Alternative to terms "Boyfriend/Girlfriend"

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Posted 12/6/2012 by In Focus in NSBR Board
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In Focus
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Posted: 12/6/2012 1:36:44 PM
Say you are older--in your 30's or 40's, or even 50's. And you are in a committed relationship and co-habitating. What terms do you use for one another when speaking to others or filling out forms? Significant Other? Boyfriend? Domestic Partner?

I have several friends in this situation, and none like any of the terms currently commonly used. Boyfriend sounds so immature. Significant other sounds so cold. Domestic partner sounds gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But the couples in question are heterosexual.

And how would you handle people assuming you are married and using the terms husband, wife, spouse?


Barbie


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aprilfay21
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Posted: 12/6/2012 1:39:36 PM
If I were in a committed relationship and co-habitating I would have no problem with people using the term spouse/husband/wife. We currently use those terms even though we're actually engaged.

I think significant other sounds more mature than boyfriend/girlfriend, though. I don't see it as cold.




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Posted: 12/6/2012 1:47:36 PM
I hear "partner" all the time.

I also have a bunch of colleagues who refer to their SO as "my man" or "my woman"...but that's just weird to me.
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:00:43 PM

If I were in a committed relationship and co-habitating I would have no problem with people using the term spouse/husband/wife. We currently use those terms even though we're actually engaged.


Why not just say fiance/fiancee?

For a couple who is not married or engaged, I think boyfriend and girlfriend are just fine.


Rhonda



likescarrots
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:02:44 PM
We used the term partner before we got married. I didn't really care if it sounded 'gay'.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:06:41 PM
Partner



Captain K
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:16:29 PM

I would have no problem with people using the term spouse/husband/wife. We currently use those terms even though we're actually engaged.


Baby Daddy's never going to marry you, April. You are living in delusion, and using the word husband is just making it even worse.

OP, I'd say partner if you don't like boyfriend. I'd also suggest if you're ready to live together, what's the hold up on getting engaged? Fiance is a very nice term at any age. I guess unless people don't want to get married?

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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:17:40 PM
I have several acquaintances who say "my lover," and it makes me cringe every time.

utmr
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:18:40 PM
Lady friend seems to be popular with senior citizens I know.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:38:14 PM
I really disliked people referring to my fiance' as my "partner" when we were engaged for a really long time. Just didn't like it. I called him my fiance' and that was it.




In Focus
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:40:56 PM

I have several acquaintances who say "my lover," and it makes me cringe every time.


LOL! I know, right? That sounds so...skeevy.


OP, I'd say partner if you don't like boyfriend. I'd also suggest if you're ready to live together, what's the hold up on getting engaged? Fiance is a very nice term at any age. I guess unless people don't want to get married?


Well, in one case, the female says she loves him too much to marry him, lol. Seriously, she says they are very happy now, and why fix something that ain't broke?

In another case, both parties are very recently divorced, and a little gun-shy about marriage, even though they have known each other for decades.


Barbie


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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:41:25 PM
I was never a fan of the adult "boyfriend/girlfriend." But dh still calls me his girlfriend and intends to be my boyfriend - I know what he means by it, and I like it, so it's OK by me.


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In Focus
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:43:40 PM

I really disliked people referring to my fiance' as my "partner" when we were engaged for a really long time. Just didn't like it. I called him my fiance' and that was it.



Yeah, I can understand that. For some reason, "partner" just always makes me think the couple is gay. (Again, not that there's anything wrong with that. But the couples in question are NOT gay, and wouldn't want people to misunderstand.)


Barbie


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In Focus
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:45:49 PM

Lady friend seems to be popular with senior citizens I know.


LOL. Yeah, if any of the people involved were actually senior citizens. But the age range is about 39-56.


Barbie


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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:46:32 PM
I always struggle with this with my dad and his girlfriend. With the exception of a couple of times over the years where they went their separate ways, they have been together for about 35 years. They do not live together. My dad is a difficult person to live with so she will not allow him to move in. LOL Also, she is my friend. Even when they have split, we still talk, I still visit if I am in town or she visits me if she is coming to my town. Saying my dad's girlfriend for 2 people who are in their 60's and 70's just sounds weird.





