Living In- Sin or Win?

I’m not in favour of live-in relationships.

If that’s come as a surprise, let me hasten to qualify my statement. I’m not in favour of openly lived live-in relationships, for Indian women, in India-right now.

Here are a few thoughts on this-

-A couple in a live-in relationship in India are looked down upon- more so the woman, than the man. If , by some unlucky turn of fate, the relationship ends, the woman will in India, find herself , on the lowest rung on the social ladder, while the man’s standing takes only the faintest of hits.The social disadvantage could translate into trouble finding a new place to live or trouble with parents – (which in theory can be offset by having a good friends circle , I suppose)

-A woman’s prospects of future suitors gets severely hampered as her character will be deemed to be flawed, where as the man’s ‘suitability’ for future relationships is much less affected.

– Getting unexpectedly pregnant is always a bigger headache for the woman than for the man, irrespective of the outcome- and I don’t have to elaborate on the why’s. Also, getting pregnant while unmarried is a big deal in India, with limited options for dealing with unwanted pregnancies.

I guess, then, I’m not in favour of live in relationships in INDIA. I would have no problem being in a live-in relationship in a country where I wouldn’t be socially punished for it, and where I would have easy access to support if I did become pregnant- irrespective of whether I would choose to be a single mom / terminate the pregnancy/give the baby up for adoption.

Also, I’m against the granting of rights to live-in couples- it turns the relationship into a grey, almost matrimonial area, that defeats the very purpose of a no-strings-attached relationship. I do feel matrimony is an all -or- none kind of relationship, and the introduction of various ‘legal’ stages of togetherness is silly- if people want to be bound up by law, can’t they just get married?

P.S I write this as a girl who’s been in a semi-live-in type of relationship; I had my own place but would frequently spend days at my BF’s place without setting foot in my room, while I do appreciate the advantages of such an arrangement,  a large part of why it did not disadvantage me was the fact that my parents were unaware of it.

However, it was not fun being the neighbourhood’s ‘loose’woman and I would probably not do it again in India, having now lived abroad.

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5 thoughts on “Living In- Sin or Win?

  1. Agree agree agree. Except for the granting of rights bit… I mean sometimes couples don’t necessarily see the need to get married. Not at all common in India but it happens. People elsewhere live together, have kids together etc. without getting married and if something goes wrong with the relationship, or one of the partners is in hospital (visitation rights), or we’re talking about retirement plans or death benefits or mortgages or something it is a good idea for “live-in” relationships to be awarded the same status and rights as marriage. In Canada they’re called common law relationships, and there’s terms (you have to prove you’ve been living together for a year or something) but a common law couple has all the rights of a married couple.

    Just discovered your blog btw. Really good stuff!

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    • Thank you for commenting 🙂

      The reason I’m against awarding rights to live-in couples is not because I think marriage is ‘better’.

      I just feel that there’s no need to have two differently named legal contracts for couples which have identical rights and responsibilities- still, I think the ‘common law’ concept is great for empowering same-sex partners.

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  2. You *could* do a live in, in India, if you stay far from home or are in the ‘right’ social circles. Virginity does not have the same kind of fetish-isation as it does with the older generation, but again, I guess you aren’t talking about 20s women, are you.
     
    Personally, I prefer not to have a live-in, for entirely personal reasons. Semi-live in relationships, like the type you mentioned, are a better bet, given that I am fiercely independant and so is my girlfriend. Both of us living in the same house would make us feel suffocated and make things too complicated for us.

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    • I was talking about women in their 20’s- but I was also talking about those who live in smaller/more prudish communities.
      It’s damn easy to have a ‘secret’ live-in relationship- but to do so openly, even in urban India ,is still wont relatively looked down upon- not by your peers- but other people in your life

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  3. Have at look at my “Rustam Condomwalla” post in my blog. I have had that experience as well, people looking down or harassing you because they find your casualness with the opposite-sex offensive. Personally, my workaround to this problem is not to care about what other people think. There is something or other aboutyou that will always rile others, so its best not to give and damn and just carry on.
     
    In cases where landlords wouldn’t let a house to ‘unmarried’ couples, I find pretending we are married is the best idea. It might not work for mainland Indians however, since a wife is expected to share her husbands surname (while I can pretend to be foreign to this concept).

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