To Live-In Or Not To Live-In

When are you getting married is the most frequently asked question to girls and boys who come of age in an Indian society. Is marriage the only option or an alternative waits to be unveiled. The live in concept has slowly crept into the conservative yet ever-evolving Indian culture

‘Live-in-relationship’ is a living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together in a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage. It provides the youth an opportunity to know their partner before marriage without engaging in a legally binding relationship with them. India is a country of culture, religions and traditions and at the same time a country which is developing fast and embracing the global changes faster. When it comes to finding answers for such paradigms, we first need to come out of the right and wrong mindset. So let us weigh the pros and cons

PROS

  • The people involved, get to know each other’s characteristics, financial potential, physical and emotional strengths, family background, close relatives and so forth, which eliminates the element of surprise or horror when the relationship is sealed
  • Sharing and division of expenses
  • Neither of the partners is dependant on each other financially, socially or legally, so there is mutual respect in their relationship giving each other the space they need
  • A sense of maturity develops which becomes  a strong foundation of a lifelong relation
  • They can decide whether a long-term relationship is an option and if there are compatibility issues, they can walk out of the relationship
  • Also saves one from the expenses of a big fat Indian wedding and legal hassles associated with separation

CONS

  • The biggest drawback of a Live-in relationship is the social stigma attached to it in the Indian society. Even Indian parents are  not open to such ideas because of the notoriety attached to it
  • There is no sense of security in a live-in relation, be it emotional, financial or mental. A person can be led astray without giving a second thought. Does not give a person a sense of stability or a sense of dependability or even a sense of settling down
  • As there is no accountability, partners may suddenly break up the relationship which may cause emotional trauma to the other person involved
  • The possibility of one party exploiting the other, physically, emotionally or financially is high as there is no credibility towards society or the families.
  • Chances of getting bored and walking out are also high
  • Though no commitment but emotional attachment is always part of a relation which does affect the people involved, married or not
  • Though live-in relationships are legalized in the country and an act is legislated to protect women from an abusive relationship, but Legitimacy, and Inheritance, maintenance of children born out of wedlock presents a dilemma to the Indian Courts

Some may perceive it as a trivialization of responsibilities that come with a relationship as well as an effort to maximize the fun and fantasy part of life and eliminating the pain part. Some people may be of the view that live in reduces the number of divorces and the mental torture families go through also reduces domestic violence as the partner can leave anytime. Does it really? Thoughtworthy!

As society evolves, its values change and new experiments take place.  In a country like ours, live-in relationship culture will take time to establish.  It is more of an alternative, that leads to the more established institution of Marriage. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; so is living in that first step towards a happily after story?

By NSS

25th January 2018

 

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