Monday, January 31, 2011


A walk down a flower laden aisle, circles around a sacred fire, or even simple signatures on a document, marriage has a different representation in different people’s minds, but for all, I am sure, its sanctity is utmost. A very normal situation has now arisen, that is slowly replacing these images, and that is of live-in couplelive-in relationship is one in which two people, who are not married decide to live together in a house. If this idea was presented to our grandparents, they would gape at us, open-mouthed, and demand to know what devil had possessed us and made us think such insane thoughts! And who can blame them; such a situation is a very new one in the subcontinent, and has only started becoming popular over the past few years, and in essence, is preposterous.

India is widely known as a country with strong moral values and traditional integrity. Perhaps, that’s why bold exhibitions of romance go for a toss in such a typical society, least being something like live-in-relationships. Marriage as an institution is very old and popular in most parts of the world BUT recent trends show that many people are opting out of it and prefer the less committed form of ‘living in.’ It has been popular in the Western part of the world, where people are afraid of going through another marriage .... another divorce ....and the problems that come with divorce ....dividing up property, alimony, issue of child custody etc.  The union of a man and a woman is considered as one of the most sacred acts in this country. No wonder, living together before marriage is a sour dampener for the staunch ethic upholders. However, the new millennium has ushered in great changes even within the country that has forever been enshrouded in a blanket of rich culture and heritage.
Human relationships are complex and fragile. Sometimes, or increasingly of late, after seeing each other exclusively for a while, they talk about the possibility of co-habiting or living together before even contemplating marriage. Of course there are those who are happy to consensually and permanently enter into a live in relationship without there ever being expectations of marriage. But most couples agree to live together hoping to base their decision about whether or not to get married on the outcome of the live in relationship. Why is it that there are some couples ready to leap into marriage while there are others who would like to go through a 'trial period' before committing themselves to marriage? For these couples, living together may be considered just - a 'sort of litmus test' to prepare themselves before marriage.
The reason most couples give in for living together is, to check their ‘compatibility quotient.’ If they feel they are not compatible, they separate. Others do it because it is convenient; they are anyway spending most of their time in each other's homes so why not conserve time and energy? Some even decide to get married, but live together during the engagement period, as it cuts their expenses and works out better economically. A small percentage even lives together because most of their friends are in live-in relationships and they don't want to be considered the odd ones out. And in yet others, there is a basic, deep-rooted fear of a lifelong commitment like marriage, either because they have been hurt in the past or are offspring of traumatic divorce, and another reason is homosexuality All said and done, living together is a big decision, one not to be taken lightly. It will have long-term repercussions on the relationship, so it's worth weighing the pros and cons.
It’s better to have a live-in relationship rather then having a divorced life! This is common and quite a rational line favoring live-in relations in the world. The word live in is controversial in many terms in eastern countries. The legal definition of live in relationship is “an arrangement of living under which the couples which are unmarried live together to conduct a long-going relationship similarly as in marriage.” Live-in relationships can be encouraged as it gives the partners a chance to understand each other. The partners are free from any social obligations and can hence live without any guilt. They reduce the number of divorces and the mental torture families go through. It reduces domestic violence as the partner can leave anytime.

In an observation that will cheer votaries of pre-marital sex and live-in-partners, the Supreme Court has passed the verdict that a man and woman living together without marriage cannot be construed as an offence.
"When two adult people want to live together what is the offence. Does it amount to an offence? Living together is not an offence. It cannot be an offence," a three judge bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan observed. The court said even Lord Krishna and Radha lived together according to mythology. The apex court said there was no law which prohibits live-in relationship or pre-marital sex.


