You want to hear a weird coincidence?

(don’t get all that excited- it’s not the big a revelation)

My in-laws are divorced. My mother in law’s boyfriend and my father in law’s girlfriend share the same birthday…


Isn’t that just a weird and random thing?

I mean, what are the chances? I know mathematically there’s a way to actually express the ratio, which I don’t feel like doing,  but isn’t that just odd?

But you know what I actually found odd when I typed out these sentences- as well as when I jotted this down as a blog idea?

Using the term boyfriend and girlfriend to talk about significant others of octogenarians.

By no means do I think that people in their 80’s can’t find love.

It’s more that, after you’re 22, is it silly to refer to someone as your boyfriend or girlfriend?


If you are old enough to rent a AIRBNB without parental consent, what do you call that person in your life that makes your heart skip a beat either because you love them SOOO much or you’re thinking about a pillow over their head while they’re sleeping?

Partner sounds so western to me: Howdy there Partner…Do you want your relationship to resemble a Sergio Leone movie? Though…what is spaghetti western for partner?

What about when people add decoration to partner?

Life partner? That sounds like your bunkmate in Cell Block H.

Domestic partner? When I hear this, all I can think is- do you want someone in your life for love, or for dusting and repairing things?

Significant other?  How do we feel about that one? Significant is a nice strong word- shows a hint of sentiment…but is the use of the word other too insignificant?

Main squeeze? Too hippy?

Lover? Is that too boom chick a wow wow?

Sweetheart? Too Happy Days?

Suitor? Too transactional?

I just googled synonyms for boyfriend….worshipper comes up…

I think that would be a good one-

“So and so…come meet the person who worships me….” Yes…I would like to say that about someone. Though, I would never want to be referred to as the worshipper- only the worshipee…

Beloved? How does beloved work? Let’s try that out:

“So and so, meet my beloved?”


Nope…doesn’t work for me…

I’m seriously thinking that people get married just because it’s so much easier to say husband or wife…

Follower comes up…thanks for that one…

Can you imagine introducing someone as your “follower”?

Where’s the kool aid?


Toy boy?


Soul mate?

If you weren’t married but were in a situation, what would you want to be called? How would you want to be referred to?

There’s 141 suggestions on…

What say you all?

How do you refer to the love of your life?


108 thoughts on “What do I call you?

  1. I will say having married in our 50’s 2 years ago it is much more comfortable saying husband and wife and having that defined term than trying to come up with an explanation when we were dating for two years prior. (Dating even sounded corny to me) Boyfriend girlfriend seem too weird… significant other didn’t flow right… partner was odd…. So when dating I just introduced him as l, “this is Steve” and let people figure it out for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup! There is always some people who will have an issue with something. I guess that’s OK! His 91 year old mother has an 86 year old boyfriend for 25 years!! I think it’s cute but I get some raised eyebrows from a few people when I mention it!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. To all, I would use his name and nothing else. Why does there need to be a qualifier? How we act toward each other would indicate our relationship. Of course, I’ve been married over 50 years so I can’t quite remember how I ever introduced him before hand. And it was a ‘quickie’ wedding (get your mind out of the gutter) so there was no real long list of people who had to meet him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Worshiper?🤣🤣🤣🤣 Hey, meet XYZ, my worshiper. Follower sounds a like stalker-ish. Hey, this is XYZ, my follower (on Facebook, Twitter, instagram, pinterest or blog?)🤪
    While in college, my classmates used to introduce their girlfriend/boyfriend as “cousin”. Reminds me, is beau in the list?
    Since I am single, I don’t think I would worry about how to introduce ‘The One’ (ah see, another word 😉). When I do find someone and it comes to the introduction part, I will remember to email you and talk about this.🤪🤣 So find the right word by then.😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good questions. “Significant” other makes me wonder if there are “other” others. Partner is too cold for me. I might say “This is my Hunny …” Another one of the reasons why if something happens to my husband, I’m going solo.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. In most of the books I read, dating people are referred to as boyfriend or girlfriend no matter how old they are. It doesn’t seem those designators or any of the others you threw out there quite fit. I am with those who say just use their name without a qualifier, so I am looking forward to a future post where you discuss people getting upset over that. That response strikes me as very rude.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know people who have gotten into fights with their whatever’s because they didn’t like how they were addressed. For some people it’s a really big signifier to how and where you fall in someone’s life/priorities

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I understand now. I assumed it was the person receiving the introduction that was upset. Yes, I do see how that could cause issues with the person you are in a relationship with. Maybe that is why people go with boyfriend/girlfriend: that allows for a lot of space on the commitment continuum, from we just started dating to I hope to live out my life with this person.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. If someone is offended by just receiving a name – get some new friends! How about “we’re exclusive” (always assuming it’s true) if someone prods for more information.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the Monday morning giggle! I have no idea what I’d say at age 80! For now I’m on my own so I don’t know. I guess when I meet him and we become an ‘item’ I will revisit this post so I can figure it out!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m with you on this… I say other or partner. I’m not keen on the term boy/girl friend as it sounds very high school. I’d love to introduce him as my soul mate (how I see him) but that would make others, and myself feel a bit queasy!
    And yes that is such a coincidence about the same birthdays! X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The wife in a couple I knew who had been married over 40 years (maybe 50) had a car with a license plate that said 1st wife! My uncle who had been married 3 times referred to his 3rd wife, who ended up to be his longest marriage, as “my wife of the moment.”

