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Why do people live apart together?

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


Miranda Phillips

Sasha Roseneil

Mariya Stoilova

Simon Duncan


© The authors 2013. Interpretations of living apart together (LAT) have typically counter-posed 'new family form' versus 'continuist' perspectives. Recent surveys, however, construct LAT as a heterogeneous category that supports a 'qualified continuist' position - most people live apart as a response to practical circumstances or as a modern version of 'boy/girlfriend', although a minority represents something new in preferring to live apart more permanently. This article interrogates this conclusion by examining in depth why people live apart together, using a nationally representative survey from Britain and interview accounts from 2011. Our analysis shows that LAT as a category contains different sorts of relationship, with different needs and desires. While overall coupledom remains pivotal and cohabitation remains the goal for most, LAT allows people flexibility and room to manoeuvre in adapting couple intimacy to the demands of contemporary life. Hence, we suggest, LAT is both 'new' and a 'continuation'.


Stoilova, M., Roseneil, S., Phillips, M., Duncan, S., & Carter, J. (2013). Why do people live apart together?. Families, Relationships and Societies, 2(3), 323-338.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2013
Online Publication Date Nov 1, 2013
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 23, 2018
Journal Families, Relationships and Societies
Print ISSN 2046-7435
Electronic ISSN 2046-7443
Publisher Policy Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 3
Pages 323-338
Public URL
Publisher URL


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