By Cathy Ruse
A few years ago The New York Times ran a story about a new social phenomenon: Couples, who claim to love each other, who have an exclusive sexual relationship, and who share financial expenses, are choosing not to live together. The arrangement is called “Living Apart Together,” and apparently it’s on the rise. The couples interviewed spoke of their need for “alone time” and “personal space” and a desire not to “wait on” the other person they claim to love. “Why bother joining households and lose a great city apartment?” one suggested.
Reading that story brought to mind how Woody Allen once described the perfect arrangement he had with Mia Farrow: separate apartments on opposite sides of Central Park where they could see each other’s lights go off at night. But we know how that ended. (For those too young to remember: Woody ended up having an affair with, and then marrying, his own stepdaughter, and in his defense famously said, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”)
Last week the London Telegraph reviewed another new social relationship trend: people who are neither married nor in love (nor, in some cases, even acquainted) are apparently having children together through the use of in vitro fertilization. Why?
The story leads with examples of homosexuals who wanted to have a child of their own partnering up with people of the opposite sex to share biological material. But also interviewed was this single heterosexual woman, approaching the end of her fertile years, who explained: “In a worst-case scenario I would seek an anonymous donor, but I’ve always thought a child needs a father. At the very least I wanted a donor who would visit regularly.”
What kid wouldn’t want Daddy Sperm visiting regularly? But why does little Johnny hide under the bed when the door bell rings?