Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Nearest and dearest, a couple apart

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton

Together apart is the new recipe for romantic success. The theory is that, when we don't live on top of each other, we get on better. Distance lends enchantment.

If you're far away, and meet infrequently, then assignations become like holidays, something to look forward to.

And, if you're honest, by the time your period together is nearing its end, you're often glad to get back home, on your tod.

That said, I was surprised to read that 23% of serious couples, around 2.2 million people, live apart. I don't know anyone who does, though I've done so myself. Trendsetter, d'you see?

Apartnerships is the new term. Novelist Deborah Moggach wrote this week: "Ten of the happiest years of my life were spent not living with the man I loved."

However, she was just a cycle (boo!) journey away and saw her partner twice a week. More famously, actress Helen Bonham Carter and her director husband Tim Burton live apart – next door to each other.

True fact: sometimes it's a relief to shut the door on the one you love. For men, too, there's the opportunity for their bottoms to blow a raspberry – and for them to find this unfailingly, inexplicably funny – without chastisement.

It all makes sense. It's the final frontier in relationships: space.

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