Live-In Relationships Are Legal. Our Society Needs To Stop Acting Like It’s A Crime
As an adult, you are considered responsible enough to vote, drive a car, get married, and do so much. Yet, somehow, our society thinks they have the right to dictate what a person should or should not do in their personal relationships. Live-in relationships are frowned upon like it’s illegal to be in one. How can society have the authority to tell a person they must not live with their partner before marriage? Or when you should be having sex in your lifespan. I understand, humans are social and we have communities and all that. But hello, I want to know at which point in ancient history people started refusing to understand the concept of boundaries, personal choice and autonomy.
In fact, there’s so much stigma around a couple being in the same room together that some hotels won’t even allow it. They make it sound like two people making love is equivalent to a sex racket. Why must a couple go through so much shaming to just spend some quality time together? Or even if it is just sex, is it not a natural need?
It amuses me that once in a while, you will stumble upon on a thread on Quora or Reddit which discusses whether live-in relationships should be legal in India. Like wtf? Several people consider living with your partner a crime of the same order as breaking and entering someone’s house. Oh, wait. I think they see the former as more corrupt and dishonouring.
Society vs relationships
Orthodox people can sit in a circle, bitching about someone’s daughter for having a boyfriend, and talk extensively on how western influence has ruined our culture. But it doesn’t change the fact that the liberal mentality of the western countries is something the youth of our country covets. And we form a huge chunk of our population.
I feel terrible comparing but isn’t it great to be completely responsible for your relationships? As an adult, I should be able to nourish my relationship the way I want and if it involves moving in together, then why not? Why should my desire to build a home with my partner be cropped by society’s polished interfering skills?
Several families have accepted the live-in culture but so many people assume it is some sort of a sin. Most Indian parents will not allow their daughters and sons to co-habit with a person of the opposite sex. They won’t even allow a sleepover. And even parents who “allow” (yeah, as adults apparently we still have to seek approval!) will hide it from their relatives and neighbours. It’s difficult for unmarried couples to find an apartment too.
So while it is legal to be in a live-in relationship in India, why can’t society stop trying to make it sound like a crime?
Yes, they will have sex. So?
It all comes down to sex. Somehow, desi parents just can’t digest the fact that their kids will grow up, become teenagers, develop sexual feelings and at some point be adults who can have sex. They can’t even face the fact that their children are probably kissing another human while their parents sip tea. If it were upto our society, none of us (especially women!) would come with a switch that would activate our sexual desires only after marriage. Of course, the control would be with our families. Autonomy seems like a myth!
Now when a couple decides to live-in all people can think is that they must be having sex all day. If they are, good for them but that’s really not how it works. If there was a magical way that a couple would not be physically intimate while staying together, our society would have zero issues with live-in relationships.
Yes, couples will have sex and it really doesn’t depend on whether they staying together or not. Unless you decide to majorly violate human rights, you cannot ensure that we don’t do anything even remotely sexual. So maybe, stop being in denial and accept live-in relationships.
This moral police culture needs to stop
The thing with our society is that the people just can’t keep kaam se kaam. There is no policy of ‘live and let live’ as the moral police culture is present everywhere. You could be grocery shopping with your bra strap showing and there will be an aunty looking at you like you’ve just sold cocaine to a child. If someone doesn’t like the idea of live-in relationships, don’t be in one. We can’t change stubborn perspectives but how about they keep it to themselves? What is this need for making the decision for others? This culture is the reason women live with all sorts of guilt and shame for reasons that are plain invalid. Adults can decide for themselves. Thanks.