Live-in relationship a second chance for elderly couples

Prajakta Joshi
Monday, 20 May 2019

In the country where people frown over things like intercaste marriages, premarital sex and re-marriages, a small yet a significantly growing number of senior citizens are breaking new grounds while having a second chance at their lives.

Pune: In the country where people frown over things like intercaste marriages, premarital sex and re-marriages, a small yet a significantly growing number of senior citizens are breaking new grounds while having a second chance at their lives.

Few city-based organisations have matched over fifty elderly couples through one of the queerest methods for them, which is, a live-in relationship!

Yes, these are the same words which raise the eyebrows of many middle-aged parents who are scared their children would choose this ‘uncultural’ way over getting married. However, this concept has provided solace for many lonely elderly men and women, promising them a ‘happy ending’ in true sense.

“For the past couple of years, we have been organising gatherings of single senior citizens, for helping them meet their prospective live-in partners. Apart from this, those who register with us, also meet the people we match their profiles with, on a regular basis,” Dr Shrikant Deshchaugule of Happy Seniors said.

The organisation has, to date, brought about the ‘meet cute’ of at least 39 couples in Pune and Mumbai. Single men and women, who have either lost their partners to death or separation, are taking much interest in the live-in relationships these days.

Aadhar Marriage Bureau also encourages live-in relationships for their senior registered members.

Director of Aadhar Marriage Bureau Savita Vinchurkar said that the concept of live-in is gaining popularity among the senior citizens, as it comes without any tags or responsibilities.

“Marriage is followed by a whole lot of responsibilities, financial and otherwise. At this stage of their lives, the last inning as most call it, these people are mostly looking to settle down. They want to lead their final days peacefully without any kind of baggage. And the live-in concept gives them the opportunity to do just that. After all, they deserve it, right?” she added.

Out of the registrations of senior citizens at Aadhar Marriage Bureau, the Director proudly stated that around 60 per cent people prefer live-in over marriage. “We have around 10 to 15 success stories till now,” she added.

As for the safety of the participants is concerned, when a member is registered at any of the above organisations, a thorough background verification is carried out. “Not only do we take all the identity and address proofs of the members, but we also keep a record of the details about their former partners. Also, the first meetings of the couples take place at the office only, 
under our supervision,” Deshchaugule said.

As far as the response of the children is concerned, he said that it hasn’t been a huge obstacle to date.

“The children of these lonely seniors who come to us are mostly busy with their own lives. Many are settled abroad or in different cities or are living in separate houses. They do not have much time for their parents, and some of them are in fact genuinely happy that their parents are getting a partner. We have had a couple of cases where the children were a bit reluctant in the beginning, but since the couples were strong in their determination, we have taken it upon ourselves to convince the children,” Deshchaugule stated. 

These couples are mainly from cities like Pune and Mumbai. 

“This concept does not have its presence in rural areas, as loss of a partner has different connotations in rural and urban areas. It is heartbreaking to see the old men and women live all by themselves, doing all their chores alone. There is no one to talk to them. So, we believe, that amidst rising urbanisation, the activities like ours are going to be needed more than ever,” he added. 

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