By Rajshree Gupta
Gal meets a guy; they fall in love, date for some time, marry later and live happily ever after. But isn’t this too clichéd? Even movies with such a simple love story don’t get much response at the box office nowadays. Modern day couples prefer to move in together before moving forward.
Indubitably, there are so many advantages of live-in relationship, “especially for those who haven’t tried it yet.” There is freedom, no responsibility, financial relief, and yes, compatibility test. Whether it is a matter of splitting the finances, or sexual orientations or lack of faith in the institution of marriage: live-in relationships seem to be a solution for today’s couples. But, is this actually a solution or a big problem? It remains unknown. Well, it’s up to you, but there are certainly many disadvantages of live-in relationships. Beware of it!
1). LACK OF COMMITMENT: The most sought after advantage of live-in relationships is its biggest disadvantage too that there are no financial, social and legal bindings in a live-in relationship. Thus, it is very easy for couples to walk out of the relationship. It is simply lack of commitment. If two people get married, they do everything possible to save their relationship. But when you don’t have to get involved in any legal act like divorce, even a small fight, or ego clashes, or a misunderstanding results in splitting apart. Is it good or bad? It’s up to you.
2). ABUSIVE TO WOMEN: If the live-in relationship fails, women are the one affected the most, socially and emotionally. With rape cases increasing alarmingly, it’s quite evident that sexual intensions are rising. Therefore, young girls are in a danger of being misused by men on the pretext of marriage or on other false beliefs, thereby, ruining their lives. It is not easy for most women to move on after being in a live-in relationship with someone. It harms them physically as well as psychologically.
Also, ours is a patriarchal society which usually looks down at women for being responsible for any mishap.
3). SOCIETAL CONDEMNATION: Whether live-in relationships are legal or not, our society has never accepted it. It is still seen as a “taboo”, especially by elderly people. India is known for its morals, values and culture all over the world. There could be some advantages of live-in relationships over marriage but simply preferring it over the later doesn’t actually make much sense in Indian context. We cannot neglect the fact that marriage is still one of the most pious things considered in India, and indubitably, live in relationships are shaking the very foundation of it resulting in lack of respect and belief in marriage.
4). ARE WE ACTUALLY SO MODERN: Most importantly, we talk about modernization and westernization. But, when it comes to apply it in India, how many of us actually do it openly? There are still many youngsters who find it awkward to watch intimate scenes in movies with their parents or siblings. Many couples don’t tell their parents about their relationships, some because their parents won’t accept while on the other side, some because they are themselves not comfortable talking about it if they suspect their parents to go into their relationship’s details. No doubt, we are the part of the same society. Everything cannot be changed by just waving a magic band or legalizing something on a piece of paper.
The concept of cohabitation is young in India and any transition takes some time (mostly, a very long time). May be, “all” Indians accept it in the future and become practical enough to overcome its negative side. But for now, given the culture and social attitude of India, live-in relationships are still uncustomary and hence, they are unnatural, at least for the majority of Indians.