Author Topic: Romantic "partners"  (Read 17164 times)


  • Bristles
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Re: Romantic "partners"
« Reply #50 on: April 20, 2015, 05:56:59 AM »
Does anyone else find the use of the term "partner" when referring to the other party in a romantic relationship confusing?  Perhaps it's because of my background as an attorney (note I do not practice in a law firm so don't use the term myself either) but I'm uncomfortable with its usage in this context.
When I hear/read someone use the term I immediately think either they must be practicing law together, be co-owners of a business, or they must be in a homosexual relationship.  That was confusing enough, but then I've noticed recently that non married heterosexual couples are now also referring to themselves this way!

Is there something that "partner" proclaims that one of the following terms does not also accomplish???
1. Spouse
2. Fiancée
3. Significant other
4. Boyfriend/girlfriend

I could understand the usage for homosexual couples in the era before gay marriage, but now that it's legal in 46 of 50 states in the U.S. it seems to me that usage could be retired as well.    Am I the only one who cringes when they read/hear someone refer to their "other half" (even that term is preferable!) as "partner".    So, how's business these days?!

I tend to think of it in buddy cop movie terms, this is the person I trust most in the world to have my back.

Also none of those terms define a long term relationship where both parties do not believe they will segue into marriage (or in fact a civil union).


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Re: Romantic "partners"
« Reply #51 on: April 20, 2015, 03:34:22 PM »
And of course there is the other issue for confusion - when I say I am going out with my girlfriend (she is hetero married, I am hetero divorced), are people who don't know us going to think we are in a lesbian relationship? It is not as confusing with girl friends, then the group outing is obvious.   And guy friend is clearly not boyfriend.  But as language shifts old terms take on new meanings.

And even more OT, do I get to mourn the loss of "gay" as sung in "A Wonderful Guy" from South Pacific? It was a nice word, not quite the same as happy or light-hearted, and now it is gone.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Romantic "partners"
« Reply #52 on: April 20, 2015, 06:35:37 PM »
I tend to use "partner" a lot because it feels kind of weird to use "boyfriend" when we've been together for several year and live together. It feels even weirder to say "common-law", so that gets saved solely for when I'm being questioned in airports and don't want any confusion. You get questioned a lot when you're a young interracial couple flying all over the world with no luggage, but who don't look like broke backpackers - when you don't fit neatly into boxes people tend to ask questions.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Romantic "partners"
« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2015, 09:02:27 AM »
I like partner, but my sweetie told his boss that I was his "life mate" for insurance paperwork.  I super liked that. :)


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Re: Romantic "partners"
« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2015, 11:46:11 PM »
Earlier in this thread, I posted an essay about "common law marriage" in Canada and the USA.

I have been doing more reading of the historical cases on this topic, and I just came across a case that is particularly interesting for anybody who is interested in highly technical aspects of marriage law.

In the 1912 case of In re Marriage Laws, [1912] SCR 132, 1912 CanLII 35 (SCC) (summarily affirmed [1912] UKPC 63), the Supreme Court of Canada considered the constitutional validity of a federal statute that purported to legislate something roughly equivalent to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US constitution. Specifically, the statute purported to provide that any marriage shall be deemed to be a valid marriage everywhere in Canada, if the marriage was valid in the place where it was entered into.

This statute was challenged on the basis that it was outside the power of the federal parliament because the constitution specifically provides that the provinces have exclusive jurisdiction over the "Solemnization of Marriage".

In response, the promoters of the legislation apparently started by claiming essentially that under the common law of England, marriage was created by consent (not formalities) and any statutes setting out formalities merely provided alternative ways to enter into marriages, not the sole way to do so. Based on that claim, the promoters further argued that since the constitution used the phrase "solemnization of marriage" in describing the powers of the provinces, this language was an intentional choice intended to suggest that the provinces could only regulate supplemental ways of creating marriages, and that the provinces had no power to override the common law of marriage creation, and (according to the promoters) the only thing that the federal statute did was reiterate the common law position which the provinces had no power to modify. Based on that argument, the federal statute was claimed not to be objectionable.

The report of the case, linked to above, contains the full argument of the parties. The full report is 98 pages long and many of those pages are devoted to argument over whether "common law marriage" existed or exists in England, Canada, or the US.

By a 4-1 majority, the Court found that the statute was an unconstitutional encroachment on the power of the provinces, and in the course of their separate opinions, the various judges appear to have rejected the idea that "common law marriage" existed either in England or in Canada.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 12:22:26 AM by Cathy »