A reader asks Joan how to tell her long-time lover she doesnt want to move in with him.If youre a couple in love, does it necessarily follow that you should live together, or want to? My lover thinks so I dont! Weve been a committed couple for two years.I love being with him and I love being apart from him.Is something wrong with me? Or can we, as seniors, change the rules and expectations?I am a 65-year-old woman, on my own since a reasonably amicable divorce 12 years ago.

Ive had a social life and occasional sex partners during that time and have never had reason to feel lonely.Two years ago, Carl and I met on OKCupid and fell in love.Weve been a couple ever since.Carl, a widower, lives 40 miles away, and I stay at his house about half the week.

We have a marvelous sex life, thanks to good communication and a drawerful of vibrators! Neither of us is interested in marrying again.Our adult children are happy weve found each other.To Move inor Not?Sounds ideal, doesnt it? The problem is this: he thinks that since we get along so well, I should move in with him, saving the time and expense of all that driving, and not requiring planning in order to be together.He has a large, well-kept, comfortable house with an extra room that I could have as my private space.

I have a small house in constant need of repairs.He says Id get a nice profit if I sell it.He offered to put my name on the deed to his house so it would be mine if he dies first.The idea of being with Carl full-time does not appeal to me at all, even having a room of my own.

The idea of being with Carl full-time does not appeal to me at all, even having a room of my own.I love being with him, I love my time alone, and I love being with him again after having time alone.Im used to my independence eating dinner at 4 pm or 9 pm if I wish, making plans with friends without coordinating with him, and just plain being alone and making independent decisions.How do I explain this to him? Do I need to change? I dont know how to handle this conflict without hurting this relationship that I enjoy so much.Happy Alone and TogetherJoan responds:How do you explain this to your partner? You just did clearly, articulately, lovingly.Show him what you wrote to me.Theres nothing wrong with you or defective in your relationship that you choose to live separately.

Most of us need spaces in our closeness with another human being, even when the love is intense.Youre used to enjoying the solitude and independence of living alone.Youre used to enjoying the solitude and independence of living alone.Youre in a loving relationship now, and youre happy alternating alone time with couple time.Youre not, however, willing to turn everything into couple time.

Were of an age where we can choose or invent our own relationship style.In fact, many seniors are doing just that.The LAT OptionMany couples our age and younger are choosing to live separately, even if theirs is a solid, bonded relationship.This is even a trend, called LAT: Living Apart Together.

LAT is a committed, intimate, romantic connection without intent to share a home.It fills many needs and has been gaining acceptance in our age group.Its like the song by Dan Hicks: How Can I Miss You When You Wont Go Away? If youre together all the time, you miss out on missing each other.You dont experience that sexy anticipation when youve been apart for a few days or weeks and oh yes! youre about to be together again.Plus, you genuinely enjoy your time alone and the spontaneity that allows you.

Thats a priceless pleasure.Why a Move-In?Do you know why Carl is pushing you to sell your house and move in with him when youve told him its not what you want? Is it one of these reasons?He cant get enough of you and misses you the moment you leave.He wants the comfort of a live-together relationship.He lacks his own interests, hobbies, and friends independent of you.Hes insecure wondering what you might be doing during your solo time.He believes that if you really loved him, youd never want to leave his side.(Ask couples who were sequestered together through the pandemic how well that worked!)Hear what he has to say just listen without arguing and consider whether theres a way to address his concerns while still maintaining your perfectly reasonable viewpoint.Show him the resources below to help him understand that you can be happily in love while living apart.Resources:LAT (Living Apart Together) for Seniors by Mac Marshall.

Be sure to read the reader comments, too!Why Living Apart Together Is a Growing Trend: Two homes may just be the ticket to long-term love by Iris Mersky Myles, AARP, The Ethel.Older Singles Have Found a New Way to Partner Up: Living Apart by Francine Russo, New York Times.The Wife Left, but Theyre Still Together by Kelly Coyne, New York Times.Do you have a question for Joan?Check in case Joan has already addressed your topic.Joan can only answer questions from peopleage 60 and above.Selected questions will be answered in this public column, not privately.If you want a private answer, you can book Joan for apersonal consultation.If your question is under consideration for Joans column, she will email you directly and will only select your question if you respond to her email.If you submit your question, please check your spam/junk folder in case your overzealous spam filter captures her email.Ready to submit your [email protected] Price has been Senior Planets Sex at Our Age columnist since 2014.

She is the author of four self-help books about senior sex, including her award winners: Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex and Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality after Losing Your Beloved.Visit Joanswebsite and blogfor senior sex news, views, tips, and sex toy reviews from a senior perspective.Subscribe to Joans free, monthly newsletter.

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