Just imagine this scenario. You have just begun enjoying the sweet taste of financial independence. You want your career graph to grow. Suddenly, you realize that you have begun to like somebody very much. Same interests, similar pet peeves and a lot in common. You are attracted however; you are not yet ready to get married for obvious reasons.
- Do not want the extra responsibility of a marriage.
- Want to have fun while you work (a marriage could dampen that!)
- Want to concentrate more on carving a niche for yourself.
In the mentioned circumstances, would you wish to do the next best thing? Get into a live-in relationship till you plan your next move? This way you have it all. How many of us would do it?
Living-In for Good?
Marriage does not seem to have become outdated as yet, at least not in India when you consider the number of weddings that take place every month, every year. But, live-in relationships have also become a kind of accepted lifestyle in some places where work culture determines who you date and who you sleep with. Although many people live together as a couple without getting married, the reasons for doing so may not always be a compatibility test before the wedding. For many, convenience plays a huge role in determining their choice. And now, that the court is acknowledging such relationships whatever the conditions, makes this a working reality.
Several people find it easier and more economical to live together without getting married as it gives them almost all the benefits of a married life without any strings attached. You live, cook, work, share chores together and enjoy life as a couple without being legally bound. It could be a liberal lifestyle for some or just a matter of personal choice. Whatever may be the case, a live-in relationship seems to have many takers today especially in big cities where work and fun are the top priorities in life. There are many who fear a divorce even before the knot is tied worried as they are by the increasing rate of failed marriages around them. So, a live-in relationship clears away any such possibilities. Maybe, a failed live-in relationship but it comes without the hassles of official and legal funda! For some, commitment is too big a word as they feel that they need more time before settling down for good. So, if the relationship works, great. If not, then they can just dust their emotions off and carry on.
I know of people who have lived together (without their folks knowing of course – place of jobs being away from home helps!) and just when you thought that they were made for each other, they split for God knows what. At first, I was intrigued. I tried imagining what an argument in a typical married household would be like.
“Why didn’t you come early to the supermarket when I told you so?” (Husband)
“Okay. Okay. I was just a few minutes late.” (Wife)
“Few minutes? You call half an hour few minutes? I am fed up.” (Husband)
“Now don’t make me open my mouth. Remember how you landed up an hour late when Bhaiya and Bhabhi first came to visit us?” (Wife)
“Oh! That was because I was caught in a meeting. I….” (Husband)
I then imagined an argument in a live-in relationship.
“Why didn’t you come early to the restaurant? I was sitting like a dumb ass waiting for you. Damn it. I am not your husband.”
“Don’t yell at me like that. I am not your wife.”
I later understood that not all live-in relationships can be cemented for life. When married couples can divorce each other on flimsy grounds of incompatibility then, a live-in relationship creates more fertile ground for insecurity to creep in. You get to maintain your self satisfying independent streak and satiate some desires in such a relationship, that’s it. There is no working for similar goals, for common emotional security mainly because you have a huge choice of walking away without any consequence. Consequences don’t exist in a live-in relationship. You are supposed to carry on despite any heartbreak or physical abuse. And God save you if you get out of the relationship only to discover that you are pregnant!
I suppose marriage comes with too much expectation accompanied with other complexities of raising children, relatives, dowry problems and of course plenty of social drama. Maybe, this is what puts off some people or maybe it is the lack of flexibility in today’s world. A live-in relationship is a temporary attractive option in a fast and frenzied life. What about parental pressure, society, personal values, etc? Well, those who get into such relationships very professionally manage it all. Hats off to them!!
What is your take on live-in relationships?