Live-in relations not the perfect in-thing?
Live-in relations, considered taboo a decade ago but quite prevalent nowadays in the metros, often end up in separation due to lack of commitment, say experts.
With many couples going for such arrangements in big cities, the society has also opened its doors for Western ways of life. Even the Supreme Court recognised such relations on a par with marriage if the couples are together for a long time, but these are only temporary arrangements, experts feel.
"India is going the Western way in terms of family life and the wide bridge that existed between Indian marriage system and Western world just a generation ago is slowly dwindling," says expert counsellor Dr Gitanjali Sharma.
"Far away from home, more and more couples opt for living together in big cities due to sheer attraction. In the quest for love and support, they ignore things like cultural difference, family background and financial constraints," Sharma told PTI.
"But the things they initially ignore, start cropping up again and again with time creating a rift. Not only this, once the euphoria ends, lack of commitment and infidelity takes away the charm of the relationship," she says.
"I was staying with Samir for the past five years and we were planning to get married but one day when I returned from work earlier than usual I caught him in bed with my landlord's daughter and that was the last day when I saw him," says government employee Nilima.
Says counsellor and psychologist Dr Dherandra Kumar, "These couples do not usually have the moral obligation towards their partners and in the absence of any pressure from the parents as most of these cases remain hidden from the family, they end up in break ups".
Unlike married couples, who think themselves committed and responsible towards their spouses, those in live-in arrangements feel free from any such obligations and start seeing others."
However, the failure is more because of male partners as they somehow believe their girlfriends or wives should obey their orders, the counsellors reason.
Today's women are more independent, ambitious and confident, they like to take their own decisions and have no desire to become a shadow of their male counterparts. But the male partners fail to understand these as they want to take things on their hand, marking the end of the love stories," says Dr Sudha Salhan of Safdurjung Hospital.
Agreeing with her, Dr Sharma adds, "Gen Next women are like genie out of a bottle, so when men attempt to send them into the bottle again they revolt. Thus for the success of any relationship, it is necessary that boy should understand his girl's desire and she gives sufficient time to him to change his mentality".
The couples who get married also face these problems because while a woman remains the same even after tying the knot, man changes drastically. Men want their wives to take responsibility of their parents and behave like a traditional daughter-in-law, but women still want to remain independent like before.