What a fun site! i love these topics, I wish there were more recent ones!
I don't think myself cynical, but practical in that I don't intend to marry. Of course enjoy one man deeply in love. I've just seen too many marriages to consider myself the exception. Of course others assume the first regardless. In that I am also backed by a disinterest in having children, so there is no practical reason for me to marry from a parental standpoint.
You're completely right. The only situation in which I would query such a situation would be to make sure that you were aware that there is no such thing as common-law marriage in my country of residence (it horrifies me how many of my contemporaries do not know this and rely on this when it does not exist).
But you'd have to be a good friend or have explicitly stated "we've lived together x years, the law regards us as married" within a conversation for me to point that out.
My DH and I got married because we wanted to. We wanted to celebrate our relationship
, make a commitment to each other and, yes, make sure we were a legal unit.
We spent the next few years spitting out bad tastes in our mouths because of the number of people who assumed we got married because we were planning on having kids. And worse, people who would say "but why did you get married then?" (Because "we love each other" is apparently not a valid enough reason.)
But as I said, the only way I would call you out in any way (or rather, provide you with information) would be if I either knew you very well indeed and knew you were confused on the legal side, or if you'd said something that said you had the wrong idea - and in both cases it would be a brief summary of the law and an earnest injunction to check it out for yourself.
And I'd hope I was doing it appropriately enough that no-one would take offence. I might offer that there are certain things you can do to ensure that property in common defaults to the other, but my next breath would be "and if it's an issue, take legal advice on it, don't rely on my word, I am not a lawyer..."