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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:52:22 PM
Companion

Spousal Alternative


bonnie

In Focus
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:54:42 PM
Spousal Alternative! LMAO!

I have a friend who always refers to his wife as his spousal unit. Which would sound cold and unfeeling if it wasn't so obvious how much he adored her.


Barbie


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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:33:20 PM
The word here these days is 'partner', which I don't like - too cold, but I don't think it sounds 'gay'. To me a partner is someone you're in business with, so that term makes the relationship sound like just a work arrangement.

I don't find boy\girlfriend odd for any age really, although at 40 or 50, I'd probably drop the boy\girl and just say 'friend'. Especially if it's not that serious.

If you are a serious couple and\or live together, you could use 'Significant Other' because that's what the other person is to you. "Hi Jane, meet Bill my SO". 'Other half' would fit this category too.

If it's just a dating thing, SO or OH sounds too committed to me. So I guess it could be - "Hi Jane, meet Bill my current fling"


"my man" or "my woman"..
I don't like that at all. I'm my own woman - not somebody elses!


Spousal Alternative
I've never heard that one before - love it!



aprilfay21
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:40:59 PM

Why not just say fiance/fiancee?
We do, sometimes, depending on who we're talking to. We were using those terms before we were officially engaged and it's now mostly habit.





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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:43:43 PM

I would use Beloved in this situation.


crimsoncat05
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:46:22 PM
good question, and one that I'm still wrestling with. My BF (there it is, lol!) and I have been together for almost 9 years, and are both in our 40s. We are not planning on getting married (for personal reasons), but boyfriend / girlfriend sounds so immature. Although I don't really like the way it sounds, I usually say "my BF..." when I'm talking about him, where most people would use "my husband..." in talking about their spouse.

I also don't like any of the other common terms for it- partner doesn't sound personal enough, and spouse sounds too formal. I don't feel comfortable calling him my husband, because he's not. If someone else refers to him as that, I usually don't go out of my way to correct them, but I never refer to him like that myself.





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reneelcla
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:47:49 PM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I would have no problem with people using the term spouse/husband/wife. We currently use those terms even though we're actually engaged.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Baby Daddy's never going to marry you, April. You are living in delusion, and using the word husband is just making it even worse.

OP, I'd say partner if you don't like boyfriend. I'd also suggest if you're ready to live together, what's the hold up on getting engaged? Fiance is a very nice term at any age. I guess unless people don't want to get married?


In April's case, since she lives in Texas, she could already be married:

Texas Law on Informal Marriage:

Texas: calls it an "informal marriage," rather than a common-law marriage. Under § 2.401 of the Texas Family Code, an informal marriage can be established either by declaration (registering at the county courthouse without having a ceremony), or by meeting a three-prong test showing evidence of (1) an agreement to be married; (2) cohabitation in Texas; and (3) representation to others that the parties are married. A 1995 update adds an evidentiary presumption that there was no marriage if no suit for proof of marriage is filed within two years of the date the parties separated and ceased living together.
Texas:

AmeliaBloomer
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:48:43 PM
I was in a situation once where a man referred to his "partner." Hitch: he was gay and he was a physician who owned a practice with another physician. He didn't provide much context and I wasn't sure how to respond.

Life partner, medical practice partner, business partner, musical writing partner, academic research/writing partner...little kids in school are routinely assigned partners to walk with in line...older kids do academic projects with partners or have lab partners.

And then there's dance partner.

I'll stop now.



AmeliaBloomer
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:51:14 PM
There's always "paramour," but I think you have to be European to pull that one off.





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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:52:08 PM
I like the sound of "other half", but for paperwork/formal situations I'd probably use "partner"... Probably because of my job, I get sidekick (could you use that ) and teammate sort of thoughts... In my mind, "significant other" doesn't make it clear that you're talking about a person - I want to ask, "significant other what?"

