Living Apart Together and Living Together Apart: Impacts of Partnership-Related and Job-Related Circular Mobility on Partnership Quality



This article focuses on a better understanding of the influence of partnership and job mobility on the quality of partnerships. Different types of job-related mobility (short-time commuter, long-time commuter, non-mobiles) and three types for partnership-related mobility (overnighters, short-distance relationships, and long-distance relationships) are included for analyzing the impacts on partnership quality, using data from the first wave of the German Family Panel. Among men faced with more demanding job-related mobility we found a positive effect on partnership quality and a negative of living in a long distance relationship. Among women, both effects are negative, but not significant. Furthermore, we analyzed variables that have been emphasized in previous research as important mediating factors (such as sexual satisfaction, conflicts, relatedness, autonomy, and commitment). Looking at these mediating variables the results show that among individuals with partnership-related mobility, sexual satisfaction, conflicts, relatedness, and autonomy have positive indirect effects for men and women on partnership quality. With regard to job-related mobility, we find a positive indirect effect of reduced conflicts for long-distance commuting men, and a positive indirect effect among long-time commuting women with regard to relatedness and autonomy. The results support the interpretation that living apart together matters more than living together apart.


Sexual Satisfaction Daily Hassle Positive Indirect Effect Commute Time Spatial Mobility 
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Empirical and Applied SociologyBremen UniversityBremenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of SociologyVechta UniversityVechtaGermany

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