Does anyone else's idea of an ideal life partner include it to be a part-time arrangement? It's just occurred to me that this would probably a great outcome for me! Trust, loyalty and fidelity but only seeing each other half the week. Or is this yet another area where I'm a bit quirky?
I'm 4 months in to a new relationship that feels great the vast majority of the time. But we're at the conversation point where my past 3 relationships had got to right before they failed... the dreaded "I want to see you more often" and "what do you think about us living together eventually" conversations.
Right now we see each other every weekend Saturday morning to late Sunday night, and one night after work/sleep over and leave early the next day.
The thought of spending more time together feels too suffocating. I mean, I need to do food shopping and see my other friends and frankly just have alone time at home... alone, or do whatever I want to do in the moment, or be happy doing stuff or just being, in silence.
The fact that it's the 3rd time this has happened (technically this one is still happening) in the last 2 years has caused me to question whether it will always be so. Indeed I now realise that my previous 12 year marriage (to someone who frequently worked away and we had different hobbies), and long term relationships x2 (when I was a consultant and working away 4 days a week, i.e. had 3 evenings a week alone in a hotel) were in fact part-time life partners. That hadn't occurred to me before but now seems blindingly obvious - the joy of hindsight.
Does anyone else think a part-time life-partner would suit them? Has anyone on here made that work? Pros/Cons?
all thoughts and musing very welcome, thank you.
Apparently, it's an actual thing! https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2045220/Were-happily-semidetached-The-rise-time-relationship.html
Really curious to know if anyone here has made it work for them. thank you x
Yes, if I were to go into a romantic relationship, I think that this is what I would be looking for, with someone else seeking that kind of relationship. I never have been able to picture myself co-habiting; my strange routines, cranky sleep patterns, sound sensitivity and need for solitude just make it unimaginable that I could tolerate it for any length of time. But, at the same time, I have never had any desire to be a butterfly flitting between casual relationships (as if I even had the ability to!), and would like a relationship with someone special.
I have often wondered how many people go along the road of the usual cohabiting type of relationship just because they feel they're expected to. I have spoken to a couple of people who, like me, have terrible insomnia and are (unlike me) in a relationship who won't sleep alone, even when there is an available bed in the house, because they fear that it will be seen as wavering commitment to the relationship. It's hard to know how sleep deprivation might affect their relationships, but it certainly can't help; I know full well how it messes with rational thinking and leads to poor mood control. I'll bet there are plenty of relationships, especially in their early stages, where both partners would prefer a part-time arrangement, but each blindly assumes that the other wishes for cohabitation, and both are afraid to admit it for fear of the reaction.
Not that I know anything much about successful relationships, mind you. I should probably leave thinking about this until I can manage remedial-level flirting!
Thank you Trogluddite :-) Nice to know I'm not alone.
I agree with you on casual relationship they're a no-no for me too, nor a long-term friends with benefits if there's no emotional connection. I like to give/get the solidarity of a life-partner but I need a bit more space than cohabiting offers.
Also smiling at the remedial-level flirting. To steal from a well-worn meme... "My idea of flirting is standing next to someone I think is hot and hope they are braver than me!" :-)
and adding... I rent a room in my house to an engineer (who has a typical routine, is slightly OCD and often in his room in the evenings and away at weekends). That's a deliberate ploy on my part to not get too set in my ways (and get some help with the bills) but it works for me as I still get space at the weekends to just chill out and be me.
Any sort of relationship can work if both parties want the same thing, and this is known at the start.
A part time (or for that matter long distance, or separate houses, or even multi-partner) relationship can work. But the parties involved must know this in the first place. If you want a part time monagomous relationship, that is fine, but you have to have the same trust as in any other relationship. If that trust is broken, then any relationship will begin to falter.
There are relationships and marriages that survive living on different continents, or that are involved with not living together but seeing each other regularly, and sometimes these survive better than traditional relationships. They have the advantage of not having to continually put up with others bad habits for long periods, and I would imagine there is the 'excitement' of looking forward to the next meeting.
Living together is not for everyone.
Thanks Trainspotter, great input. Trust is never the issue - I'm trustworthy and I trust until someone gives me cause to doubt then I don't get jealous I get decisive! ;-)
I didn't know it at the start, but I guess knowing it now when we're only 4 months in gives us both an opportunity to decide if/how we want to go on from here. I suspect that there are other reasons why it (relationship) won't work but that's a separate matter.
I feel strangely liberated just by noticing I don't have to have cohabiting as an expectation of a relationship - of course it remains to find someone with a similar outlook but hey ho, ever the optimist :-)
Sure… why on earth not?! If that's what works for you, then better you know your own boundaries and preferences than try to force yourself into some pre-existing relationship template of 'normal'!
