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Are Youngsters Giving Up On Marriage?

June 06, 2023 11:39 IST
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It is evident that the younger generation is increasingly choosing to postpone or completely forego the idea of getting married, observes Sybil Shiddell, country manager India, Gleeden, a discreet extra marital dating Web site.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/

This shift towards unconventional relationships has raised the question of whether or not Indian youth are giving up on marriage.

It is evident that the younger generation is increasingly choosing to postpone or completely forego the idea of getting married.

The nation's cultural norms and expectations are noticeably changing as a result of the current socio economic transition. There are a number of causes for this change.

Whether it's because zoomers prioritise their professional and personal development over traditional ideas of marriage and family life, or due to gender norms shift and individualism is on the rise, or because the prevalence of divorce, domestic violence, and family conflict is increasing, young people are becoming more wary and cautious.

As a result, many people are choosing less serious, non-committal arrangements instead of traditional marriage, such as live-in relationships and casual partnerships.

Let's examine the causes of this occurrence and throw some insight on the changing views of Indian youth on marriage.

1. Embracing Independence and Autonomy

The growing desire among Indian young to establish their independence and autonomy is a significant factor behind the increase in live-ins and non-committed partnerships.

Before settling down, many young people prioritise their jobs, work on their personal and professional growth, and engage in a variety of life events.

Some people looking for personal freedom and self-discovery may find the idea of marriage confining because it is frequently linked to cultural expectations and obligations.

2. Changing Socio Cultural Norms

Indian society and culture have undergone tremendous change in recent decades, along with those of many other nations.

The questioning of conventional norms is a result of the influence of globalisation, urbanisation, and exposure to various cultures through media and the internet.

Youth are defying traditional taboos, embracing a more liberal view, and redefining what partnerships mean on their terms.

Live-in relationships and non-committal relationships are viewed as alternatives that offer emotional and physical connection without the usual restrictions.

3. Delayed Marriages and Career Focus

Indian youth today are more inclined to pursue higher education and build their jobs before considering marriage compared to prior generations.

It is common for people to put off getting married in order to advance personally and professionally, which prolongs the time spent dating and experimenting.

Before committing to marriage, which is viewed as a more permanent and binding agreement, live-in relationships allow the opportunity to evaluate compatibility, shared values, and long-term compatibility.

4. Gender Dynamics

With rising gender equality and women's emancipation, Indian society has gradually seen a change in gender dynamics.

Women are questioning traditional gender roles and expectations as they become more financially independent and have better access to education and employment possibilities.

Women are now establishing their independence and looking for casual or live-in partnerships that provide equality and respect as a result of this empowerment.

5. Rising Divorce Rates and Fear of Commitment

Growing awareness of high divorce rates and failed marriages is another factor that influences Indian youth's desire for casual partnerships.

They have developed a fear of commitment and scepticism towards the institution of marriage as a result of seeing failed marriages in their family or social networks.

Many people choose to be in casual relationships in order to escape possible heartache and the legal complications that can result from divorce.

The rising popularity of live-in relationships and uncommitted partnerships among young people in India is a reflection of the shifting socio-economic backdrop, changing goals, and the need for individual freedom.

The trend away from traditional marriage ideals shouldn't be interpreted as a rejection of all forms of commitment, but rather as a reflection of personal preferences and the need to consider multiple relationship models before making permanent commitments.

As public perceptions change, it's critical to respect people's decisions and promote candid conversations about dating and marriage in order to build a more inclusive and accepting society.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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