Difference between Marriage and Live In Relationship

Key Difference: The union of two persons that is formally recognized by law is known as marriage. It is a formal commitment between the couple. On the other hand, live in relationship refers to a kind of an arrangement where a couple decides to live together as if married. This kind of relationship is generally not legal or religiously sectioned.

Marriages have been and will always be an important ritual of the societies across the world. It involves legal or/and religious activities. Marriages are socially accepted.  Generally, the couple involves a man and woman. However, in some societies same sex marriages are also recognized. Marriages are often associated with the sexual complementarities and permanence. Marriages come along with the status of married and also with some particular rights, benefits and even obligations related to the marriage.

Live in Relationship is a kind of arrangement where a couple decide to live together. It still maintains the single status of the couple. The arrangement is quite similar to a marriage except the type of recognition. In many societies, a live in relationship is not socially accepted as the privilege is only associated with the marriage. Most of the couples prefer this arrangement as this is a way to test the compatibility.  Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Thus,  it is quite difficult to favor one on the other.

Comparison between Marriage and Live in relationship:



Live in relationship


The union of two persons that is formally recognized by law is known as marriage. It is a formal commitment between the couple.

Live in relationship refers to a kind of an arrangement where a couple decides to live together.


Another term

Matrimony or wedlock


Holds legal rights



Moving apart

Divorce is generally painful as it often comes with false allegations and a lot of trauma is involved.

Generally, it is comparatively easy as move in relationships are not based on any such commitments. However, ti still depends upon an individual that how he would react to the situation.


Mostly the children born from a marriage are socially accepted and parents often find happiness to have them in their life

Children born out of a live in relationship may require some commitments and it depends upon the couple that how they  would manage the raising of children.


Sometimes people with no compatibility get married and find later that marriage was a wrong step.

Live in relationships occur to explore the compatibility and in case they find some issues regarding it, they simply step back or move out.

Involvement of families

Generally, marriages are also associated with the union of families rather than the individuals. Even if there is not much involvement of families, but still the marriage is regarded as a serious affair by the parents.

Generally, families do not involve much with the couples as the concept of live in relationship is more about exploring each other.

Financial Affairs

Generally handle together

Generally handle separately


It may be different form one state to the other. It generally includes minimum age, witnesses; a ceremony officiated by a clergyperson or an officer of the court.

No such formal requirements.


Marriages come with responsibilities and one tends to be answerable to the other. However, sometimes the freedom may also be restricted.

Generally, live in relationships are associated with the freedom, both tend to have their own space as no obligations or responsibilities are involved.

Image Courtesy: patheos.com, stbotanica.com

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