Marriage and Live-in relationships may be two different approaches, but their objective is the same – To find love and companionship. Both live-in relationships and marriage are legal in India, though there are some differences. Here, we are exploring these differences between marriage and live-in relationships from every aspect – psychological, ideological, emotional, and social bearings.
Before you indulge any further, we want to let you know that neither of the two is better than the other. They are different approaches and both of them come with their challenges.
Choosing between marriage or live-in-relationship is a personal choice. But, in case if you are debating which might be better for you and your partner in the given circumstances, these pointers may come handy:
Marriage is a more socially accepted form of relationship between couples. There is social validation that has its own charm. However, live-in relationships are a new and ongoing trend that gives youngsters more confidence about their relationships and life partners without the pressure of marriage.
Both are beautiful concepts to find love. But in India, it is still taboo to live with someone before marriage – especially if it involved a sexual relationship. Some old-school thoughts see a live-in relationship as unholy or impure. While these may be thoughts of the older generation, the young generation sees it as an institution that gives them a sense of freedom. They feel live-in relationships are free of restrictions which makes it easier for people to move out when things aren’t working out. On the contrary, marriage is seen as a lifelong commitment. Sadly if the marriage doesn’t work out, it involves a time-consuming process to dissolve it or to seek divorce.
In Indian society where marriage is a relationship between families, a live-in relationship is between two people. This has its own pros and cons. Depending on what you and your partner want from the relationship, you can decide the path of choice. In marriage, you will have more family involvement and support; but in a live-in relationship, family expectations and involvement are less which might work better for some couples.
Though you can have children in either setup, the legal and social benefits for kids may differ. For example, a child born to a couple in a live-in relationship cannot be called illegitimate, but the father is not obligated legally to support the child. The mother is the legal guardian. So before making a choice, we would suggest you understand the law and decide what is important to you.
Many experts believe that couples in live-in relationships are not as committed as the couple who choose to get married. They believe that the reason why they chose to be in a live-in is the fact that there is something stopping them from committing fully. Though this may be true for many couples, it would be wrong to generalize. It is very important to analyze how committed you are to your partner and how committed the partner is to you! The only thing that really matters is to be on the same page!
As per the research, married couples are more physically and mentally healthier than unmarried couples. Married couples report a lesser number of chronic diseases and have a better recovery rate. Married couples also tend to have lesser depression. The experts attribute better health to the emotional stability and social acceptability that marriage offers.
We want to let you know that it doesn’t matter whether one decides to go ahead with the marriage or stay in a live-in relationship. It is a personal choice. And, one should be absolutely free to make that choice without any societal pressure.
We, as a society, should stop shaming and criticizing couples’ decisions. Because in the end – Marriage and live-in are just two different ways to find love and companionship! Hope this article might have answered some of your questions related to – Marriage vs. Live in.
PS: This article is not meant to be taken as legal advice. For this, we suggest consulting an authorized lawyer.