Avoid at all costs "lover" and "lady friend"... Always seems to me like they're trying so hard to sound modest while making sure people know they're having sex with each other


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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:54:04 PM

In April's case, since she lives in Texas, she could already be married:

Texas Law on Informal Marriage:

Texas: calls it an "informal marriage," rather than a common-law marriage. Under § 2.401 of the Texas Family Code, an informal marriage can be established either by declaration (registering at the county courthouse without having a ceremony), or by meeting a three-prong test showing evidence of (1) an agreement to be married; (2) cohabitation in Texas; and (3) representation to others that the parties are married. A 1995 update adds an evidentiary presumption that there was no marriage if no suit for proof of marriage is filed within two years of the date the parties separated and ceased living together.


Fascinating! Who knew? Common law marriage... sort of sad.

cdnstorelady
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:07:14 PM
I reaaly don't get this cslling someone a spouse if you're not married to them. To me it's like I own a Toyota Prius but I call it a Carolla because I think Prius is sounds immature.

My mom calls her live-in boyfriend her husband.she wanted my siblings children to call him Grampa Bob before they had ever even met him. I just want to say, he's not your husband, he's not their grandather..stop pushing everyone to do what you want....RRRRr.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:19:57 PM
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:21:40 PM
Arizona doesn't have common law marriage. To make everything neat and tidy from a legal standpoint, we'd have to go through all the hoops of domestic partnership paperwork (which we should do, I know)... we just haven't done it. So, technically, if something happened to either one of us, we are NOT legally each other's next of kin. We wrote out wills out, but I'm not even sure we did that correctly, to tell you the truth, because we filled them out as 'spouses' even though we're not married.




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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:27:15 PM
I call him "my fella," I have no idea what he calls me, and I'm probably better off not knowing.
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:27:55 PM
Common law marriage is recognized only in the following states:
Alabama
Colorado
District of Columbia
Georgia (if created before 1/1/97)
Idaho (if created before 1/1/96)
Iowa
Kansas
Montana
New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only)
Ohio (if created before 10/10/91)
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Texas
Utah


Barbie


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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:33:33 PM
Captain K, not everyone in a committed relationship wants to get married and who cares what they call each other.

I was 41 when my now DH and I became committed. He always called me his girlfriend and it always bugged me. I felt it was just too young of a term for a middle aged woman.



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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:45:18 PM
Hi Barbie,

How are you? I haven't seen you in ages!
At the "other board" things are hopping and it's fun again.

Boyfriend/Girlfriend is a term my older (senior 60+) relatives use for their boy friend or girl friend.



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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:52:43 PM
"marinovio/marinovia"

LOLOL

Seriously...although this is a very Nicaraguan term. It's a combination of "marido" meaning husband and "novio" / "novia" meaning boyfriend/girlfriend.

I say this tongue-in-cheek, though, because one would never admit to having a marinovio/marinovia.

I never liked esposo or esposa (esposa also means handcuffs).


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Posted: 12/6/2012 6:00:50 PM
My friends grandmother's guy was her Fella and she was his Sweetheart. Cute.


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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:19:07 PM
In my mid-fifties and been co-habbing for 23 years. I usually refer to him by his name, and sometimes call him my "spouse equivalent".

Kate-pea
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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:08:50 PM
Partner or companion.


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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:02:26 PM

I reaaly don't get this cslling someone a spouse if you're not married to them.


I don't like it or agree with it. You're not married - if you're going to use those words, then get married. Just me though...


My friends grandmother's guy was her Fella and she was his Sweetheart. Cute.


Love!



Rhonda



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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:13:51 PM
Well this explains it... I call my DH my sweetheart or my honey and I called him that before we got married. That might be just a southern thing though.



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Posted: 12/6/2012 10:56:47 PM
I'd use partner without the domestic.



TinCin
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Posted: 12/6/2012 11:58:40 PM
Stud muffin


Seriously I have no idea and generally say "friend" or BF even though we are in our 50s.


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Posted: 12/7/2012 12:35:43 AM
partner.
or I'd just say 'spouse.'



