Why do intimate partners not live together? Understanding diversity in LAT relationships across Europe
Aart C. Liefbroer, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Judith A. Seltzer, University of California, Los Angeles
Anne-Rigt Poortman, Utrecht University
The prevalence and meaning of Living Apart Together relationships across Europe is examined. Persons in a LAT-relationship view themselves as intimate partners but do not live together. Three main reasons for not living together are distinguished: partners can feel that they are not ready yet to start living together, they can opt for a LAT for practical reasons, or they can choose to do so to secure their autonomy. Using data from the Generations and Gender Survey on seven European countries, the prevalence and correlates of these types of LAT-relationships is examined. In addition, hypotheses on variation in the prevalence of these different types of LAT-relationships across countries are tested. To many, not living with a partner does not simply constitute some kind of extended dating period. Practical constraints seem to matter particularly much in Eastern European countries. In France and Germany, LAT as a conscious choice is more prevalent.