Time changes and so do people, they say. And the subtle nuances of these changes leave mankind on an irreversible path. A couple living together under the same roof, without a legal relation to each other as that of being married is the basic idea of a live-in relationship, or in other words, cohabitation.
Cropping up here and there within the country, this new trend has lead to a lot of unnecessary chaos. Although considered immoral in the society, it is not illegal. While some say it is purely an individual’s choice, some are against it. In a time, when debates plunge the air if someone spills the words live-in, it is not easy to conclude and take a stand as a population. With differences in opinion, there is so much of unwanted imposition on each other in the name of culture or advancement respectively. Having said, there is always another side to every story, and living together does have its own pros and cons.
Pooja Swaroop, Bengaluru
“I’m open to live-in relationships, and I wouldn’t mind people knowing that I’m in one. I mean, why not? As much you may be in love with someone, it’s a whole new thing when you start living with them. For me, personally, I have to know his habits and behaviour without which I’ll never really know the guy I’m with. Spending the entire day may unravel a lot of things about each other. Yet, the real substance of a person comes to light only when you share your living spaces with each other! I want to know my future husband better before I commit to the relationship. There is nothing wrong with that.”
Deepika Nair, Kochi
“When man came to exist, he was pretty much close to what animals were. He only differed from them physically. But today, we have evolved so much in those hundreds of thousands of years we had. And all of that comes down to the society we formed for ourselves and live in. There are basic morals and principals that distinguish us from other creatures. And I believe we ought to hold on to our ethics and not indulge in socially immoral actions, and yes, a live-in relationship is one such. Call me old-fashioned, but perhaps I just love the idea of getting married to a man and living life with him without putting him through a trial period. It is sad to do so.”
Lakshmi Sharma, Mumbai
“Live-in relationships? I think it’s getting unnecessary attention. It’s a trend that just happened, why can’t we just deal with it? Everywhere people talk about losing out on culture and holding on to ethics. There’s an ugly side to what people do in the name of culture to the underprivileged. And it’s about time we swerved our scrutiny to them instead of debating about live-in relationships. No matter how much ever we discuss this, everybody has the freedom to choose what they want in life. No one can judge anybody.”
Saraswathi Chandra, Coimbatore
“I have mixed thoughts when it comes to this. Honestly, there is a part of the young crowd that misuses their freedom. We cannot deny the fact that some are in a live-in relationship for mere physical pleasures. However, there are those who honestly want to get to know each other before getting married; that I think is fair enough.”
Mallika Rao, Hyderabad
“Only when you have that hint of doubt about the guy, you’d want to live with him first before approving him of being your husband. So where is the idea of real love in that? This is really very absurd. Also, the biggest concern of the society is that live-in relationships pave way to pre-marital sex. And that is not what we teach our kids these days, that’s not what our parents taught us decades ago. How can all those morals we’ve held on to so preciously be thrown away? Where’s the respect that we give our culture? Someday soon, we’d probably be a mere, sad imitation of the westerners.”
Reshma Williams, Chennai
“Most couples find out that their better half is not who they expected to be, which leads to so many complications and eventually a divorce. Their children get affected, and there is so much drama that goes on. To save myself from the entire trauma, I would rather choose to be with the guy and know him for good before giving him the power of emotionally ruining my life. It is way better than letting go of each other after a commitment. And yet another reason that living together is good is that, I will know his flaws, and when I do, I will prepare myself to overlook them post-marriage.”
HEIGHTS OF HYPOCRISY
In the light of modern times, hypocritical people are increasing in number. The obvious reason is them having to “be a part” of the society. Think about it this way, If everyone inclusive of your family, friends and everybody else were easy on this idea of living together with the person you love before being married, there’s a lot of chance you would give in to it as well. Nevertheless, there are a lot of factors that hold people back in doing so in current times, which is understandable. The point is hypocrisy has become the very heart of this discussion.
OLD AND CLEVER, YOUNG AND ABSURD?
Living together is a baffling thought to many out there. But, why should it have to come down to a point where he or she is young and that is exactly why they are doing crazy things such as living together? On a second thought, that is the scenario today. But not all young people can be stereotyped to be insane. For, there might be a day when 40 year-olds might be in live-in relationships.
THE OTHER SIDE
Love back then was… something! It had so much more to it. Not because it was a secret little thing young people shared, but because it was almost as important as a marriage. Break-ups did not happen at the snap of a finger, unlike today, and love often led to a happily-ever after. We hardly see any of those nowadays. Yes, there are people who fall in love for now and forever. But you can’t neglect the fact that most of them go their separate ways sooner or later. Living together has become the perfect way to work out such momentary relationships. The problem eventually is not with live-in relationships, but the consequences and unclear paths that it leads couples to.
SORTING OUT PRIORITIES
Every single decision comes down to your priorities. A live-in can be healthy if two people are open about their expectations. The best thing to do is blatantly talk about marriage, whether you want it or not. Living together happens when a person wishes to be with someone for now, unsure of the future-long term relationship, or it could be as simple as them figuring things out and going with the flow. But for a healthy ending, if there should be one, these things would help in keeping financial and emotional trouble at bay in the future. You can’t afford to not know what you both want out of this relationship.
NO MORE JUDGEMENTS
End of the day, even though we are a society, a lot of things come down to a single human being’s choice of things. And nobody else has the space to criticise them for those very choices. Judging a person because of their relationship stands in life is downright immature. We have to remember the fact that these are personal aspects of a person’s life. Unlike economical meltdown, and other problems of a society, cultural evolution is a natural process in itself. It is hard to contain. And may be keeping this in mind will be a good start. Because no matter how many more debates, panel discussions, movies or articles come out regarding live-in relationships, it is here to stay. When times change, people change.