Common Law Marriage
Myth: Cohabitation is just like marriage, but without "the piece of paper."
Fact: Cohabitation typically does not bring the benefits - in physical health, wealth and emotional wellbeing - that marriage does. In terms of these benefits, cohabitants in the United States more closely resemble singles than married couples. This is due, in part, to the fact that cohabitants tend not to be as committed as married couples, and they are more oriented toward their own personal autonomy and less to the well-being of their partner.