Why are Live-in Relationships hard to be accepted in our society?
Most of us have grown up listening to the love stories of our parents who entered each- others lives through an arranged marriage. Some of our parents knew each other for a few weeks, some met their partners a few months before they decided to tie the knot, and in some rare and lucky cases, they knew each other for a couple of years before they got married. So the concept of a live-in relationship, or living together for a time span for making a decision regarding marriage can be an alien concept to the Indian Society. There was a time when love marriages were frowned upon and hard to accept in our society and arranged marriages were a norm. With time, people started accepting love marriages and it was not as easy as it sounds.
Just when the concept of love marriages completely dwelled in our society, young couples wanted to be aware of their compatibility before giving that level of commitment to their partners and wanted to live together without getting married by committing for a live-in relationship to their partner. Live-in relationships are accepted by the law but still is viewed as a ‘no-no’ and a ‘shame-shame’ factor for the society.
What is a live-in relationship?
A relationship where a man and a woman who are in love with each other mutually decide to stay together, without involving the institution of marriage to check their compatibility is nothing but a live-in relationship. Imagine you meet your partner after a busy day at work. You both argue over watching a comedy movie or a horror one but end up making comedy out of a horror one on your couch instead of a theatre. You watch the movie while cuddling with your partner without the fear of being stared at and judged by the uncles and aunties sitting on the next seat. But no-one can save you from the judgment from the uncle and aunty living in the next door. All your end minute canceled dinner dates due to tough deadlines would be replaced by late- night talks and snacking which would be a stress buster in the company of your girlfriend or boyfriend. But on a serious note, marriage is a holy and sacred institution and one should be aware of what they are stepping into before they decide to tie a knot. It’s not only about the bond and the person, but also what their lifestyle is like. A person is the most comfortable and said to be in their truest form when they are at home and get comfortable to bring out their real self to their partner which they were subconsciously hiding.
So what’s the issue to be in a live-in relationship?
For example, you might be a cleanliness freak but your partner just cannot think straight when things are too tidy and kept in place. Let’s say that you are a night owl and all your creativity strikes at midnight whereas your partner is a morning person for whom his sleep is the most important. Such things usually lead to small quarrels but it makes you realize the amount of compatibility you and your partner share and helps in knowing if you can bear with their small habits throughout your lifetime. It's good to be prepared and have knowledge about what will you be jumping into. It’s not necessary for your lifestyle to match with theirs, no matter how much you love them. It’s upon you how much this instability matters to you and to what extent can you adjust and compromise to be with each other without compromising the amount of love you have for one another. As I said, people opt for live-in to be sure about marriage and at times, they figure out they were not meant to be together and go on different pathways for their own good. While in other cases, live-in just makes a couple more sure about how much they belong to each other. People also tend to live together as a live-in couple till death do them apart because they don’t believe the institution of marriage or be a part of it.
Live-in relationships come with the freedom of choice!
In the Indian Society, marriages are said to be very sacred as it’s believed that they are made in heaven. So, even the thought of breaking it is considered a sin. So there are a number of couples who are unhappily married just because of the fear of judgment. It’s like they are watering a dead plant. This compulsion of not leaving the other person can be a reason for immense suffocation. In marriages, people “have to” make things work out, they are “expected to” to give their partner multiple chances, as per the expectations of the society, just because they have tied a knot with their partner. Whereas in live-in relationships, people “want to” make things work out and they are ready to give their partner a number of chances because they “want to” stay with them and want to live happily ever after.
Getting married after trying out a live-in relationship gives a couple a clarity and reassurance that this is the person they want to stay with, no matter how hard things get. They have seen the worst side along with the best side of their partner and are ready to accept all of it for a lifetime. When live-in relationships don’t work-out, partners realize that there is much more to a person apart from what they are already aware of. Sometimes between adjusting and compromising for the other person, we tend to lose the essence of the relationship so it’s better to end the relationship before it ends us. - beautifully written by Urvi Pandya