Author Topic: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?  (Read 2564 times)

Nutty

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2024, 12:59:44 PM »
Think about it from the other direction.  Yes, I've done this to an acquaintance/coworker that was prying too hard.  I introduced Crazy Lady as the person I was sleeping with.  The reaction was priceless.  Crazy Lady has a wicked sense of humor and went with it too.

After recovering from the shock, the unwanted probing continued, "how long have you been seeing each other?" was the delicate way of asking.  I think our response was 20 years at that time, and added "but it probably won't last."  Followed by a smile and a kiss.  When someone crosses societal decorum, the smart ass factor has a way of pushing back.

At some point, unwanted questions are met with unexpected replies.  The discussion of partner is interesting.  Can they also be just a friend?  The implication of something more or less can be left hanging either way.  The wording is left to you.  What are you comfortable with?

Lol, DH not-infrequently refers to me as "the chick I'm fucking." The reactions are priceless.

When I'm feeling snarky I have referred to DW as "my first wife", which is technically correct.
I referred to mine as "my first and last wife."  Her response is usually, "I better be."

The first time you get married is out of curiosity.
The second time is your own fault.  ;)

G-String

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2024, 01:03:45 PM »
The reason I asked this question is because when my current GF and I became "officially" in a relationship, we had the talk about what we were going to call each other, and of course we did not agree and it caused some conflict.  I liked the term girlfriend.  She did not because she feels calling a 40 year old woman or man a boy or girl is immature and juvenile and her preference is "partner". My thoughts on partner is that it has a homosexual connotation to it (not that there is anything wrong with that) and it seems platonic like a business partner.

So the end result is that I refer to her as my "girlfriend" and she refers to me as her "partner". 

Tass

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2024, 01:17:44 PM »
The reason I asked this question is because when my current GF and I became "officially" in a relationship, we had the talk about what we were going to call each other, and of course we did not agree and it caused some conflict.  I liked the term girlfriend.  She did not because she feels calling a 40 year old woman or man a boy or girl is immature and juvenile and her preference is "partner". My thoughts on partner is that it has a homosexual connotation to it (not that there is anything wrong with that) and it seems platonic like a business partner.

So the end result is that I refer to her as my "girlfriend" and she refers to me as her "partner".

Seems like those are both perspectives that are well represented here. Also sounds like a good compromise, if it works for you two.

sonofsven

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2024, 01:42:30 PM »
Think about it from the other direction.  Yes, I've done this to an acquaintance/coworker that was prying too hard.  I introduced Crazy Lady as the person I was sleeping with.  The reaction was priceless.  Crazy Lady has a wicked sense of humor and went with it too.

After recovering from the shock, the unwanted probing continued, "how long have you been seeing each other?" was the delicate way of asking.  I think our response was 20 years at that time, and added "but it probably won't last."  Followed by a smile and a kiss.  When someone crosses societal decorum, the smart ass factor has a way of pushing back.

At some point, unwanted questions are met with unexpected replies.  The discussion of partner is interesting.  Can they also be just a friend?  The implication of something more or less can be left hanging either way.  The wording is left to you.  What are you comfortable with?

Lol, DH not-infrequently refers to me as "the chick I'm fucking." The reactions are priceless.

Next time counter with "Was. Was fucking. As in, used to fuck before today."

You seem to assume that I'm offended by the fact that he says that, if I was, he would never say it.

I refer to him as "my creepy roommate who keeps walking around with his dick out."
I'm not assuming anything, it seems pretty obvious. I like saying things with a straight face, for affect. Continue the joke, as it were.

simonsez

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2024, 01:43:37 PM »
I referred to my wife's best friend casually in a conversation as shacking up with her partner (as he had an existing house that she moved into years ago).  She became very defensive about it from a financial perspective even though she knows I know she is the breadwinner and that both of them have their own equitable way of contributing $ to their lifestyle.  I meant no offense and explained I was not implying anything financially with who pays for the roof over their heads (as the convo was unrelated to finances) and she basically just reiterated that she didn't like that.  Easy enough, it was a throwaway phrase with tons of easy-to-use synonyms so I make it a point to avoid that term for anything related to them.  She didn't have a great first marriage and is not currently interested in going down that road again.  My wife and I have used that term to refer to our own household, e.g. We've been shacking up together for 15 years.  My wife and I don't think anything of it (nor that TO US it implies anything financially or socially in a disproportionate type of way) but to each their own.

Bottom line, if a term offends someone (to whichever degree), respect their wishes.

Metalcat

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2024, 01:52:17 PM »
Think about it from the other direction.  Yes, I've done this to an acquaintance/coworker that was prying too hard.  I introduced Crazy Lady as the person I was sleeping with.  The reaction was priceless.  Crazy Lady has a wicked sense of humor and went with it too.

