Post at Apr 23, 2021
Unconventional Relationships & You
With changing times, the concept of relationship is also changing. It’s not just about vows and commitment. Today’s youth are result orientated and impatient too. They have high dreams and do not want any hindrance to their dreams or fantasies. Increasing number of divorces has given rise to various forms of unconventional relationships.
Relationships have become more challenging and stressful than ever. People are questioning themselves about Conventional and Unconventional Relationships; Frustrated and demoralized by certain social and marital issues. Romance is dying too. It’s a Fast Food Funda – ”My place or your place!” No wait and watch for relationships to build naturally with emotional stability. Women and men both are feeling an Inner Turmoil, both in and out of bed. Some feel guilty and ashamed to own their authentic type and desires. Some are just purely driven by temporary temptations and illusions. Some are nursing the past wounds and hiding in uncommitted relationships that offer nothing more than a one-night stand!
Let’s discuss a few that are now being more acceptable than Marriage.
Types of Unconventional Relationships
Aditi and Rohan are happily married for the 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 outside the marriage and it will not be considered as infidelity. It is another name to swinging. According to Rohan and Aditi, they are very happy in this open relationship. With changing times, people’s mindset has also changed drastically. Sex with the same partner becomes 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 you will not have an emotional attachment with any of your sex partner other than your spouse- says Rohan.
Though it may sound interesting it is not everybody’s cup of tea. You need to be emotionally strong to handle this type of relationship. Trust and freedom is the utmost need to venture into open marriage. There should be no place for jealousy, and being transparent is of utmost importance. Fear of transmission of STDs is also a drawback. There’s another lurking fear of getting emotionally attached to your sexual partner and affecting your marriage in the long run. And it has been observed that this has been the pitfall in many cases.
And Priti who succumbed to Open marriage on her husband’s insistence had to seek a divorce after her husband found a soulmate in another woman’s arms. Open marriage can leave you panting for sexual adventure or painfully alone depends on how you play the game.
Polygamy is basically a relationship where you can have two or more spouses. 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 relationships. It has roots in our deep history. In Mahabharat Draupadi had 5 husbands and was referred as “Panchali”. Most of the kings in ancient times had more than one wife. In today’s era, though Hindu law doesn’t permit more than one spouse, it is still valid in Islam.
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. However, this is far from today’s reality as per laws. Nor is it practical with material self- centeredness and lack of time for self and the significant other. Envisioning this as a future option, in my opinion, is impractical.
Live In Relationship
According to a survey done by India Today, there is a rise in the number of youths in India who don’t believe in the institution of marriage. They consider that they have the right to live life their way. Marriage no doubt asks for sacrifice and family interference too. In the concept of Live-in two people live together as a couple but without being married. The biggest benefit of this relationship is that the couple can know each other well and if they feel they are not able to adjust to each other, they can mutually depart without any legal complications. According to Ananya and Sahil who have been in live-in relationship with each other for the past 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. And it is far better than getting married early and then facing relationship and compatibility issues.”
Though Live-in 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 yourself emotionally attached to your partner but he or she may not, and can easily move out of it. It lacks the depth and commitment which a marriage brings in. However, Live-in is still a better bet only if children are not involved. And many flatmate seekers from the migrated city end up being in a Live-In Relationship which gives a sense of responsibility and care for each other. So Live-in has its own pros and cons which one has to be prepared for.
One of my friends Shikha is practising polyamory relationship from her teenage. In this kind of relationship set up, people have a sexual or emotional relationship with more than one person but it is not necessary to give it a name 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? She says “I have a relationship with 4 guys and I am happy with it. Each one satisfies a different need of mine. And I am a fulfilled woman as much an independent spirit too”
After seeing her parents’ ugly divorce and betrayal from her 5 years boyfriend, Zohra chose to move into Polyamory as a safe refuge from hurt. Also, she came to accept no one is “Forever Lover”. Life must move on and be cherished time to time. She is now married to a French man who is in polyamorous relationships – both sexual and non-sexual – and she too opened up to this new found Love in an Unconventional relationship. Now both are staying in a community known to them. And they intend to bring their children up in a polyamorous structure which is natural and supportive besides being complexed and chaotic from time to time!
In polyamory chances of getting used are more. You do not have any legal contract to save you. Some have ventured far into it only to return to a monogamous relationship. It can be very demanding of you if you are not ready to deal with your expectations and insecurities.
What about the children?
When we think about these unconventional relationships the most important question most overlook is what about the kids who are involved (born accidentally or by choice)? Well, the kind of relationship parents choose to have doesn’t affect the kid physically, but there can be emotional issues if the child is not guided properly about the relationships. One of my 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 the right time and age comes.
Going forward now the time has come…
To set new Laws
To accept their Truth
To question their Choices with heart and mind than pure Lust
To change one’s attitude towards Relationships
To take ownership of their choices and future kids
To act maturely and sensitively
Unfortunately, Infidelity has become a part and parcel of today’s life & love. And before we Choose what we Choose, let’s imbibe Awareness and a sense of Responsibility of the Consequences. Because sometimes our choices can be a Play of Projections, Perceptions and Ego states… not necessarily Love, or born out of Love. It can be a Settlement of Convenience that suits our Personality type, Lifestyle and Sexual Preferences.
ARE YOU BATTLING WITH RELATIONSHIP TYPE?
ARE YOU ON THE CROSSROAD OF YOUR LIFE & LOVE?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE… Let’s Discuss and Unravel the Issue and take a Mindful Choice…
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