by Chris Bodenner
A reader can relate to Croydon’s reporting on LAT couples:
Let me start a thread! My GF, love of my life, and I have been together 12.5 years. We have never lived together and have no intention of ever doing so, except for old-age caretaking plans (which, with luck, might be two decades or more away). I spend weekends at her place, she spends one night during the week at mine. I don’t have to have cats (though I’ve come to like hers); she gets to have a small house (in a neighborhood I’d never live in); I get to have my small apartment with a view (in a neighborhood she’d never live in). She does my laundry; I do her yard work. The commute is occasionally a pain, but there are many train and biking options.
We call it Permanent Romance. Every time we are together, it’s special, because we are not together all the time. It never gets “Oh, you again!” We’re actually pretty compatible in many small ways (both kind of sloppy, laundry-on-the-floor types), but she’s an introvert who needs lots of time alone to recharge, and I’m an extrovert who likes dive bars full of my friends. She likes watching TV; I listen to baseball on the radio. No conflicts, since we’re 25 miles apart 4 nights a week.
Even when we vacation together – usually 10-day trips to Europe – we build in a few hours apart each afternoon. She has a nap and a bath; I go find a café for a drink and the crossword puzzle. We’re also non-monogamous, so not living together is logistically helpful for that, but it’s the very least of our reasons. Mostly, we love each other but also love our privacy and time apart. More people should try it. Eliminating the little daily bullshit battles makes everything else sweeter.