After recovering from the shock, the unwanted probing continued, "how long have you been seeing each other?" was the delicate way of asking.  I think our response was 20 years at that time, and added "but it probably won't last."  Followed by a smile and a kiss.  When someone crosses societal decorum, the smart ass factor has a way of pushing back.

At some point, unwanted questions are met with unexpected replies.  The discussion of partner is interesting.  Can they also be just a friend?  The implication of something more or less can be left hanging either way.  The wording is left to you.  What are you comfortable with?

Lol, DH not-infrequently refers to me as "the chick I'm fucking." The reactions are priceless.

Next time counter with "Was. Was fucking. As in, used to fuck before today."

You seem to assume that I'm offended by the fact that he says that, if I was, he would never say it.

I refer to him as "my creepy roommate who keeps walking around with his dick out."
I'm not assuming anything, it seems pretty obvious. I like saying things with a straight face, for affect. Continue the joke, as it were.

hmm...interesting, see, I think the joke only works because I'm very visibly not offended by it.

erp

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #56 on: February 08, 2024, 02:33:50 PM »
I've always preferred partner to girlfriend/boyfriend - in part because of the gender ambiguity. If it's particularly important that the person I'm communicating know what my sex preferences are then I'm sure we can find a way to make sure it comes up. As far as co-workers, HR, etc. - using partner costs me nothing and allows other people to come to whatever conclusions they want. It's mostly a strategic ambiguity about not explicitly providing information about what my relationship structure is, and if that helps provide cover for people who are gay and not particularly out then that's a great perk.

The comment upthread about the use of 'partner' as a mechanism for flagging yourself as liberal (or at very least, not conservative) feels pretty insightful. I know that I've made friends with coworkers who I ended up feeling comfortable with because we shared some linguistic tics (and I suspect that I have some financial ones too, because I've ended up talking to vaguely mustachian folks all over the place in real life).

jeroly

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2024, 01:56:56 AM »
I've got a funny story about this, but first...

I think you should use whatever makes your main squeeze happiest.

I have been in two long (10+ year) - term relationships and used different terminology in each.

With my current sweetie, I use girlfriend as it is her preference. She calls me her boyfriend despite my being 64 and the term being a bit ridiculous, but what the helll, I don't really care.  I have also called her my wife (when dealing with companies over the phone it's often easier than going into our relationship details), my significant other, my partner, but mostly, my sweetie.

With my ex, while we eventually mostly went with 'partner,' early on we had a dedicated discussion on the topic. She felt that using 'boyfriend/girlfriend' was silly as we weren't twelve, but we both felt that 'partner' was a bit confusing - this was before gay marriage was a thing so 'partner' very often was understood to be referencing either a business or homosexual relationship.  So my ex announced, "I would prefer if we were to call each other 'my mate.'"

Well, it's not a bad invention, and I probably would have accepted giving it a go... except that I misunderstood / misheard what she said, and thought that she had said she wanted us to call each other 'my meat.'

After hemming and hawing a couple of moments, I said, "Well, all right, but I don't know how comfortable I'll feel about saying that in front of your mother!"

...of course she had no idea what I was talking about, until the miscommunication was resolved... with much laughter.

lhamo

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #58 on: February 09, 2024, 08:15:13 AM »
It'll probably get some people's hackles up, but I personally like partner because it is the most neutral of any of the terms.  Does not make any assumptions/assertions about the sex or gender identities of either party in the relationship (unlike boyfriend/girlfriend). Does not default to legally recognized/non-recognized status of the relationship (unlike husband/wife/spouse).  Does not necessarily indicate exclusivity (Poly?  Can introduce someone as "my partner A" without implying that there is no "partner B/C/D").






ptobest

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #59 on: February 09, 2024, 03:02:47 PM »
I've been in a relationship for almost a year with my person. I've noticed I use both words, and it depends on who I'm talking to. I tend to use "boyfriend" in conversations with friends that I am close to, and "partner" in a more formal context, like with a co-worker or an acquaintance.

spartana

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #60 on: February 09, 2024, 05:43:22 PM »
It'll probably get some people's hackles up, but I personally like partner because it is the most neutral of any of the terms.  Does not make any assumptions/assertions about the sex or gender identities of either party in the relationship (unlike boyfriend/girlfriend). Does not default to legally recognized/non-recognized status of the relationship (unlike husband/wife/spouse).  Does not necessarily indicate exclusivity (Poly?  Can introduce someone as "my partner A" without implying that there is no "partner B/C/D").
I like all the things associated with using partner too but I don't like the actual word. My mind goes right to something else cowboyish and starts looping into an old 1980s song "I wanna be a cowboy, wanna ride on the open range. I wanna be a cowboy. And you can be my cowgirl". It sticks for days. Ugh. I wish there was another neutral word like that but I can't think of any. SO is probably the closest.

deborah

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #61 on: February 09, 2024, 06:12:12 PM »
I really like partner because it implies that we are a united entity, deciding things together.

