Saturday, October 20, 2012

Livin-in my jeans

Jeans have evolved over the years into apparel that blend, adapt and cannot be torn away from one’s skin, if one is used to wearing jeans. The longer it stays on you, you live in it and Jeans becomes an indestructible part of you. You cannot do without. It becomes your second skin! You feel naked when you cloth in other garments and when you are not in it. You come to live in it, to say figuratively.

Live-in-Jeans or Live-in-relationship! The later has an added advantage unlike with the jeans there is no emotional bond that would restrain you from jettisoning out. Is it more a matter of convenience, or am I being prejudiced and or biased?

The Live-in concept that is now commercially attributed to the denim wear may have originated from the live-in relationships human beings have come to adopt. Though, not a rage yet, it is gradually and imperceptibly catching the attention and impending to be the choice of the “Generation- next”. But the similarity between a jeans that we live-in and the new convenience relationship does not extend yonder.
Can one be critical of this new concept of living together without the sanctity of wedlock, legal license or social acceptability? In a world that is increasingly resonating with the voice of intolerance, prejudice and simultaneously the demand for individual freedom, freedom of thought and way of life, I feel an individual need not have to cede to the scrutiny of the Jones next door. I guess, what my son or daughter does with their life as adults are their choice. Can I put the straight jacket of conventions and the overbearing of a sententious father? I feel my nose should not extend beyond my hands. albeit! And indeed it is a capital “BUT”!

I began to wonder about the live-in-relationships and convenience partner concept that is now seen in many case, when a close friend to whom we enquired if she could refer from her circle of acquaintances any matchmaking proposal for my niece. She did not decline, but at the same time expressed fear that it is now considered akin to donning the cross and heavy mantle when such an exercise is done in earnest. The incidences of broken marriages- divorces, separations and in extreme cases suicide are many that people are scared or frightened to engage in match making.

Now I would like to think if marriage is worth all the risk, that is being attributed to the system and in certain cases, uncritically so. Soon after the World War II and when the Cold war gripped Europe it was not uncommon for young men and women to choose not to have children as they did not wager much survival chances for the continent that was then threatened by Armageddon. Some even decided to stay out of wedlock and its collateral commitments.

What is it that prompts the young to disregard conventions of marriage – something that all may have seen practiced by their parents and elders, an institution that has been thriving for centuries? True there are and have always been cases of baleful and unenviable living in wedlock. Perhaps as true and chancy as a violent misfortune that may befall on a travel by Air, Sea or land!

Whatever may be the raison d'ĂȘtre that bring youth into cohabiting and in a living-relationship with out what they perceive as entrapment of marriage, can I as an adult and in the afternoon of my life criticise the right of individuals to live their life as they deem fit? Have not I accepted the conventions of the society and lived a life in compliance to the accepted rules of matrimony? Was not that my personal decision? And what if a young fellow or lass decides to break the boundaries of convention and trappings and chart a life they deem fit for them in their pursuit of happiness?

 Should I fret, fume, feel sad, morally offended, and be outraged?

But what disturbs me somewhere is the probable denial of the chance for posterity to be reared in the undeniably heavenly cocoon, a sanctuary of the family. Of a home where commitments are indeed what bonds the members.


rama said...

It is very common in the west as we all know. They like to try various partners before they decide to tie the so called knot, if at all they interested in being tied down with a person. It is just like trying various dresses in a shop, buying one that fits us and throwing it away when it is worn out.
I think there is no wrong or right in this matter, it all depends on our upbringing, or what has been drummed into us.
Just as it is difficult for them to understand our way of life, so also it is difficult for us to understand what they are looking for.
But for the younger generation it seems to offer a alternative to try before plunging into marriage, compromise, and maybe a messy divorce. This option gives them the chance to know a person truly, without being trapped in a marriage.
Of course there are cases where the girl, even in the west, starts nagging the partner to commit to a marriage, for somewhere eventually, she feels that marriage is the next logical step in their life. Most of the time she is disappointed, because the man is not still ready to take that responsibility, and then the break ups happen, each moving on in search of the ideal partner, and most of them end up, psychologically, choosing the same kind of partner to go through the same trauma in their lives.
It sounds so funny, but that is the way they have been brought up, and their society accepts such practice as normal.
It is also true in many cases they have ended up marrying their live in partner, or have eventually found the right partner to get married and live happily ever after.
It is certainly not so easy for us to accept this concept, but it is better we prepare ourselves for it, by seeing it in a positive way.
What else can we do?
It makes more sense to go with the flow.

sujata sengupta said...

