• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian have never had what you might call a "traditional" relationship, in the most old-school sense of the word.

What they have had for the past year is a lot of fierce love for each other, focus on bringing their first child together into the world, the hope that baby Dream would be happy and healthy...and a volatile passion that has sometimes led to blowout fights and major misunderstandings, as they didn't shy away from showing on Rob & Chyna.

With their rather unpredictable lifestyle has come a lot of rumors that they're broken up, on the verge of breaking up, mad at each other, mad at Rob's family, that Chyna and the Kardashians are concerned about Rob... The list goes on.

But while it's true things haven't always been easy between them, Rob and Chyna unquestionably remain devoted to their daughter—and yes, they do maintain separate residences.

A year ago Rob moved into a house in Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian's Calabasas neighborhood, which also happened to be Chyna's neighborhood. Tyga, Chyna's ex and the father of her son King Cairo, also lived nearby, and that's where Kylie Jenner's starter home was, though she would later put that house on the market and move back to Hidden Hills, the gated community where the 19-year-old spent her formative years and where Kris Jennerstill lives, as do Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

Rob Kardashian, Blac Chyna, Dream Kardashian

Snapchat / Blac Chyna

Rob and Chyna have always co-habitated off and on, at one point renting one of the now three houses Kylie owns in Hidden Hills, and they never seemed intent on abandoning one residence to live together permanently. Before Dream was born, we knew that Mom and Dad were each having a nursery set up in their respective houses—and since her arrival on Nov. 10, both Rob and Chyna have been busy doting on their daughter.

A source close to Rob tells E! News that, at this exact moment in time, they are not together, with the new dad—who has been working hard at keeping his diabetes in check—focusing more "on himself, the baby and work," particularly his Arthur George sock line.

At this point in time and with a 3-month-old daughter in his life, it couldn't be more important for Rob's head to be in the right place—and if that means he needs his own space, so be it.

Besides, staying separate has worked for Rob and Chyna so far, even in happier times—and they're hardly the only ones.

The most famous of celebrity couples to spend a significant amount of their relationship and raise two children in separate—albeit eventually conjoined—homes in London are Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. They did split up in 2014, but it was after 13 years together, so their seemingly unorthodox manner of living, while not the norm, never was a harbinger of a breakup.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick were the subject of split rumors in 2009 right after the arrival of their twin daughters (born via surrogate) after it was reported that she wanted to be based in Brooklyn while Broderick—a fixture on Broadway—would stay in their Manhattan townhouse. Well, ultimately the couple decided the more townhouses the merrier, and they're about to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary this year.

But really, almost all celebrity couples do live apart at least some of the time, in a way. One or both usually needs to be traveling for work, be it to spend months in another country to shoot a film or TV show, or to spend three weeks promoting a new project in 10 different states in 12 days, or to hit five continents in three months on a world tour.

That's why so many couples either uproot their entire family to live near one spouse's work (such as Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy did when he was shooting NBC's Hannibal in Toronto) or they at least try to practice the whole "two week [or whichever number works] rule" that limits the amount of time they're apart (as practiced by Matt Damon and his wife, Jenna Dewan Tatum and Channing Tatum, and many more). 

Rob Kardashian, Blac Chyna, Snapchat

Snapchat

But for those couples who could be living in the same house all the time but prefer not to, there's actually a sociological term for it: Living Apart Together.

According to various studies and books written on the subject (2013 was a big year for news on the phenomenon), LAT encompasses couples who happily live apart, who "reluctantly" live apart or who aren't quite sure what they want to do, and see advantages and disadvantages in both.

Rob and Chyna have easily been all three of those couples. Moreover, while older couples enjoy that arrangement, too, the majority of those studied fell into the under-35 range, as 29-year-old Rob and 28-year-old Chyna do.

"The arrangement has surprising appeal, perhaps because it protects against the constant churning in people's domestic lives," Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, told The New York Times in 2013.

In a study conducted in Britain that found one in 10 modern couples living apart by choice, Professor Sasha Roseneil of Birbeck, University of London, wrote: "Nowadays very few people settle into a life-long relationship in their early twenties and stay with their partner 'until death us do part'. 

"People have complex relationship histories, and they often carry with them the emotional legacies of divorce and separation."

Rob Kardashian, Blac Chyna, Dream

Snapchat

So Rob and Chyna are actually approaching their work-in-progress relationship with psychology on their side.

Before Dream was born, Rob told Khloe (in a moment that aired on Keeping Up With the Kardashians) that he wasn't sure if he and Chyna would move back in together once their daughter was her, saying that neither was "super comfortable" at each other's houses.

"Rob and Chyna are fine. They are together, but it's just difficult right now," a source explained to E! News last September. "They are living separately because that makes for a more harmonious life for the two of them. They just bicker a lot. They argue but ultimately they love one another."