Tass

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #62 on: February 09, 2024, 06:17:23 PM »
I really like partner because it implies that we are a united entity, deciding things together.

Yessssss!!

Really seems like it's all about individual perception. Partner is a very romantic and commitment-heavy word to me. It makes spartana think of cowboys.

I think spouse sounds kinda clinical, but my close friends prefer it so strongly to husband/wife that it's the word they used in their wedding ceremony.

No right answer here. \_(ツ)_/

monarda

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #63 on: February 09, 2024, 09:53:59 PM »
Been together 27 years. Never used any title/label. BF/GF is for folks in their 20's max, I think. I felt we outgrew that term before we met (at age 37).

Nowadays, if people insist on knowing a status, I rarely say 'partner', I sometimes say 'spouse equivalent'.  Or 'Perma-sweetie'. If it's to someone from another culture when their English isn't great, I'll just use the word husband, just to be able to move on quickly in conversation, and not have to explain anything. But mostly we don't use labels at all.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #64 on: February 10, 2024, 08:53:55 AM »
For those who are not married, I am curious what you call your significant other and why?  Do you refer to them as "boyfriend/girlfriend" or "partner"?  Why did you settle on the terminology you use?  Were there any disagreements between the two of you on what to call each other?  And if you don't mind me asking, what is your age (or age range)?   

We are 52F/55M and I call her my GF and I overhear her typically call me her partner. That said I'm talking to people socially most of the time when that happens and she's talking to folks related to her job when I overhear her. It could be that "partner" sounds more professional. We've never discussed it and there have not been any issues around it. I don't care either way. If she asked me to call her my "partner" I would.

My neighbours keep referring to her as my wife and I'll refer to her in the same conversation as my GF. I'm not sure if that's something they can't/won't adapt to or if eventually they'll use the term I use. We've lived here 2yrs.

rothwem

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #65 on: February 12, 2024, 06:10:05 AM »
I like all the things associated with using partner too but I don't like the actual word. My mind goes right to something else cowboyish and starts looping into an old 1980s song "I wanna be a cowboy, wanna ride on the open range. I wanna be a cowboy. And you can be my cowgirl". It sticks for days. Ugh. I wish there was another neutral word like that but I can't think of any. SO is probably the closest.

Hahahaha I'm dying over here

..partner (pardner?)

spartana

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #66 on: February 12, 2024, 09:28:32 AM »
I like all the things associated with using partner too but I don't like the actual word. My mind goes right to something else cowboyish and starts looping into an old 1980s song "I wanna be a cowboy, wanna ride on the open range. I wanna be a cowboy. And you can be my cowgirl". It sticks for days. Ugh. I wish there was another neutral word like that but I can't think of any. SO is probably the closest.

Hahahaha I'm dying over here

..partner (pardner?)
Yeah I guess it's pardner not partner. Either way it's an image of John Wayne moseying up to the bar. " Spartana who's your friend?" "That's my pardner John." John swaggers on over: "Howdy pilgrims."

Probably be easier if I just learned how to spell.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2024, 09:33:21 AM by spartana »

NotJen

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #67 on: February 12, 2024, 09:33:56 AM »
I like all the things associated with using partner too but I don't like the actual word. My mind goes right to something else cowboyish and starts looping into an old 1980s song "I wanna be a cowboy, wanna ride on the open range. I wanna be a cowboy. And you can be my cowgirl". It sticks for days. Ugh. I wish there was another neutral word like that but I can't think of any. SO is probably the closest.

Hahahaha I'm dying over here

..partner (pardner?)
Yeah I guess it's pardner not partner. Either way it's an image of John Wayne moseying up to the bar. " Spartana who's your friend?" "That's my pardner John." John swaggers on over: "Howdy ya all".

Probably be easier if I just learned how to spell.

They aren't different words - partner = pardner.  Just with an accent. 

But now I am regretting not calling my BFs partner.  Just so I can say "Howdy Partner" every time I see them, and giggle.

Metalcat

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Re: Boyfriend/girlfriend or Partner?
« Reply #68 on: February 12, 2024, 09:40:02 AM »
I like all the things associated with using partner too but I don't like the actual word. My mind goes right to something else cowboyish and starts looping into an old 1980s song "I wanna be a cowboy, wanna ride on the open range. I wanna be a cowboy. And you can be my cowgirl". It sticks for days. Ugh. I wish there was another neutral word like that but I can't think of any. SO is probably the closest.

Hahahaha I'm dying over here

..partner (pardner?)
Yeah I guess it's pardner not partner. Either way it's an image of John Wayne moseying up to the bar. " Spartana who's your friend?" "That's my pardner John." John swaggers on over: "Howdy ya all".

Probably be easier if I just learned how to spell.

They aren't different words - partner = pardner.  Just with an accent. 

But now I am regretting not calling my BFs partner.  Just so I can say "Howdy Partner" every time I see them, and giggle.

I might start doing this

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!