LIVE IN RELATIONSHIP - Things to consider before getting into one
Well, you can support them, like them, or criticize them, but you cannot ignore the existence of live in relationships in our society these days. Well, the numbers are only growing and that only goes on to prove that people are embracing the concept of a live in relationship quite whole-heartedly. This arrangement of a relationship does come with its own pros and cons like everything else. Whether it is socially and culturally the righteous thing to do is a very long form debatable topic and subject to an individual’s own sensibilities and thought process. But there is a huge segment of the society that totally approves of this format. Probably members of any evolved and progressed society should ideally not have any qualms doing so.
The world has changed and so have the relationships. Whether for good or the worse, but it cannot be denied that marriages are not the same as what they used to be. And not just marriages for that matter, all relationships have undergone a transformation. They are more transactional and practical than before and emotional ties and attachments have kind of taken a back seat. For people who still chose to live in denial, may be they have not yet exposed themselves to the real world. The status quos of marital partners have changed, the roles and responsibility demarcations have blurred and the need for freedom and validation of individuality is much higher amongst the couples than ever before. It is now ‘I’ much before ‘us’ and ‘individual sustenance’ over ‘the existence of the relationship’. When marriages in India are an over-valued and over-hyped affair, getting into a live in relationship, with the idea of ‘testing the waters’ first rather than just jumping off into the ocean seems like a much more prudent idea. Don’t they say ‘A known devil is much better than an unknown angel’. Well, this olds so much truth in today’s practical world.
Important aspects to consider and discuss before committing to a LIVE IN RELATIONSHIP
It is the reality of the modern world, and may be very rightly so, that a live in relationship is not just an ‘in-thing’ in the metropolitan cities but quite existential in the smaller towns and cities of the country as well. But before taking that plunge of moving in together, there are still a few aspects that might be worth considering, since even a live in relationship is a commitment at the end of the day.
– Clarity of thought is very important before you jump into the decision. Who are you doing this for and why are you doing this? These are two very important questions you need to ask yourself before anything else. Do you consider a live in relationship an act of rebellion and proving the point that you are independent and can take your own decisions. Or do you really see a potential in your relationship and feel that it is worth exploring and giving a full-throttle chance to? The ‘WHY’ of the question is of paramount importance here. Do not take the decision keeping your friends, family your partner or the world in mind. Take the decision for yourself, keeping your happiness and well-being as the priority.
– Are you financially independent enough? It is a grim truth of today’s materialistic world that the sense of security and independence only hails from the amount of money you make. If you cannot sustain yourself financially, you are not considered independent, no matter how wise, judicious and righteous you may be. Before you take a leap of faith into getting into a live in relationship, secure your earnings. Things may go anywhere from north to south during the arrangement, you should always have the security to walk out of it and sustain yourself. This is even more so important for the womenfolk out there.
– What do you intend to achieve from this arrangement? Or do you even want to get anything out of this? Have an open and unfiltered conversation with your partner. Do you both want to test the viability of living together 24*7 before you make a commitment for marriage? Or you love each other’s company and want to just live together before thinking about anything long term at this time? It is crucial that both the partners be on the same page with respect to their expectations so that there are no heartbreaks, deceit or dismay at the end of it all. Discuss openly what you both want out of this live in relationship.
– Another open conversation and clarity to have is on the topic of bifurcation of responsibilities, finances and other roles. Living together puts you like a married couple just without the rituals. So, the points of contention and fights also remain the same to a large extent. Who will buy the groceries, who will pay the bills and the rent, who would clean up the house in case there is no help? It is not just rose tinted glasses and mush mush love. Live In relationship is hard work and understanding just like a marriage is. Have a detailed conversation with your partner on these points and better make a note of them too.
– No one should say yes to a live in relationship just to please their partner or sugar coat their way into agreeing to get married to you. A live in relationship isn’t a prelude to a marriage, it is a way to find out if your guys are compatible to live with each other genuinely enjoy being partners. Do it at your own will and not as an act of appeasement to your partner or under any pressure or emotional manipulation.