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Since our ability to mix and mingle has been pretty much nixed for a half decade to come, or thereabout, I think the question mute. But a Big Fun post none the less. I’ve introduce SNZ recently as Secret Service, but as the virus vagues, I think I’ll try inamorata.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh thank you! I love your writing, so creative and it makes me smile sometimes. I agree that boyfriend seems odd when the person is in their 80’s. I knew a couple that called her other Rat and Fink. Enjoyed the post, and yes, husband and wife is better than all those other wordhippo adjectives. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Haha I love this – how about mate? (is that too animalistic?) One I dislike is my “better” half? Oh yeah? What makes that person “better”? I like this is my friend, all great relationships must be based on friendship, otherwise what else matters? I know, I know, “Friend” seems too casual, but do we really owe others a description of our relationships? Hmmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Friend is solid and all purpose. But, does your “person” want to be referred to the same way you would refer to your actual friend? It could be a slippery slope


  12. I remember as a late teenager, a casual boyfriend introduced me to his friend as “his ole’ lady”. That irked me as a) I was probably 17, and b) we weren’t ‘exclusive’ (or he wasn’t). So aside from being identified as property, I thought it was a pretty arrogant claim.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. In some ways, I think it is adorable for those in an older generation (and it is so sad how close I am to that now) to use the terms boyfriend and girlfriend. They tend to bring a sense of youth and fun to the concept and who doesn’t need that in their lives? It can come across as silly, so I get that it feels a little weird. I kind of felt that way after I’d been divorced and was a single mom and dating again. I think this is one of those things that you can always just fall back on what the couple uses to refer to each other. For the most part, I don’t mind any of the terms, though I have a strong dislike for “beloved”, only because of a personal experience that left certain negative connotations tied to that word in my brain.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I introduce Bill as the love of my life. I detest partner as is infers we share belongings. We don’t. At this stage of the game we are fiercely independent and plan to stay that way. And here’s a coincidence for you: each and every one of my relationships has been with a virgo, two with same birthdate down to the same year. They don’t last 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I call her Cindy
    That sounds snarky, except for the fact that I live alone and don’t have any love interest right now. I can say that Sunshine and I referred to each other as fiance and husband and wife and such for years before we got married

    Liked by 1 person

  16. my wife started out as my girlfriend even though I was 40 and she was 28 but the thing is we know a lot of the same people, so mostly it’s by name for new people, it’s my wife. Privately Jess and call each other Bunny more than our actual name.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Umm . . . there’s a reason I’m still a bachelor fourteen years after my divorce. 😉

        But seriously, I have used the names. I just don’t think it HAS to be said is all. If we’re together, we’re together.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Lady friend and Gentleman friend were the terms that used to be used. They are awful. I’d just skirt round it by using names. As I decline into my dotage it will soon be “carer”. As has been said before – easier to get married.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Very thought provoking post. In enghlish I refer to my partner as my other half, significant other or just my man. In Norwegian we have the term samboer (meaning cohabitant) that we use for a partner you live with that is commonly used here

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve been busy this week and am just seeing & enjoying this post and all the comments now. I have a fair amount of personal experience in this realm since I became single in my late 40s. I’ve dated, been in a few relationships, and I’ve always used boyfriend and occasionally boy toy 😉depending on the man I’m referring to. Recently I have someone new and I’ve told friends (not introducing him because that hasn’t happened yet) “I have a new man.” Intentionally using man because he acts like a grown up which the last one did not. Girlfriend still works for me. He referred to me as his girlfriend and I’m very happy with that designation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An unmarried colleague of mine uses the term partner and ALWAYS refer’s to her as ‘the missus’…………. a very British phrase most working class men have for their ‘better half’ (another common British phrase).

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I refer to YBW as my husband, but I call him my Sweetheart or my Beloved.
    Thing 2 used to introduce Boyfriend J (no longer the boyfriend) like this: This is J, we date.
    She was 22 and didn’t want to use the term ‘boyfriend’.
    In my experience, the word partner is very European…meaning most of the couples who say partner about their spouse are from Europe or the UK.
    I loved this post so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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