Marriage vs cohabitation

Marriage is one of the most socially accepted phenomena ever developed by humankind. Oxford Dictionary defines marriage as “the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship.” Cohabitation, on the other hand, is a new culture prominent amongst the youth, where couples live together in a sexual relationship without being bound by social or legal norms. Both cohabitation and marriage are the forms of committed relationships.

Personally speaking, both marriage and cohabitation have their advantages and shortcomings. Marriage is usually done out of love or may be arranged by two families. In Nepal, marriage is more of a social bonding between two families where they completely accept each other as part of their life. Marriage helps a couple to be socially accepted. Sexual intimacy between the marriage partners is not questioned by anyone. If a couple wants to bear a child out of marriage, the child is not illegitimate. Marriage is a way to solidify their future. Many such perks can be experienced in marriage. But it comes at the cost of freedom. No matter how supportive a partner may be, freedom and flexibility come to be restricted.

On the other hand,  in cohabitation, couples live together to fully acknowledge each other and know whether they can fully commit to each other. Cohabitation provides couples with a sense of freedom which marriage may not provide. But here are some caveats. First, it is not fully accepted by society. We humans are social animals, we need other humans to coexist. Cohabitation keeps the couple on the radar and is looked down upon.

I believe marriage is superior to cohabitation. The benefits of marriage overshadow its shortcomings. But at the end of the day, it is always important to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about your expectations and goals of your relationship no matter whatever path you choose.

By: Agrima Pradhan (Management, J1)

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