Skip Nav
Valentine's Day
To All the Single Women Spending Valentine's Day Alone
Advice
11 Common Bachelorette Party Blunders
Books
200+ of the Sexiest, Sweetest Books of 2015

Terms For Significant Others

What Do You Call Your Significant Other?

Even though NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls Diana Taylor his "girlfriend," the term is much too juvenile for his city's preeminent newspaper. In a write up about Diana, the New York Times calls her the mayor's "companion" or "sidekick." Recalling Maureen Dowd's recent musings about when a woman is too old to be called "single," it appears the paper has a thing for age-appropriate relationship terms.

Wonkette argues that "companion" makes Mayor Bloomberg and his "special lady" seem like they're gay men in the '70s. But at a certain age or after many years together, perhaps the terms "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" become too immature or informal. When referring to your significant other, what do you say?

Image Source: Getty
Around The Web
Amy Schumer's Best Sketches | Videos
Harry Potter Fan Art
Signs He's a Gentleman
Valentine's Day Lingerie Gift Ideas

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
They don't sound that gay. A little tact and sensitivity next time please, okay zonie?
sparklestar sparklestar 5 years
To friends I'll call him my boyfriend but to work colleagues he's my "partner".Soon he'll be my fiancé. I could technically call him that now but I'll wait for the ring.
sparklestar sparklestar 5 years
To friends I'll call him my boyfriend but to work colleagues he's my "partner". Soon he'll be my fiancé. I could technically call him that now but I'll wait for the ring.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
I say call it whatever you want, having rules about it sucks the fun out of it. I say either 'special gentleman friend' or 'my guy.' When I have one, that is.
boredgourdless boredgourdless 5 years
Here in Norway many people live together in committed relationships without marriage. A person refers to their significant other as a "sambo" (SAM-boo), which comes from the Norwegian words for "living together" or cohabitant. A couple living in this type of relationship are called "samboer." My husband's parents are divorced, and each have lived with a sambo for nearly fifteen years. I think it's a better term than "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" to describe people who are living in what we Americans would call a common law marriage.
AlyCarolina AlyCarolina 5 years
well, as of a week ago he is my fiance.. and im down with skigirl.... He is also my prince charming!!
lorelaisma lorelaisma 5 years
I vacillate between terms, but notice that the only reason I do, is for others; to make them confortable. I happen to have 3 kids with my guy and that causes me to steer clear of the whole label. I introduce his name as quickly as I can into any conversation & forego putting a label on it. When that backfires, I lie and use the term husband. People have visibly uncomfortable gestures when they discover I have been with the same guy for 8 years and we have 3 children, but no intention of marrying.
Blackwood Blackwood 5 years
"his sidekick" = are they kidding? is she a smartphone??people should call they significant others whatever they like to call them (and they consent being called, of course), regardless of the age...in my case, she would be "my queen" or "my lady of the lore" ;)
Blackwood Blackwood 5 years
"his sidekick" = are they kidding? is she a smartphone?? people should call they significant others whatever they like to call them (and they consent being called, of course), regardless of the age... in my case, she would be "my queen" or "my lady of the lore" ;)
Hiding55 Hiding55 5 years
He's my boyfriend. We're not married and we're not engaged.
joriss joriss 5 years
Its still a bf since where still dating and not talking about serious plans for the future. Anyone could be a partner and friend. Engagement ring is for fiance and wedding ring is for marriage. Some girls like to assume they are more than a gf even if there is no proposal and a ring. Or just a proposal. sad..
Gawjuslayd Gawjuslayd 5 years
I just asked my bf/fiance/so what he thought and we both made valid points. We tend to call one another fiance more when we need to exemplify the seriousness for our relationship. Boyfriend/Girlfriend is very casual yet husband/wife is a legal bond as well. Like when we went to sign up for the gym is it easier to say we are engaged to get the "family" rate since we live together/share expenses.
Gawjuslayd Gawjuslayd 5 years
My boyfriend and I have been living together since the second day we met. It was officially the 4th day! LOL. We have been inseperable ever since. Although we seem as if we are an old married couple, I still refer to him as fiance. We have been and still going through so much- sometimes more than married couples- that calling one another boyfriend and girlfriend just seems silly. We know every intimate detail and have such a solid relationship, that we might as well start using the titles. If he says it, it just reminds me that he is serious about our relationship and the things we go through.
lickety-split lickety-split 5 years
Slut puppy. One size fits all.
janneth janneth 5 years
Right, steph. Everybody is a "friend".
stephley stephley 5 years
I hate that people spend so much time & energy thinking about this. If someone 90-years old refers to the person they spend time with as a boyfriend or girlfriend, do you really feel the need to say 'oh you're too old for that!' Most people understand the meaning.Maybe we should really be careful - we use the word 'friend' way too much. More accurately, we mean the person I can best tolerate at work, or the person in the neighborhood who talks to me.
stephley stephley 5 years
I hate that people spend so much time & energy thinking about this. If someone 90-years old refers to the person they spend time with as a boyfriend or girlfriend, do you really feel the need to say 'oh you're too old for that!' Most people understand the meaning. Maybe we should really be careful - we use the word 'friend' way too much. More accurately, we mean the person I can best tolerate at work, or the person in the neighborhood who talks to me.
turtleshell turtleshell 5 years
I call him my boyfriend. At first when I saw the title of this, I thought it was going to be about pet names. And oh dear, my boyfriend and I call each other some ridiculous names. Usually I just call him by his name, but he generally calls me "Shell" - my name is Michelle. Sometime we use "lovest" - which I know makes little sense and is sickeningly sweet, but I promise we don't do that around other people. I think that one started off as a joke and then just caught on. He used to say that I was the "cutest", so I made up the word "lovest" to describe him. After four and a half years, we feel comfortable enough to use ridiculous terms of endearment.
turtleshell turtleshell 5 years
I call him my boyfriend. At first when I saw the title of this, I thought it was going to be about pet names. And oh dear, my boyfriend and I call each other some ridiculous names. Usually I just call him by his name, but he generally calls me "Shell" - my name is Michelle. Sometime we use "lovest" - which I know makes little sense and is sickeningly sweet, but I promise we don't do that around other people. I think that one started off as a joke and then just caught on. He used to say that I was the "cutest", so I made up the word "lovest" to describe him. After four and a half years, we feel comfortable enough to use ridiculous terms of endearment.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 5 years
I'm with Skigurl, too. By the same token, I refer to my significant other as my husband because we're married. On occasion, I refer to him as "my better half." :)
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 5 years
I agree with both skigurl and exchequette, especially about when people get engaged and stay that way for years.
fashionplate525 fashionplate525 5 years
Skigurl, you summed it up perfectly.
Latest Love
X