In the age of Tinder and Flo where physical intimacy is almost solely paramount, emotional complexity is the last thing that many youngsters want. Imagining a relationship where there is a reversal of ‘expectations’, where emotional needs are paramount, is close to impossible.
Later this month, the movie adaption of Chetan Bhagat’s book Half Girlfriend is set to hit the screens. The story explores the relationship between two individuals where there is no physical intimacy and they are in ‘half’ a relationship.
While a lot has been spoken about physically-inclined arrangements devoid of emotional intricacy among people, it would be interesting to know if an idea opposing current relationship trends can be attained.
We asked a few youngsters if such a relationship is possible to have and sustain as the character of Madhav eventually demands physical intimacy from Riya and their ‘relationship’ ends.
Clifferd Victor, a hotel management graduate, remarks, “In a way, it may have a benefit. If someone is in such a ‘half’ relationship without the physical aspect, it can help create a bonding without the dependence on physical intimacy. And if they decide to get into a ‘full’ relationship, it will not depend entirely on physical aspects only. But like friends with benefits or similar, this is only half a step towards a relationship with someone. There will still be half an element missing, and that is the truth.”
One can simply not be somebody’s half anything, let alone girlfriend, is a stand that Anupama CN, a molecular diagnostics scientist avers, “You cannot inhale through one nostril and call it half breathing. It’s an illogical concept that does not hold good for any argument. You are either breathing or dead. As simple as that. You cannot be somebody’s half girlfriend. You are either his friend, friends with benefits or his booty call. None of which can be categorised as a girlfriend,” she asserts.
Kavya Sudhir, an under-graduation student, expressed her scepticism over the ability of a relationship like this to remain the same for long. “I feel that such a relationship can only be temporary because human beings tend to want more with respect to everything. Eventually, that relationship will go to the next level or end. This is according to all the stories and experiences of people I know. But, there can be exceptions,” she says.
It is interesting to see that some youngsters still believe in traditional forms of companionship such as friendship and marriage and do not acknowledge anything in between.
Liben Tom, a musician, says, “These days, relationships that operates in ‘grey’ areas work. But for me personally, having friends who are real and having each other’s back no matter what the situation is, is key. I believe marriage was instituted for a reason. Marriage was a beautiful concept at home. I am confident that friend with benefits or any other thing cannot substitute something as powerful as a marriage in its ability to keep two people together. It’s about keeping yourself for the right person, and waiting for the right time. That’s when it becomes special. No fantasy can be better than a reality rooted in sacrificial love and intimacy.”
— Jeevan Biswas