Indeed, the traditional view of romantic relationships is breaking down. I knew a married couple who lived in separate houses (even though they had a child) - as they knew any other way of living was destructive for them. I know another couple that live together, but have an open relationship. And personally, I suspect I may be better suited to a polyamorous relationship (whereby although living together in close proximity, the multiple partners gives you the psychological/emotive space, at the same time as reaping the utilitarian/financial benefits. Indeed, from what I understand of many heterosexual men, they would relish a female partner who didn't want to be in their face all of the time!
It's all about doing what's best for you.
I know very much what you mean! I've generally found, right from my very first relationship (and I haven't had a huge number) that it gets to a stage where it takes over too much of my life. It's why (in spite of the obvious downsides) I've now decided, on the cusp of 60, to not actively seek a relationship for the time being. At least, not a 'conventional' one. That is, one that - in Western society, at least - has always been the socially-conditioned and accepted one. Times have changed! All sorts of combinations are available. It's whatever works for the individuals involved. As a bit of a digression, I used to work in a divorce court and part of my job was to read petitions to ensure that the grounds for divorce were adequately met. I used to keep my own stats, and noted that the average length of most marriages seemed to be around 10 years. 7 years came up a lot. The 7-year itch, maybe?! In a lot of cases, reading between the lines, you could tell that people had simply grown tired of one another and grown apart. They were living separate lives (which was pretty much the case for me and my ex-wife; we were together 5 years). I had one particular petition I'll always remember. The couple were in their 80s and had married in their late teens. It seems things had been dead for many years. But they'd stayed together because of the old ''til death' thing. Even as late as the 1970s, divorce was a 'shameful' thing. I often wonder how many desperately unhappy people stay together for similar reasons. On top of which - as I found out myself - there's the financial side. When my ex-wife and I finally split up, I moved into a rented studio. But she couldn't afford the mortgage on our bungalow on her own - so, for over a year until it was sold, I was paying rent and half the mortgage. Not an easy time. Fortunately, we both had incomes. Others aren't always in that situation.
In many ways, I'm better off on my own. And I'm quite clear, having always struggled with cohabitation, that if I should ever have another relationship, it would have to be on LAT (living apart together) terms. Kind of like the arrangement Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter had (if it was affordable) - living in adjacent houses. Though they've split up now, I hear! George Melly, the jazz musician, had such an arrangement with his wife. She lived upstairs, he lived downstairs. She was actually a swinger, too, which George seemed to be quite happy about. Anneli Rufus, author of Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto (good book if you haven't read it) has a similar arrangement with her husband. They're both loners. They have a large house, so she has her part of it and he has his. I have a friend in Devon who's maintained a successful LAT relationship for almost 20 years. He lives alone in his tiny, book-filled flat (he's a writer and publisher) and she lives alone in her place in town, half a mile away. They have their own separate lives, and they have their lives together - as it suits them both. And they both say that they could never cohabit in a million years, because of the different domestic arrangements they like to keep - and the private space they both need in their lives. I guess it's lucky if you can find someone who's also happy with that arrangement.
I thought I'd found it once. I met a woman who lived with her three grown-up children in a flat around the corner from me. It went well for a few months. I'd go to see her, or she'd come to me, and we got on with our own lives happily enough. Unfortunately, the time came when she wanted more. She wanted a life-partner, marriage again, etc. So it came to an end. I bumped into her again little more than six months later... and she announced that she was getting married the following spring! Quick work! I don't think she was necessarily dishonest with me at the start about what she wanted. I think it's just that she realised it wasn't what she'd hoped for, that arrangement. She discovered she wanted more than I was, in the end, prepared to give.
It's never easy. I hope you can work things out to your mutual satisfaction. It's all about give and take and compromise. But it's no good if there's too much of an imbalance with those things.
Check this out if you're new to the idea of 'LATs'...
Living Apart Together
All the best,
My first ever relationship back in 1992 was a LAT... hey I must have been a trendsetter and ahead of the curve for once LOL! I was 26 and hadn't got a clue about relationships and she was 38 with 2 kids who lived with her violent husband who she was in the finals stages of divorcing. We both had recently bought our own houses less than 10 mins away from each other in the car. Everything worked well for the first 3 years, I think we both knew it was going to be a temporary relationship. There was a lot of love there but it became obvious towards the end that our needs had changed. It took us the best part of 2 years to split up properly and stay split up, that bit wasn't fun...but the LAT worked well at the start. We both needed our own space and this was the best way we could achieve it. Of course I didn't know why I needed so much solitude, it would be another 25 years before I got my diagnosis and everything made sense.
For me is the assumption that relationships are about doing everything together. You get together because the “other” interests you and then watch them give up what makes them “them” to conform to relationship standards.
”Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.” Einstein