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Posted: 12/7/2012 1:49:30 AM

Captain K, not everyone in a committed relationship wants to get married and who cares what they call each other.


Well, April should care.

She very well could be considered already married common law under Texas law.


April, you need to learn these laws for your own benefit and protection.








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Posted: 12/7/2012 1:51:54 AM
When I was growing up, my mom's unmarried couple friends used either significant other or partner.

I think most of my peers use partner. Some use boyfriend/girlfriend. I admit that I don't like bf or gf once you're past your early to mid 20s.


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Posted: 12/7/2012 8:22:15 AM

If I were in a committed relationship and co-habitating I would have no problem with people using the term spouse/husband/wife. We currently use those terms even though we're actually engaged.

You are lying everytime you do that. It is no different than if my son, who is a Junior in college said he is a graduate of that school. He is not. He will be, but he is not. And you are engaged, not married. When you are THEN you get to use the word husband.

I don't understand why saying 'my fiancee/fiance' is so difficult?


I have several acquaintances who say "my lover," and it makes me cringe every time.
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Posted: 12/7/2012 8:28:38 AM
I have a couple of friends that switch fairly evenly between "partner" and "husband/wife". They are married in all senses other than the piece of paper. It makes sense. I can't imagine them calling each other "boyfriend/girlfriend" as they are so far beyond that.


You are lying everytime you do that. It is no different than if my son, who is a Junior in college said he is a graduate of that school. He is not. He will be, but he is not. And you are engaged, not married. When you are THEN you get to use the word husband.

I don't understand why saying 'my fiancee/fiance' is so difficult?


It's not a lie at all. If you are in a long term, co-habitating relationship, you are essentially husband and wife. Does a piece of paper really make that much of a difference? I doubt any of my common law/cohabitating friends would agree with you. They are married... minus some piece of paper declaring them married. It's not a lie and I think you're over-reacting. Big time.

aprilfay21
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Posted: 12/7/2012 8:35:31 AM

You are lying everytime you do that. It is no different than if my son, who is a Junior in college said he is a graduate of that school. He is not. He will be, but he is not. And you are engaged, not married. When you are THEN you get to use the word husband.

I don't understand why saying 'my fiancee/fiance' is so difficult?
I wasn't going to argue about titles until you called me a liar. Leftturnonly, we do fall under the parameters of being common law married. In Texas at least, common law married IS married. But we still plan to do the wedding, just haven't set an official date yet.




This is Texas. We don't have regular seasons here. We have Summer 1, Summer 2, Summer 3 and January.

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Posted: 12/7/2012 10:30:35 AM
what about "roomate"?

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Posted: 12/7/2012 10:36:47 AM

I wasn't going to argue about titles until you called me a liar. Leftturnonly, we do fall under the parameters of being common law married. In Texas at least, common law married IS married. But we still plan to do the wedding, just haven't set an official date yet.
Are you sure?

Texas: A man and woman who want to establish a common-law marriage must sign a form provided by the county clerk. In addition, they must (1) agree to be married, (2) cohabit, and (3) represent to others that they are married.
Here is the reference

So you went to the county clerk and signed a form? Why not just get married then by the JOP?



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aprilfay21
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Posted: 12/7/2012 10:53:20 AM
I'm sure. Try checking an actual state website.

www.dshs.state.tx.us


Does Texas Recognize "Common Law" marriage?

Common-law marriage, also known as "informal marriage" is legal in Texas. A couple may choose whether or not to register their informal marriage. If they do choose to register, both the husband and wife must appear before the County Clerk to file a Declaration of Informal Marriage. The couple must list the date on the declaration from which they have considered themselves married. In other words, a couple can be married for some period of time before registering their informal marriage.

There are two ways a couple may prove that they are informally married:

They can file a Declaration of Informal Marriage (available from the County Clerk's office)

or

They meet all of the following conditions:

the couple agrees that they are married;
they live together in Texas; and
They represent themselves to other individuals that they are married to one another [Family Code § 2.401]




This is Texas. We don't have regular seasons here. We have Summer 1, Summer 2, Summer 3 and January.

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