We have all heard the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”Apparently. it’s not just a saying, but a fact with research to back it up.Many of us have experienced a long-distance relationship at some point in our lives. It’s quite common now for millennials to be in one due to school studies or careers.There are even those who have happened to meet someone overseas while traveling and have decided it’s worth the commitment of a long-distance love affair. Regardless of whether it’s school, an ocean or the Coqhihalla Highway that’s temporarily keeping you apart, the key word here is “temporarily.”I have come across an interesting kind of relationship that is new to me — living apart together (LAT) relationships. This phenomenon is apparently gaining momentum, with nearly 1.5 Canadians between the ages of 25 and 64 in a relationship with a partner who lives somewhere else.New data from Statistics Canada shows the proportion of LAT Canadians has been steadily increasing over the last decade. Thirty-four per cent of respondents say they are not living with their partner by choice. Another 15 per cent say they have never considered living with their partner. If you are in a long-distance relationship, the ultimate goal is usually to be together. But that “together” doesn’t necessarily mean cohabiting.Those who were interviewed prefer to avoid the structured commitments that cohabitation brings. They like the comforts of living on their own and seem satisfied with seeing their partner a few times a week. Sharon Hyman, a filmmaker from Montreal, is working on a documentary called APartners — Living Happily Ever Apart. She found in her research that many people like their own space, solitude and the feeling of staying independent. There are people reading this right now who cannot imagine the thought of not seeing their partner come in the door at the end of the day or not waking up beside them every morning. Imagine what it would have been like watching Archie Bunker come in from work, hang his hat and jacket up and wander over to his chair to watch TV without hearing Edith screeching, “AAAAArchiiiiiieee!” as she flew through the swinging doors from the kitchen to plant a kiss on his cheek.Today, it seems people tend to do what works best for them. I know some divorced couples who stayed together as roommates for financial reasons and convenience. I also know a couple who divorced and decided to let their little kids stay in the family home. They bought a small condo together and took turns staying with the kids in the family home. It worked for them. In the big picture, the most important thing is to do what works for you. If it’s living together, apart or together apart, people should not assume the way their parents or grandparents did it has to be the way they do it. If my husband comes across this column, I can assure you there is a pretty good chance I may be able to report first-hand what it’s like being in a living apart together relationship.If you are single and happy, contact me by email at email@example.com and we can find you your perfect fit.