I was sitting in the university campus of a North American university. My guest was a visitng professor from India, who was on a sabbatical leave. It was a summer afternoon. Boys and girls, men and women were sitting close to each other. My guest was increasingly getting annoyed at public display of affection demonstrated by the crowd. Finally, he could not control himself and commented,
“Why don’t these people do this in their homes? Can they not leave some affection for their children? Do they have to shower everything on each other in public?”
I tried to explain, in this society public display of affection is not considered unusual. Actually, it is a sign of how comfortable each member of a couple is with each other. Comfortable couple can be good friends resulting in greater physical relationship and a stable relationship. By contrast, first generation immigrants from our country are considered an odditiy in this land, where a man and woman do not hold hand in public, forget about kissing, and many a time an man and a woman do not even walk side by side.
Professor became very angry at my answer, “Despite so much of openness, why do their marriage break up so easily? Look at us, our marriages are rock solid, almost made in heaven.”
There is no denying Indian marriages are reasonably stable compared to the same in the US or Europe. According to statistics, only 1% of Indian marriages end in a divorce, compared to as many as 50% in the US. Of late, as economic opportunities are expanding, many men and women are financially becoming more independent and assertive, divorce rate is increasing in India. Prime reasons for divorce in India are lack of romance, lack of communication, sexual problem and extramarital affairs.
In this context, a public display of affection and intimacy may be a pointer to greater attraction between partners, a better understanding leading to possibility of better intimacy. I would like to think for a relationship to be successful, there needs to be compatibility at the level of physical, financial, psychological and spritual. Yes, a marriage and relationships may survive without physical intimacy. For a vast majority of people, physical intimacy forms the bedrock of any stable relationship. At the same time a great physical intimacy does not guarantee a successful relationship, as is evidenced by higher divorce rates in western countries…
I am participating in #myfriendalexa campaign as part of #blogchatter other relevant posts may be found here