Marriage is considered a pious institution by all the communities of the world. It is the communion of two people, which is sealed with holy promises and spiritual blessings. As per traditional beliefs, a man and a woman were allowed to stay together only after marriage. However, in the contemporary world, the social norms seem to have changed drastically as more and more people resort to cohabitation before marriage. In the modern day lingua, living with boyfriend or girlfriend before marriage is known as a 'live-in' relationship.
With regard to the validity of live-in relationships, it can be said that though it is not openly acceptable by the society, its occurrence has significantly increased. There are both convincing and contemporary thoughts in this respect. As per the young generation of the present times, couples find it a convenient way of reaping all the benefits of living together, without making any actual commitment. Moreover, they consider it to be a golden opportunity to judge the other person as a prospective spouse.
However, as per the researchers the situation seems quite grim. According to many studies conducted over the subject, results show that live-in relationships are quite risky with regard to longevity and stability. Married couples, who have lived together initially, are seen to have greater chances of divorce. The divorce rate is just double as compared to the couples, who did not indulge in living-in relationships. Some thinkers have even propagated that the rate of divorce after marriage is inversely proportional to the time spent in a live-in relationship.
Living with boyfriend before marriage offers a lower quality of life as compared to married couples. This leads to lower levels of happiness, lower levels of sexual privacy and satisfaction and poor relationships with parents. This gives rise to increased rate of depression, experienced by the couple. Moreover, women in living-in relationships are even more susceptible to physical and sexual abuse. Researchers also advocate that most of the live-in relationships do not culminate in marriage.
Reason being, either the relationship ends or partners avoid commitment as they feel they can avail the luxury and benefits of being together without marriage. Focusing on yet another dimension of the issue, some nations have given the arrangement a green signal, by issuing legal rights to living-in females and the offspring produced out of the union. This has completely altered the social equation, showing an acceptance of cohabitation without marriage. Subsequently, though living-in without marriage is still condemned on religious grounds and is scorned upon by societal advocates, it is becoming the norm.