One of the hardest and most obnoxious things about getting married is moving all of your shit in with someone else's shit. Sure, you love that person, and sure, you've made some sort of vow of commitment, but JEEZ, do you have to crowd the bathroom with five bars of deodorant?
According the the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 3.5 million married couples in the U.S. have found a solution: Living apart. New Yorkers Allen Sheinman and his wife, Collette Stallone, did just that. "We decided right away that we were going to keep our own places," said Sheinman. "What it would mean is that we could be married and still feel like it was dating, and it actually wasn't a bad way to go."
Married couples who live apart for reasons other than legal separation as nearly doubled since 1990, when roughly 1.7 million American couples did it. How much of that is for financial reasons, however, isn't clear. Whereas couples like Shainman and Stallone live in the same city but in two different apartments, Candice and David Knox live and work in different states. "People think that we're weird," said David Knox. "When you're married, you're supposed to live together. It just freaks them out."
But the perks may outweigh the "weirdness." Considering you wouldn't get in fights with your significant other about petty things like dishes or walking the dog, living by yourself also means that you can effectively "do you" but file for joint taxes. Professor Aaron Ben-Zeev of the University of Haifa argues that couples who live apart, while lacking daily intimacy and interaction, gain in other aspects of their relationship:
"Distance may focus the partners' attention on the profound aspects of their relationships and hep them disregard the superficial ones. And if the profound aspects are perceived to be positive, then the whole relationship is seen this way. Like other incomplete romantic experiences, commuter marriages are also typically romantically intense."
Okay, so, have these people solved all marital problems by living apart? Not quite. Stallone and Sheinman eventually had to move in together because maintaining two different homes was getting to be expensive. They moved into the same apartment, but divided the apartment in half, with the kitchen as the "neutral ground." Although, making your kitchen a DMZ sounds more like a roommate-from-hell situation than a happy marriage, but that's just me.
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