Relationships require commitment. There are shorter relationships like casual dates which may or may not lead to something more serious, and then there are marriages on the other end of the relationship spectrum. However, a live-in relationship, which might be placed somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, is one choice that has to be thought through. Now, in India, live-in relationships are not illegal, and there are several laws that protect both the parties and any child that is born out of such a relationship. So that provides a lot of security. But it is you who needs to safeguard your own interest, and think of all the pros and cons of getting into such a committed relationship. Only then will you be sure of how much you’re willing to invest in it.
First thing you need to figure out is why you are even considering taking this step. Is it because you want to judge your compatibility before you get married? Is it because you both are staying in an expensive city, and it would be economical to stay together? Or is it both? Is it that you are at a stage in life where you feel you just want to live together and see what the future holds, without an end goal? Whatever the reason, make sure that the love between you both is enough to take a step forward. Irrespective of the reason, make sure that you fully realize and understand that reason. Living together, you will be invested emotionally and physically more than you are currently.
2. Liar! Liar!
Although our Supreme Court gives legal status to a live-in couple, our society is still repulsed at the thought of premarital sex and considers it a sin. Parents in India have still some catching up to do in this matter and may not support your decision; that is, if you decide to tell them. You might even have to lie to your landlord and your neighbors, and will have to work hard to maintain that lie. In addition to the acquaintances and friends, you might also have to hide the fact from your parents and family. It is completely up to you to share or hide this information. Just be mentally prepared for it. In case you feel that honesty is the best policy, think again.
Image source: Shutterstock
It would be good to ask your friends or even a relationship therapist for their advice, and their outlook on your relationship. As time and again has been proven, ‘love is blind,’ we do not see the shortfalls of our own relationship, and hence it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to get a fresh perspective. A relationship counselor simply helps you both sort out your feelings and makes you realize your own thinking. They do not advice or guide your life – you will ultimately be responsible to make the decision and take it forward.
4. Legal Counsel
Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License
You can read a lot of this information online on various legal websites and forums. If, over the course of time, you would like to take the relationship more seriously yet are unsure about the legal ramifications, you can then decide to pay a visit to a lawyer who specializes in legal implications that follow living-in with your partner. It will help you understand and prepare for the next step in case your relationship doesn’t go down the intended road.
5. Test Run
Before you actually move-in, try living with each other under the same roof for about a week or two. It will give you an insight into what you are getting into. If you are happy doing it for these few weeks, think whether you would be happy doing it for a longer period or not. In addition to the investment in the relationship, both partners also have to invest in managing the household and everything that entails – including maids, cooks, groceries and the works. Know what you are getting into and that you are willing to give it a spin.
A happy relationship requires both partners working in tandem. So take some time and think about the dynamics of your relationship. Are you both putting in efforts to make the relationship work? Are you both partners in the real sense of the word, with both of you on an equal footing? Or are you more invested in the relationship than your partner? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before plunging into a live-in relationship.
Image source: Shutterstock
Consider living with your partner as living with a roommate. You will have to share the expenses along with the household duties. It would be a great idea to sit down and decide each person’s contribution towards these expenses. Keep the financial quotient out of your emotional relationship. Believe it or not, money can wreak havoc in the most secure of relationships.
8. Separate Bedrooms
The whole point of a live-in relationship is to live like a married couple, without being married. But remember, you still aren’t married. So when you are looking for apartments, thinks about having separate bedrooms. There will be times when you will need some space for yourself. That extra bedroom will come in handy.
Image source: Shutterstock
Talk to your partner with complete honesty. Make sure that the reason to live together for both of you is the same. You wouldn’t want to live together for five years to find out that while you wanted to strengthen your bond, your partner simply wanted to share the bills and survive in an expensive city. Boy, would that be a rude shock!
10. Be sure
Live-in relationships are not very different from the institution of marriage, except the easier process of getting in and out of one. If you are ready to take the next big step, think again about why you can’t get married instead of living together. You don’t really need to live together for a long term to check compatibility; there are many other ways too to do that. So what is stopping you from getting married? If you both want a long-term live-in relationship without the encumbrances of marriage – that is your choice too, but think it through together. Be real sure that this is the step you want to take, and then just go with it.
Featured image source: Shutterstock