– Before saying a final yes, sit down with yourself and visualize all the hypothetical outcomes of this arrangement and understand your comfort level with each one of them. Ultimately, it is going to be your decision, your life and only you shall be held accountable for it. There is no progress in life without risks, but at least the gambles should be well calculated and well-thought of ones. A live in relationship does not necessarily have to culminate into a marriage or a long-term commitment. But the intentions and motives behind should be honest, clear and straight forwardly put out. The relationship might end in a few months for any reason, may be compatibility. It might strengthen your bond further and give you both confidence to commit to formalizing your relationship. You both might agree to continue being in a live in set up as opposed to a marriage. Or may be one of you might feel differently from the other. Just weigh all the scenarios and the different possible outcomes and your comfort level at accepting each one of them. The last thing you would want is to come out of a live in relationship devastated and scarred. Isn’t that the whole idea of such a relationship – to escape the disappointment and feeling of helplessness that an unhappy or failed marriage brings with it?
– Finally, the biggest point to consider is trust. Do you trust your partner unconditionally and irrevocably? Do you know him well-enough to take the leap of faith? Are you yourself mature enough? Have you seen the world enough to be able to differentiate between the good and bad for you? Can you handle yourself on your own? If your instincts tell you that what you are doing is the right thing and the answer to all of this is a YES, just go for it and take the step.
IS A LIVE IN REALTIONSHIP STILL CONSIDERED A TABOO IN OUR SOCIETY?
Well, there is still a major segment of the society that has still not warmed up to the idea of a live in relationship. That is majorly because of narrowed sensibilities, defiance to open themselves to new ideas and ways of thinking and of course a state-of-denial existence. With the exponentially increasing number of divorce rates in India, a live in relationship sounds like the need of the hour and the very practical approach to being in a happy relationship. Gone are the times, when women where the sufferers or the losing side in such a set up. With financial independence coming into the picture, a live in relationship rather works better in the favour of women than the deeply patriarchal marriage set up in India. It is easier to walk out of a relationship than a marriage, in case the latter is one that only embodies oppression, harassment and inequality in the name of culture and wedding rituals.
So yes, a live in relationship is still looked down upon, but only by those who haven’t progressed with time. But then who really cares about people who refuse to tread ahead with times and come out of their deeply biased patriarchal ways? At the end of the day, one doesn’t have to please and seek the agreement of a population of mankind to take a decision about their own life. If your gut approves of it and the people who matter understand you, there is no reason to have any second thoughts.
HOW TO GET YOUR WAY OUT OF A LIVE IN RELATIONSHIP?
Well we do not mean to encourage any foul plays or suggest some mean tactics. This is about how to end a live in relationship if you have actually decided to do so. The below pointers can really help us a ‘sail through’ guide.
– Respect your partner’s and your own emotions and feelings. Remember you both were in this together and there is a lot that you have shared between you two. Be very graceful and polite in communicating your points. Even if there are some differences, be gentle and considerate while exiting the relationship.
– The ending of every relationship comes with its own set of grudges and blames. But for your own good, refrain from getting into a blame game war. You probably got saved a lot of stress and hassle in the future. Whatever the consequence, it was your decision at the end of the day.
– Be fair, reasonable and mature while dispersing the finances and the joint acquisition. A separation doesn’t necessarily have to be ugly. Always remember, the whole idea behind was to be with each other and figure out your compatibility without getting into the cobwebs and entanglements of expectations and societal pressures that accompany an Indian marriage.
– Take your time, be easy on yourself. Don’t have bursts of self-doubt and self-pity. You tried your best and some things in life are better to be left on a good note. Not every relationship is meant to be forever. Make calm with the situation and allow time to heal and recuperate.
– This is certainly not the end of the world. Resume your passion or hobby or get into learning something new. Focus your energies to a positive task. Set goals and work on to achieve them. Meet your friends and family. Remember, getting out of a live in relationship is just an aspect of your life that probably has taken prominence for now and needs to be dealt with; it is not your whole life.
– You do not necessarily have to friends with your partner. It is absolutely okay not wanting to be in touch anymore and cutting off all the contact. There is no right or wrong. Whatever helps you move on and find your peace do that, but yes, don’t lose attributes of compassion and kindness within you. They go over and above everything else.
– Finally, you do not need to get into a relationship anytime soon just to get over this. Give yourself time. Nothing spells disaster than a rebound relationship. It is being extremely unfair to yourself and to the other person as well.
All said, relationships in current times are very tough. We might have advanced and become more accepting, yet human relationships and behavioral patterns are hard to comprehend. Being in a live in relationship is quite a sensible approach to things, but again we reiterate, if all the pros and cons are well weighed and thought of. Post that, no one can actually predict the future and some things should better be left to destiny for the good.