SIGNIFICANT OTHER: Increasingly Significant Issue

Johnson, Ellen ejohnson at BERRY.EDU
Thu Apr 11 16:04:09 UTC 2002

>>Being single and in my early-30's, I and all of my "girlfriends" still
refer to our boyfriends as boyfriends.

being single and  a ways beyond early 30's, "boyfriend" has become a problem (the word that is, the referent having always been one, in one way or another, hence the single status!).  just doesn't seem an appropriate word to use for a man over 40 (what do you think, men?). 'lover' and 'paramour' do emphasize the sexual aspect too much.  so while 'partner' seems fine for people who are living together, I find there is a gap in  my lexicon for those relationships that are more than a one-night stand but less than a live-in companion. 'significant other'is marked to the extent of being jocular, relegated to the realms of pop psychology or bureaucratese.


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