Aliya and Tarun met each other at a conference. They both found magnetic attraction towards each other. But, both of them did not believe in the institution of marriage. Not because they did not value tradition but because in their busy schedule they hardly had time for personal commitments. According to them, marriage demands lot of sacrifices and they were not ready to do any. They decided to move into live in relationship set up. Where they were committed to each other but were free from any legal or contractual boundations.
“Most of the urban youth put their careers and professional growth ahead of everything else, often neglecting personal relationships and family, as well as their own health and wellbeing”
With changing times concept of relationship is also changing. It is not just about vows and commitment. Today’s Indian youth is getting result oriented. They have high dreams and they do not need any hindrance in their dreams. With an increase in the number of divorces and lack of interest in the institution of marriage today’s youth is looking for easy way out. This, in turn, has given rise to various forms of unconventional relationships. A survey done by Hindustan times and MaRS shows that among the youth who were polled 51.6% Indian men and 44.2% Indian women think that their current relationship will not be long-lasting.
Types of Unconventional Relationships
Sheetal and Rohit are happily married for last 5 years. The only difference they have in their married life is that unlike conventional marriage they opted for the concept of open marriage. Open marriage is a concept in which partners mutually agree on having sexual relationships with other person and it will not be considered as infidelity. It is another name for swinging. According to Rohit and Sheetal, they are very happy in this open relationship. With the changing time, people’s mindset has also changed drastically. Sex with the same partner becomes a routine and this concept helps us to come out of the routine. That doesn’t mean that we do not love each other. The rule to the success of an open marriage is that we will not have an emotional attachment with any of your sex partner other than your spouse- says Rohit.
Though it may sound interesting it is not everybody’s cup of tea. You need to be emotionally strong to get in this type of relationship. There should be no place for jealousy and being true to your partner is the most important aspect of this relationship. Fear of transmission of STD disease is also the major drawback of open marriage concept. Apart from this fear of getting emotionally attached to your sexual partner and affecting your marriage is another risk involved in open relationships.
Polygamy is basically a relationship where you can have two or more spouse. When a man is married to multiple women it is termed as “Polygyny” whereas a woman is married to multiple men it is called “polyandry”. Well, India is not new to polygamy relationship. It has roots in our deep history. In Mahabharat Draupadi had 5 husbands and was referred as “Panchali”. Most of the kings in ancient time had more than one wives. Though now the law doesn’t permit more than one spouse. Polygamy is still practiced in India under the covers.
According to a survey done 15.2 % of Adivasi population and 10 % of the urban population still follows polygamy in India.
It is necessary that the partners involved in multiple marriages are aware of each other and unlike an open relationship, a person cannot have a sexual relationship with anybody else other than his/her multiple spouses. There should be no place for jealousy for your partner’s partner in this kind of arrangement.
Live In Relationship
According to a survey done by India today, there is a subsequent rise in a number of youths in India who doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage. They consider that they have right to live the life there way and marriage no doubt asks for sacrifice. In the concept of Live in relationship two people without getting married live together as a couple. The concept is a boon for couples who think they need to know each other better before saying “I DO”. If they feel they are not compatible enough they can mutually depart without any legal complications.
According to Aastha and Sameer who have been in live in relationship with each other from last one year “We love each other and want to get married but as of now we want to know each other properly. We want to know the compatibility we have with each other. So we moved in a live-in setup. We are happy that we will know each other thoroughly before getting into the institution of marriage and it is far better than getting married early and then facing relationship and compatibility issues.”
Though life in a relationship has been given a valid status in India there are still few drawbacks associated with it the biggest one is that it is not permanent. You may find emotionally attached to your partner but he or she may not and they can easily move out of it. It lacks the depth in a relationship which a marriage brings in.
Friends with benefits
One of my friends Sameena (name changed for privacy reasons) is practicing polyamory relationship from her teenage. In this kind of relationship set up, people have a relationship may be sexual or emotional with more than one person. It is not necessary to give it a name of relationship or go into any form of marriage or contract. People who are polyamorous can include combinations of people of different sexual orientations. According to Shikha humans have basic tendency to get bored with just one kind of thing so what is wrong with switching on. She says “I have a relationship with 4 guys and I am happy with it. Each one satisfies my different need. “
In polyamory chances of getting used are more. You do not have any legal contract to save you. If you are married and are in polyamory relationship outside your marriage your spouse may also feel cheated.
What about the children?
This question comes first in mind when we think about these unconventional relationships is what if kids are also involved. Well, the answer to this is there will be no physical problem in a child if parents are involved in any kind of relationship but there can be emotional issues if the child is not guided right about the relationships. One of our clients is in open marriage but it doesn’t affect their love for their children. They have a happy family and they will tell the kids everything when they come off right age and they are sure their kids will understand it.
Disadvantages of Unconventional Relationships
Everything that looks glittery is not gold. In the same way, these unconventional relationships may look appealing but have many disadvantages associated with it.
- The nuptial bond brings stability in one’s life but unconventional relationships don’t. It is more on the fast food concept.
- Lack of belongingness is missing. It’s debatable if unconventional relationships are actually a real thing because it’s more difficult to build strong relationship bonds. There is never a real guarantee that your partner is officially yours at the end of the day.
- No matter how much you remind yourself that you’re in an unconventional relationship, if you really care for someone jealousy is bound to creep in at some point. But, you will not be able to act on it.
- Fear of STI is very high. Having sex with multiple partners creates a web of people that are sexually linked together. That increases your chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections.
- The child born out of the unconventional relationship is void of all legal bindings. They even have no legal grounds to claim the inheritance.
- Women in an unconventional relationship tend to suffer more. In our society, where patriarchal norms rule in the social diktats, women are the ones who bear the worst burns of stepping out of conventions.
Every type of relationship comes with its own pros and cons before entering into any just look into all aspects of it. Professional counseling can also help you take the right decision.