Drawbacks of a live-in relationship are quite evident – the social stigma attached. The level of compatibility before marriage becomes entirely different after marriage. Problems can occur, but that can happen between a married couple also. In a live-in relationship, commitment is only mutual as there is no social thumbnail attached to it. Hence the partners need to really understand each other very well. The other problem that one faces in a live in relationship is soon things look boring - a year, two, three or in five years time, some time down the line, it may happen. So why take a chance when you can make things right, right before it starts. Do things spontaneously with your partner, that's interesting and unpredictable.
Researchers have come to an understanding that partners who stay together before marriage, in most cases, end up with a break up. And this may sound bitter, but it's an emerging truth that one has to face. If one goes by definition, live in relationships, predominantly meant for couples who were either too busy with social responsibilities or for those who weren't willing to take up much commitments.
The list can go on forever….There is infinite possibilities that one can incorporate to make it a pleasurable journey. After all, it's the journey and not the destination that matters.

Copyright Motifs2010
Labels: Love, arranged, marriage, couple,relationships
Pictures:Courtesy Google Images

Special note of thanks to my fellow blogger, Satwinder Singh, who suggested this idea and helped me do this.


  1. Well said ALpana - "after all its the journey and not the destination that matters". I know 'live in' couples that are more committed than in a marriage too. Some have spent entire lives together - I guess it depends on the people in the relationship and what destination they have in mind. Very well laid down in your article.

  2. Great article tweeted fb and buzzed I am also following you on NB and Buzz Keep up the great writing : )

  3. Hi Alpana , Nice article loved the way you expressed your views on this .. following you now :)

  4. nice article...

  5. The partners need to really understand each other very well.According to me thats the most important line in the whole article.In most cases relationships are built on a weak base which leads to misunderstandings.Couples should know why they love each other more than how much they love each other.Nice article Alpana.

  6. Great topic and lovely article Alpana, people are changing with the times and now have less time to invest in building relationships so they take a short-cut. Live-in and see if they are each his own I guess. Makes us think...

  7. Nice article Alpana. I like the topic and the discussion. Living together within or outside the marriage institution is seemed to be an issue both in the west and the east. Seeking a companion to live with for the rest of our live I believe is the target. The journey or time here will accompany the couple as well. A promise to live together during happy and hard time must be committed by the couples. The couple must love each other. Life is a function of time. The couple must get the benefit from it.

  8. Very interesting article...I enjoyed reading it!

  9. Your voice will make me tremble inside, And your smile is like an invitation, For my imagination to go wild...Excellent article...keep it flowing.

  10. I never understand why marriage has to be. It is only the religion (Christianity and Muslim) who mentions adultery and so on.
    I think living together is actually beautiful and it makes both partners work harder to keep their relationship alive. Because once some people get married, they simply let themselves go , thinking they've already "bagged" their partner for life..

  11. alpana- this is the baggage whilst you are in the relationship and no tags when you leave it.Relationships - of all kinds - are like sand held in your hand.
    Held loosely with an open hand,
    the sand remains where it is.

    The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on,
    the sand trickles through your fingers.
    You may hold on to some of it, but most will be spilled.

    A relationship is like that.
    Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person,
    it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively,
    and the relationship slips away and is lost.

  12. Splendid post as usual Alpana-ji, I believe that its about time this issue was brought into the limelight, and your blog is an excellent medium for doing so. :)

  13. Live in relationship is the choice of the individuals concerned and one tends to respect those decisions as long as it doesnt affect others. I personally would think such a relationship, a convenient way of avoiding commitment & responsibility to each other. It may sound very logical and practical, but in principle it defeats the very concept of a man and woman being one in regards to a relationship. Live in relationship makes a woman more insecure than a man no matter how financially secure each one is ... one always fails to understand the emotional security one keeps looking for....

  14. Very well written...

  15. Thank you..@Kriti,@Jessica,@Vivek,@Adcul,@Abhi,@Sulekha,@Ebnu,@Jim,@Mishtu,@Miera,@Satwinder,@Viju,@Andrew....I am no judge of any kind of a relationship,but there is no harm in trying to put across the fact that every relationship is a beautiful one,if it is based on trust,friendship,and so on...this is a sensitive issue..but for me as an individual,I see no harm..because for me,love in between ant couple is the the most beautiful thing on earth...Thank you very much.

  16. yes you are right ... i like your view !!

  17. Wonderful blog on human relations.
    This blog is now included as our recommended site for ArtLover Members.
    Thanks for sharing this to us ...

    More power and keep on writing


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