Dr. Laura -
You are the best ever. You are at your finest when you tell many dumb women that they are fools for shacking up with their "wonderful" boyfriends. To me, this is a tragedy for these stupid women who are doing nothing, but making the men's lives way too easy. For a man in the situation, there is no obligation morally or financially - what a great situation.
As a teacher I see children whose parents never married. As you know, this is not good. The men are usually long gone and the women are left to do the child rearing alone. I do not understand why any woman would live with a man without marriage. They are too stupid for words and are only fooling themselves. The man will do what men usually do - move on sooner or later.
You are so right when you tell a woman that a man should get down on one knee and ask her to marry him then be prepared to lay down his life for her - of course, I am paraphrasing. But, women fool themselves into thinking they need to shack-up for a "trial run" to make sure they are compatible. To those of us who have been married, this is delusional thinking and complete BS. Those men are smarter than they look and superb at deceiving well-meaning women.
Your father was correct - a man will rise to the expectations a woman places on him - again, paraphrasing.