That is always something that burned me up. I see a girl in class that is interesting, and I get more interested when she shows brains in class. I start chating with her at lunch, and she pulls the airhead routine. I let it go and check back in a week or so, and she still pulls it. It drove me nuts during my high school days, it struck me as dishonesty, and I usually never talked to that "Plastic person" again unless spoken to first. The other that drove me nuts was the demanding the "old courtesy" stuff and then turning around and being "Liberated". I lost 2 girlfriends over that game, one could not make up her mind (i walked), the other got peeved when I tried to do somrething special and pamper her(she walked). Go figure.
I grew up with parents that had no problem speaking their mind to each other, and I do not mean calling each other names. There were several time I can remember mom and dad saying "I think we ned to" and having the other disagree. They would then see the why of that disagreement, often deciding they needed more information to make the decision. They usually found a good answer after that, but it was never a case of "that is what I want, and I am right, and it is going to be that way" Most of the broken relationships I have observed over the years have that issue, one or both sides aren't solving problems, but imposing their will. A lot of the game playing, manipulation, and other Men's and Woman's advice columns are all about the imposing your will on the relationship. That is not what it is about, it is about walking together and boosting each other when needed. I know that men and women think differently, there is scientific proof of differing brain structures and physiology. Each sex solves problems differently too. That difference is VALUABLE, and should be respected. That said, Individuals are different, and there are women that think alot more like men and the other way around, so beware generalities.
On the government and marriage stuff, it is up to those involved whether they want it official or not, and how they want to make it official. Those vary from "getting married", to making the proper wills, to simply informing proper friends and family in writing how you want things handled if either of you tripp of the mortal coil, and all the details of that.
I have never been married but have been in 2 relationships that may as well have been the same thing, no real records of "family life" in my life but I have raised kids and all that other stuff. Right now I am single and worrying about myself, and have plans for others if they choose to (re)join me. I don't have any major regrets, and am looking foward to seeing how the rest of things go. The kids are adults now and involved in their stuff, I am starting over on another aspect of life without them being central, and building the security and retirement stuff. I increasingly get the feeling that will be Chateau Rarick, home of the Rarick clan.......