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Practices and perceptions of living apart together

Duncan, Simon; Phillips, Miranda; Carter, Julia; Roseneil, Sasha; Stoilova, Mariya


Simon Duncan

Miranda Phillips

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Julia Carter
Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology

Sasha Roseneil

Mariya Stoilova


© 2014, © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Routledge. This paper examines how people living apart together (LATs) maintain their relationships, and describes how they view this living arrangement. It draws on a 2011 survey on LAT in Britain, supplemented by qualitative interviewing. Most LATs in Britain live close to their partners, and have frequent contact with them. At the same time most see LAT in terms of a monogamous, committed couple, where marriage remains a strong normative reference point, and see living apart as not much different from co-residence in terms of risk, emotional security or closeness. Many see themselves living together in the future. However, LAT does appear to make difference to patterns of care between partners. In addition, LATs report advantages in terms of autonomy and flexibility. The paper concludes that LAT allows individuals some freedom to manoeuvre in balancing the demands of life circumstances and personal needs with those of an intimate relationship, but that practices of LAT do not, in general, represent a radical departure from the norms of contemporary coupledom, except for that which expects couples to cohabit.


Duncan, S., Phillips, M., Carter, J., Roseneil, S., & Stoilova, M. (2014). Practices and perceptions of living apart together. Family Science, 5(1), 1-10.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 8, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Family Science
Print ISSN 1942-4620
Electronic ISSN 1942-4639
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 1
Pages 1-10
Public URL
Publisher URL