I personally find the concept of live-in relationships quite sad. It is for those who are scared to commit to anything, who are not sure what they want and neither are they sure of what they can give. With that kind of uncertainty, I dont see the point of having any relationship at all. True that love or relationship does not depend on a stamped piece of paper, but this line is used merely as a rationalisation by commitment-phobic people.

I believe that marriage is the communion of two families and the extended family is such a blessing to the future generations. A live-in misses out on that comfort.

Happy Kitten said...

In major cities in India, live-in relationship has become too common to turn our face away from reality. Guess it would become a reality to some of us only when our own children try it. I am not sure how I would react to it...but it would be hard for me to accept it.

As for live-in relationship, I see that even they are trying to establish rules and regulations.. if this was the case then why not marriage?

The current generation has wide lot of choices and finance at their disposal unlike the previous.. and hence they are free to experiment on relationships too.

KParthasarathi said...

What is marriage?It is nothing but a live-in relationship with long term commitment and acceptance of responsibility for their common actions.A live-in relationship without any obligations and freedom to walk out whenever inclined is more a convenience to enjoy the partnership without the attendant responsibility.
But if two adults are willing and prepared for such an arrangement,the others have no say in it.

Insignia said...

Its a rehearsal before marriage :-)
People now a days are smart; they dont want to get into something unknown and suffer later, you see?

Anyway, I dont understand the concept but if it keeps two people comfortable; its their choice!

Makk said...

Our System has its own flaws.

but what I have seen, Lives-in Relationship are being preferred by couples where girl's future is more compromised then a marriage system.

In marriage at one have legal options available in case of any complications but live in snatch those away.

Summarily I would say Indians are adopting a system which allow them more hypocracy.

and they are Ace of that. Already.

Renu said...

I think its fad and will fade out when people realise the pitfalls. Because whether we want or not expectations always come in a relationship..and without commitment they are not going to be fulfilled.
Today youngsters want to learn only with their mistakes and so they will...

adithyasaravana said...

This is some food for thought..
I know of my two closest buddies, my school mates who chose to live like that, maybe not out of choice, but out of inevitability..
Life is not all that peaceful or Amusing..they do have responsibility and commitment towards each other., but again fights, misgivings and yearnings are not bridged by the sanctity of the institution, or by a kid..
Sometimes, this too is a marriage but without the attendant benefits.
Now, I don't look down upon couples who live-in, but dread to witness such prescriptions for my dear

anilkurup said...

@ rama,

Yes I understand the helplessness you seem to have towards the end of your comment.
The symbolic tying of the knot, a legal compliance at the Registrar's office can also be superficial. But what it brings along for ordinary folks like most of us is a sense of responsibility and commitment. Will a livin relationship have that sense of responsibility when it is not like changing clothes? Will there be a home built and a family in it?

@ Sujata,

I agree with you. It is the institution of family that loses out.
Even lions have their pride, birds their flock, sheep their herd and for man- it is the family.

@ Happy Kitten,

You got a valid point. Financial affluence and maneuverability is what that drives young to experiment etc. I have not however asked a livin couple what there take is.

@ KParthasarathi,

That is what I wonder. If two adults take a choice can a third party voice disapproval?
But what could be the reason for such a course?

@ Insignia,

Yes the final call is reserved to the parties concerned. But there is something called "force majeure" in contracts . That can apply to marriage and livin relationship too. don't you think so?

@ Makk,

Perhaps you are a bit harsh in judging?
I think it is more of convenience as the parties see it.

@ Renu,

You have some wisecrack and wisdom too in your comment.

@ Adityasaravanan,

Yes I agree. Neither do I want to be accused of antediluvian profile. .

BK Chowla, said...

Honestly,I have never understood this concept of live in relationship.May be I am too backwards.

....Petty Witter said...

Fascinating how you seamlessly go from live in jeans to live in relationships. With weddings becoming increasingly expensive here I think, rightfully or wrongly, many couples see these relationships as a viable alternative.

Shilpa Garg said...

Live-in relationships are like stop gap arrangements or test drive... and marriage is the final destination... see Saif-Kareena or Brad-Angeline, they finally tied the knot.