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Live in Relationship in India


India is a country where a Live in relationship was considered a taboo and

looked down upon until recently. A live in relationship is wherein an
unmarried man and an unmarried woman live together without the bond of
marriage or without any official approval from the society. To define this
concept we could say that “A living arrangement in which an unmarried
couple lives together in a long-term relationship that resembles a

People Who Follow this Myth and their characteristics

 People between the age group of 20 – 30.

 People who have a broader and modern view of looking at things.

 People who are not affected by what the society approves of before their
personal likes and dislikes.

 People who stay away from their families.

 People who are influenced by the western culture.

 Couples who are scared of commitment.

 Couples who are unsure as to whether they are right for each other and whether
they can accept each other as their life partners.

 People who live in metropolitan or big cities.

Dynamic Myth or Pros

1. Compatibility : Couples move in together mainly because they are in love

and they want to spend more time together. They want to make sure they are
compatible before they make a lifetime commitment to each other.

2. Responsibilities : Couples get an idea of how a marriage works without

having an obligation towards it. They get to understand the responsibilities
that come in when a person is expected to handle the responsibility of a

3. Commitment : There is A huge part of men population who are largely

scared of commitment. Thus, this gives them an opportunity to try
commitment but still not be committed at the same time. Which herein helps
them to overcome the fear of commitment.

4. Avoiding a stressful & failed marriage : Many marriages are stressful and
end up in a divorce either because of lack of compatibility or because the
couple realises that they are with a person who is not right for them to spend
a lifetime with.

5. Need for care and support is fulfilled : People who stay away from their
family get somebody to look after them and care for them just like their own
family members would.

6. Oxygen for Homosexuals: A Live in relation comes as a relief to

Homosexual couples who know that they would not be accepted by the
society as married couples, but still want to spend their life with each other.
Counter Myth or Cons

1. Risk of the relationship not converting into marriage : There is no

guarantee as to whether a live in relationship will always result in the
couple getting married to each other. In short a failed relationship which
would lead to a majority of problems . These problems are also
mentioned ahead.

2. Failed live- in relationship causes extreme emotional stress : When

cohabiting couples separate, it can be extremely stressful emotionally in
comparison to couples who don’t stay together but separate. Also
division of assets often becomes a contentious issue.

3. Risk of being caught by parents if they are unaware as in most

situations : There is always a risk that parents would find out about their
child living with someone without getting married leading to baffled and
angry families or even severed family ties. Some might even face
estranged ties. If the couple is still studying it might also lead to them
having to pack their bags and going back home as per parents wishes.

4. Risk of future marriage prospects : If the live in doesn’t convert into

marriage, then mostly the girl always has the fear about the relation being
dug up or spoken about in the public which could risk her getting to
married to someone else . It is considered as a character flaw for the girl.

5. Disapproval of the society : The society largely looks down upon live in
relationships in India as even though pre marital sex occurs, we still live
in a society which prefers to be in a state of denial and which doesn’t
accept an unmarried couple staying together.

6. Acts of premarital sex resulting in unwanted pregnancy, abortions :

When couples stay together they engage in pre marital sexual activities
which often result in unwanted pregnancies, then leading to abortions.

7. Bitterness comes in if it’s a failed relationship : If a person is mature

enough to handle the live in relationship, they can easily adjust to the
after effects of a failed relationship but if an immature person gets into a
live in and then comes across a failed one, they are not in sync with the
society and this can lead to insecurities in their minds. Depression can
also be another major drawback. This also leads to lack of even cordial
ties between the two individuals.


“ Trial and error Marriage concept . “

A live in relationship is just like marriage except for the legalities and the official
announcement in the society. It gives a couple a chance to get to know each other
better in terms of whether they can have a fruitful marriage and a peaceful
cohabitation. It gives them an idea as to whether they can handle the
responsibilities that come with marriage and if they can prove to be the right
choice when it comes to spending a responsible family life. Hence we can term it
as a trial and error marriage concept. The Trial And Error theory being a
substantial learning theory put forth by noted psychologist Edward Lee

The post modern ideology of a Live in relationship is giving an opportunity to
those who cannot marry or those who are not yet ready for marriage to feel the
essence of marriage and see if they fit in. This if accepted can reduce the rate of
divorces but at the same time it also can be a mockery of the age old concept of
marriage which is considered a sacred union of two individuals. The concept is a
largely urbanised concept specific to larger cities where the youth enjoys more
freedom than those in the rural or in the smaller cities of India. In the fast city life
where people have no time to look at what their neighbour does, a live in
relationship might not even stand out. Hence the concept is largely followed by
people in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi etc to name a few.

Poverty Eradication

5.1 Since women comprise the majority of the population below the poverty line
and are very often in situations of extreme poverty, given the harsh realities of
intra-household and social discrimination, macro economic policies and poverty
eradication programmes will specifically address the needs and problems of such
women. There will be improved implementation of programmes which are already
women oriented with special targets for women. Steps will be taken for
mobilization of poor women and convergence of services, by offering them a range
of economic and social options, along with necessary support measures to enhance
their capabilities

Micro Credit

5.2 In order to enhance women’s access to credit for consumption and production,
the establishment of new, and strengthening of existing micro-credit mechanisms
and micro-finance institution will be undertaken so that the outreach of credit is
enhanced. Other supportive measures would be taken to ensure adequate flow of
credit through extant financial institutions and banks, so that all women below
poverty line have easy access to credit.

