Originally Posted by mark
"Why not just wear a ring and live life together? "
Living together is not the same as being married. Once you make a real commitment by being married, things change. That is why a trial period of living together is not really a trial period.
If you live together* (without being married) long enough, you spouse is legally entitled to* some of your assets if you split,* I believe. May as well get married with a pre-nup.
Whoa, hold on there with the legal advice.* It's not necessarily as simple as that.* It is quite possible to live together with your significant other for a very long time without ever becoming common law spouses, as long as you have a little knowledge about what the laws are in your state.* There are a bunch of factors that I can't remember off the top of my head, but two of the most important ones that come to mind are that you don't hold yourselves out to others as husband and wife, and you make it clear to each other that you don't consider yourselves husband and wife.
I agree that living together is not the same as being married, but it's a lot more like marriage than just dating.*
I think it's sort of like swimming.* You can tell a lot just by looking at the water--you can see it's not frozen, see how choppy/turbulent it is, and see some of what may be lurking beneath the surface.* But it makes a hell of a lot of sense to dip your toes in (and maybe some more) without jumping in completely.*