I like to think of love as something that needs to be saved, each day. Saved from what, you ask? Some days from the world, most days from ourselves. I am the kind of person who believes in love, and marriage naturally comes to me as the next best thing. But it is also accompanied by the nagging fear of loss of love, of marrying the wrong person or worse—marrying someone you think is the perfect for you and realizing that he is not who you thought him to be. Here comes the idea of live-in relationship.
What is a live-in Relationship?
According to me it is something as simple as two adults, who love each other, deciding to live together without getting into the commitment and complexities of marriage. It is an arrangement where two people who are not married live together. They often involve a romantic and/or sexually intimate relationship on a long-term or permanent basis.
Live-in is a concept that has grabbed a lot of attention, especially from youth, lately. According to surveys, live-in is not a new concept in India, but it has gained attention only in the past few years. Are you not curious to know why? Yes, me too. So, I asked one of my friends who is a journalist and happens to be in a live-in relationship—
“Why do you think live-in Relationships have gained so much attention as well as approval from youth in India?”
A 24-year-old journalist says, “I think it is because the mindset of youth in India is changing. I would say it is evolving. It is a better way to know the compatibility with your partner. Moreover, if the couple lives near the place where they work, away from their home town, they have to live with a partner be it male or female. They have to share rent of the apartment they are living in. And if their girlfriend or boyfriend is living in the same vicinity then why not live together. The problem is not the relationship but that the stigma attached to it, especially for girls.”
If you ask me what does it take to keep the love going? I would say to keep the love going. Living with your partner is significantly different from being in a relationship. When a couple lives together they experience how sharing a home would be like. They would get to know more about what their partner likes and dislikes. They learn more about the good as well as annoying habits of their partner. And most importantly they get to know if they are compatible enough to live together and share that kind of intimacy. A Live-in is about finding the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the relationship and learning to deal with them.
The good thing is that the youth in India is finding this new kind of set up to be more comfortable and appealing, and many couples continue to live together without marriage despite the opposition they face from the society and sometimes even their own families.
Pros and cons of Live-in relationship?
“We were in the last year of college when we fell in love. As we both were outsiders in Delhi, I took a big step and decided to move in her flat. I have been living with her for two years now. We share a life, a bed, a home. And I don’t think I have known him better in years as I know him now. We are planning to get married once we are both financially settled.”
“I was in a live-in relationship with a man who decided to leave one morning, because he didn’t feel the same for me anymore. After that I had to spend weeks and months trying to understand where did it all went wrong? I had gone against my parents to be with him. When he left it became extremely difficult for me to face them.”
These two incidents come from two different people who decided to live-in with their partners. Even when live-in relationships still remain a taboo in the conventional Indian society, one may agree that there are two sides to everything. Just like not all marriages end in happily ever after, not all live-in relationships are successful or necessarily unsuccessful (as the traditionalists believe). Let’s see what the pros and cons of a Live-in relationship are:
- To date a person and to live with that person are totally different things. Living together allows us to know our partner better, for good or for worse.
- Helps you to see your relationship and compatibility in a clear perspective
- There is no need for a life-long commitment as in a marriage
- It doesn’t involve rituals, compulsions, and customs associated with marriage
- People find it easier to say “we broke off” than “We are divorced”
- But the exploration is more physical than emotional in nature
- Increased clinginess, insecurity, pregnancy, abortion complications, sexual health concerns because of multiple partners
- Low commitment & tolerance level, less willingness to work
- More chances of betrayal/ falling apart