themselves and their kids.
Divorced and separated parents are also defying convention and opting to live together despite no longer being romantically linked.
Beach resident Stanley has continued to live with his partner in their family home since their divorce. They have two teenage sons and can often be found sharing a laugh and a drink on their terrace with their new partners — they seem to get along as well as any other group of friends.
Living-together-but-separate (LTBS) is yet another trend that flies in the face of relationship — and breakup — expectations.
And finally — though not a trend per se — non-sexual, affectional relationships are also becoming more commonly acknowledged.
These relationships might include love, intimacy, cuddling and other forms of physical affection but preclude sexual encounters (i.e., no goal of arousal or orgasm).
It makes sense that some folks who identify as asexual may prefer affectional relationships (although asexual needs and desires are highly varied of course), but they’re not the only ones.
A polyamorous friend explains to me that she has multiple partners: a parenting partner, two sexual partners, a life partner and an affectional partner with whom she shares everything except sex. Different partners fulfill different needs, and it reduces the pressure for one person to be your everything.
As so-called trends become more visible and accessible to more people, it’s important to note that some of us have more privilege to challenge social conventions and/or be rewarded for doing so — but relationship norms will continue to evolve.
And as our options for custom designing our relationships to suit our individual needs expand, I see a bright future for love, intimacy, relationships and sex: a future in which variety is celebrated and certain types of love are no longer relegated to the fringes.