Live-in relationship or cohabitation is an arrangement in which unmarried couples live together to conduct a long-going relationship similarly as in the case of marriage. Though the occurrence of live-in is not considered illegal in our country, its occurrence is considered socially and morally improper.
Apparently, our rusted traditions don’t approve of any sort of intimacy, whether personal or physical, between a man and a woman, before the holy communion of the individuals. Marriage is a license that provides permission for any intimacy, as it is then considered moral and culturally acceptable.
However, doesn’t marriage also hold a person back from backing out of a relationship, when things don’t go as good as they were thought to be?
We all revelled Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’; it was a beautiful movie that showcased families as they really are in real, than the exaggerated version of it. Did we not see the reaction of a lavish and well-established family, when their daughter wanted a divorce? Did we not witness the hostility Priyanka Chopra’s character had to face just because she wanted to opt out of a relationship?
Marriages must be made in heaven, but they surely carry a baggage that sometimes becomes too difficult to handle. However, live-in are founded by individuals, and their growth from the relationship solely depends upon the two individuals who are part of it, rather than two or in some cases, many communities.
When such a relationship occurs, there are no family responsibilities to adhere to, meaning one can invest their time towards the partners solely and take emotional intimacy to another level. When there are no questions to be answered, one tends to enjoy the relationship a bit more, that too without any obligations involved.
Cohabitation also leads to less financial dependence on other, the reverse of which would have happened in a marriage. An individual is wanting to do better financially, because both the partners are equal contributors, rather than just one handling the economy of the house, which happens on a general basis after marriage.
Living in a relationship with a partner, gives you a ball park idea about the compatibility issues that could arise in front of the couple, while they are in a long term or serious or rather committed relationship.
It’s the thought of spending more time together, without any traditions or hassles, why is that a taboo or an improper thing?
Marriage or not, anything that celebrates the union should be respected, and as per my ideologies, should be tried, so as to strengthen the bond and beautify it further. A relationship tag isn’t required to live with one another, it’s the thought of spending more time and sharing more lovely memories that counts.
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Let us keep the society, its ideologies and its treatments aside and focus on the judiciary instead. The Supreme Court of India has recognized live-in relationships and has opined that a child born out of such a relationship is legitimate. That if a man and woman have been “living together” for long, like a husband and a wife, then the judiciary would identify and accept the relationship, and the woman will be entitled to inherit the man’s property after his death.
The fact that a couple has to dodge the societal stigma to participate in a communion that is recognized by law, is awful and regrettable. What two persons choose to do in life is not for the society to look into, simply put. So the argument here is not about whether a live-in relationship must embroil and give in to the whims of the society, or revel in intimacy and independence. The argument is, do we honestly “need” a portfolio before deciding to spend our lives with another person?
I am certain almost everyone reading this adore their parents. So let me ask my readers a guileless question: how many of you believe you have the best parents on earth and they are the epitome of perfection, et al? Probably all. And how many of these perfect parents were carved to excellence because they were in a live-in relationship before marriage? Need I elaborate further?
As a society, we must move forward, progress and not hold on to coagulated notions of what makes right and what is wrong. At the time, what a neighbour/friend/someone in the family is up to – with regard to their personal lives – is nobody’s business. But then, the more pertinent question that pops up is – do we need to glorify a live-in relationship? Does it carry so much bijouterie on its person that we must blind ourselves by its glitter?
Bollywood has overvalued live-in relationships. When we see a person on the screen romancing another in safety of their nest, we start envisioning ourselves. What we forget, is that films are scripted and our tangible lives are not. And that we can enjoy a story, but the same need not necessarily happen in our real lives.
Live-in relationship cannot substitute marriage, and yet, is in tandem with the institution. Then what is the need to evade marriage? Two persons in cohabitation have their share of bad days, can (now) plan a family, build a future, etcetera. What is the necessity to run away from legality then?
Many believe marriage comes with a tag, and sometimes a baggage. And that they’d rather keep the partner than the spouse. But what is so effortlessly charming about a man/woman that is emotionally absent in a husband/wife? When you are living with your partner, you journey with them through the good times and the bad. Like marriage, romance takes a hit in a live-in relationship too. And of course it is easier to float away when you are not under the legal light.
Marriage is a lifetime commitment, so are people running away from its sacrosanctity? Or are they consciously drifting away from taking the marital vows and sticking to one person for life. It is true that a relationship, of any nature, does not need the society’s validation. And marriage is a pious bond between two individuals who have decided to stay together till the end to their time.
Sometimes relationships do not work out, and it is most unfortunate. But when people are becoming more accepting of individual rights and relationships, a divorce is a rarely a stigma.
No, it is not obligatory to carry a checklist with you before you decide to walk down the aisle of word. You like them, they like you, and we all poop and sweat. And there is absolutely nothing that you will find out about them that will help you make up your mind about marriage.
The Viewspaper, therefore, would like to know from its readers, their opinion on love, life, relationship and the institution of marriage. Should we grow out from our traditions and allow our inquisitive minds to question the ordinary, or should we allow ourselves growth, freedom and health well within the limits of old-school tractability?