Globalization has presented new challenges for the realization of the goal of
women’s equality, the gender impact of which has not been systematically
evaluated fully. However, from the micro-level studies that were commissioned by
the Department of Women & Child Development, it is evident that there is a need
for re-framing policies for access to employment and quality of employment.
Benefits of the growing global economy have been unevenly distributed leading to
wider economic disparities, the feminization of poverty, increased gender
inequality through often deteriorating working conditions and unsafe working
environment especially in the informal economy and rural areas. Strategies will be
designed to enhance the capacity of women and empower them to meet the
negative social and economic impacts, which may flow from the globalization


6.1 Equal access to education for women and girls will be ensured. Special
measures will be taken to eliminate discrimination, universalize education,
eradicate illiteracy, create a gender-sensitive educational system, increase
enrolment and retention rates of girls and improve the quality of education to
facilitate life-long learning as well as development of
occupation/vocation/technical skills by women. Reducing the gender gap in
secondary and higher education would be a focus area. Sectoral time targets in
existing policies will be achieved, with a special focus on girls and women,
particularly those belonging to weaker sections including the Scheduled
Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes/Minorities. Gender sensitive
curricula would be developed at all levels of educational system in order to address
sex stereotyping as one of the causes of gender discrimination.


6.2 A holistic approach to women’s health which includes both nutrition and health
services will be adopted and special attention will be given to the needs of women
and the girl at all stages of the life cycle. The reduction of infant mortality and
maternal mortality, which are sensitive indicators of human development, is a
priority concern. This policy reiterates the national demographic goals for Infant
Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) set out in the National
Population Policy 2000. Women should have access to comprehensive, affordable
and quality health care. Measures will be adopted that take into account the
reproductive rights of women to enable them to exercise informed choices, their
vulnerability to sexual and health problems together with endemic, infectious and
communicable diseases such as malaria, TB, and water borne diseases as well as
hypertension and cardio-pulmonary diseases. The social, developmental and health
consequences of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases will be tackled
from a gender perspective.

Housing and Shelter

6.9 Women’s perspectives will be included in housing policies, planning of

housing colonies and provision of shelter both in rural and urban areas. Special
attention will be given for providing adequate and safe housing and
accommodation for women including single women, heads of households, working
women, students, apprentices and trainees.

Rights of the Girl Child

8.1 All forms of discrimination against the girl child and violation of her rights
shall be eliminated by undertaking strong measures both preventive and punitive
within and outside the family. These would relate specifically to strict enforcement
of laws against prenatal sex selection and the practices of female foeticide, female
infanticide, child marriage, child abuse and child prostitution etc. Removal of
discrimination in the treatment of the girl child within the family and outside and
projection of a positive image of the girl child will be actively fostered. There will
be special emphasis on the needs of the girl child and earmarking of substantial
investments in the areas relating to food and nutrition, health and education, and in
vocational education. In implementing programmes for eliminating child labour,
there will be a special focus on girl children.



Scholars believe that in ancient India, the women enjoyed equal status with men in
all fields of life. However, some others hold contrasting views. Works by ancient
Indian grammarians such as Patanjali and Katyayana suggest that women were
educated in the early Vedic period[5][6] Rigvedic verses suggest that the women
married at a mature age and were probably free to select their husband.[7]
Scriptures such as Rig Veda and Upanishads mention several women sages and
seers, notably Gargi and Maitreyi.[8]

Some kingdoms in the ancient India had traditions such as nagarvadhu ("bride of
the city"). Women competed to win the coveted title of the nagarvadhu. Amrapali
is the most famous example of a nagarvadhu. Although reformatory movements
such as Jainism allowed women to be admitted to the religious order, by and large,
the women in India faced confinement and restrictions. Feet The Indian woman's
position in the society further deteriorated during the medieval period when Sati,
child marriages and a ban on widow remarriages became part of social life in India.
The Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent brought the purdah practice in the
Indian society. Among the Rajputs of Rajasthan, the Jauhar was practised. In some
parts of India, the Devadasis or the temple women were sexually exploited.
Polygamy was widely practised esp. among Hindu Kshatriya rulers.Also in Rural
India the concept that women were meant for the kitchen and for kids was

The Bhakti movements tried to restore women's status and questioned some of the
forms of oppression.[9] Mirabai, a female saint-poet, was one of the most
important Bhakti movement figures. Shortly after the Bhakti movement, Guru
Nanak, the first Guru of Sikhs also preached the message of equality between men
and women. He advocated that women be allowed to lead religious assemblies; to
perform and lead congregational hymn singing called Kirtan or Bhajan; become
members of religious management committees; to lead armies on the battlefield;
have equality in marriage, and equality in Amrit (Baptism).

In 1917, the first women's delegation met the Secretary of State to demand
women's political rights, supported by the Indian National Congress. The All India
Women's Education Conference was held in Pune in 1927. Women played an
important part in India's independence struggle. Some of the famous freedom
fighters include Bhikaji Cama, Dr. Annie Besant, and Kasturba Gandhi. The Rani
of Jhansi Regiment of Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army consisted
entirely of women including Captain Lakshmi Sahgal. Sarojini Naidu, a poet and a
freedom fighter, was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian
National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India.

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