Contemporary family life and intimate relationships today are characterised by increasing heterogeneity. In the growing body of research on this differentiation, the role of the elderly people has largely been ignored. But to an increasing extent the "young old" (65-74 years of age), in particular, are active participants in the process of the differentiation of intimate relationships. One of the least researched contributions of the elderly to the restructuring of contemporary intimate relationships is the establishment of lastint intimate relationships that do not include a mutual home, i.e. an alternative to marriage or other forms of cohabition. This type of relationship is referred to as Living Apart Together (henceforth LAT-relationships. In Swedish: särboende). The aim of this thesis is to examine LAT-relationships among elderly heterosexual individuals in Sweden, focusing in particular on the influence of this type of relationship on commitments, intimacy and autonomy. A major dilemma is the question of who should provide the care and service that ageing often demands. A pluralistic methodological approach has been adopted in the four differnt papers in this thesis, whick includes the use of a qualitative pilot study, a broad quantitative questionnaire study, a qualitative interview study and finally a qualitative study with a lifestory perspective.