while enjoying intimacy (perhaps), love, and sharing.
More senior women than men tell me they prefer a LAT relationship.
With these four options, LAT, LCT, CR, and LAT-M, no wonder senior dating is confusing. 
Online dating question from Yolanda:“I am a widow of 11 years, looking for dating opportunities. I saw in an eNewsletter that you mentioned Cupid k 2 or Cupid two. Can you guide me to it?”

Tom’s answer to Yolanda: “I think the dating website you are looking for is OK Cupid. Their basic package is free. But there are some upgrades that could be helpful that will cost a small amount.
However, if you are beginning to go online with your dating, please be very careful because there are all kinds of scammers out there who try to take advantage of lonely women. Especially widows. NEVER send money to a stranger. If a person claims to be working overseas, that’s a red flag. Do not reveal your home address.

If you come across someone who might be interesting for you, have a background check done on that person. If he sends pictures, verify that the pictures are his via a Facebook or other account.I can’t stress enough to be leery of people you meet online. That being said, the Internet can be a good place to meet people, just be very aware. If you have doubts, feel free to contact me with details.

We can always post your situation in the eNewsletter and let Champs give you their opinions. I assure you, our Champs will leave no stone unturned–they’ve walked the walk and are a wealth of caring and loving information. Good luck. Keep us posted, Yolanda.
Tom's new book coverBook update. The first copy of the paperback version arrived yesterday at 4:20 p.m. I am pleased. It’s 365 pages.Thanks to Champs who have contacted me and purchased a paperback version for $23.97, including shipping, about $7 less than if you purchase on Amazon. Simply send me an email if you would like a personalized copy. The Kindle/ebook version is available now on Amazon Link to “Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark page on Amazon.com

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: