Live-In Relationships Vs. Marriage: The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Both

By James Walsh

Marriage is a commitment not only to stay monogamous but to be present as a social and emotional support also. The goal of marriage is for the lives of both individuals to become intertwined as one and for them to begin to function as a single entity or unit. Contrary to popular belief there are pros and cons to this complex thing called marriage.

Advantages of Marriage

Marriage provides one with overall stability in life. The spouse becomes an anchor, tied to which, one performs all the other functions of life. This stability is of increasing importance in the ever-changing world of today.

Marriage also leads to creation of a family unit. This family unit in turn further propagates the social ethics as are prevalent in the society. It gives shape and composure to the social set up as a whole. Marriage is not called the first building brick of the society, without any reason.

Ever since man turned into a civilised being, marriage has been the corner stone of the society. It is an accepted norm in all religions and cultures across the world. Marriage enjoys social sanctity like no other human relationship.

Disadvantages of Marriage

A marriage can have some disadvantages also. This is especially true if either one or both the partners have a strong streak of individualism. Individualism is the enemy of a happy and contented married life. It can harm the relationship to an enormous extent.

Marriage means sharing. It is sharing of the finances, friends and family. In fact virtually everything that is there in a human relationship is shared in a marriage. Individualism is the exact opposite of this feeling of fraternity.

Individualism is an assertion of one’s own self over and above the context of the relationship. Thus and individualistic person may feel entrapped in the marriage. He or she may not feel comfortable and yearn for greater privacy.

Live in Relationships

The live in relationship is becoming the norm in the western societies. They are becoming so common that it is very much possible that there are more couples who are staying in a live in relationship as compared to those who have tied the knot.

A live in relationship is becoming common in the society as it does not have the strings of commitment attached to it, as a marriage does. One may not get a readymade family but then one is also free from commitments of all kind.

Advantages of a Live in Relationship

A live in relationship has certain distinct advantages over a married life. As has already been stated it is a relationship which is devoid of commitment. Thus it is that one can have an association with multiple partners simultaneously….if you see this as an advantage.

In this kind of a relationship even the financial obligations of marriage are absent. In marriage one automatically commits his or her finances towards the betterment of both the spouses. It is an integral part of married life. This however is not the case in a live in relationship.

Furthermore a live in relationship does not bog down an individual to the norms of the society as a marriage will. One can continue to be away from the family and friends of the other without there being any problem on this account.

More than anything else, the biggest advantage of a live in relationship is that it can be brought to an abrupt end. In order to dissolve a marriage, on the other hand, one has to go through lengthy, cumbersome and expensive divorce procedures.

Disadvantages of a Live in Relationship

Nevertheless a live in relationship has got certain disadvantages also, that are associated with it. To begin with its biggest advantage of a lack of commitment on part of either individual is also its biggest drawback.

One cannot depend on one’s partner to the same extent as is possible in marriage. The shoulder is there for certain occasions, but it may not be there in bad times. It lacks the depth of a married relationship.

Same is true in the context of the finances. In the event of a marriage one automatically knows that the spouse is there to fall back upon in difficult times. They may in fact be sharing their finances. However in the event of a live in relationship, this aspect is also missing.

James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor.

2 replies
  1. Elle Royal
    Elle Royal says:

    the goal of marriage is terrible. i wouldn't want to become one. there is commitment in live-in relationships. where do you get that understanding? you got the live in all wrong and the marriage thang half right. married or not, to be in a developing, nuturing relationship is good for folk. i may be a lil too progressive for ya. :^)
    My recent post SINGLE AGAIN?

  2. Janice
    Janice says:

    Thanks for the perspective. I love your site.

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