SIGNIFICANT OTHER: Increasingly Significant Issue

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Thu Apr 11 19:24:56 UTC 2002

On Thursday, April 11, 2002, at 02:44  PM, Laurence Horn wrote:

> At 5:46 PM +0100 4/11/02, Lynne Murphy wrote:
>> It strikes me here that in places where not being married (but
>> living/raising families together) is the norm, (UK and Julienne's island)
>> 'partner' is the default, but in places where marriage is more 'norm'
>> that
>> the issue of what to call such people is up in the air.
>> ...
>> Here 'partner' is used for any long-term stable monogamous relationship,
>> even in some cases where the people don't live together.  It's the
>> grown-up
>> version of 'girlfriend/boyfriend'.
> Ah, monogamy--that's another parameter (along with same/opposite sex,
> living together/not, married/un-).  In the places Lynne is describing
> (UK, Puget Sound), I take it monogamy is still the norm, even if
> marriage and heterosexuality aren't.  "Lover" of course is used in
> situations of menages a trois (ou plus), or more generally what's now
> called polyamory, but again that focuses unnecessarily on the sexual
> aspect.  Could "partners" be used in such a context?  "companions"?

One of the participant in the internal newsgroups for panix (where I have
an account) is, if I read his standard sig correctly, involved in a
polyamory newsgroup. He's referred in passing to his "primary".

Alice Faber
Haskins Laboratories                                    Tel: (203) 865-6163
270 Crown St                                            FAX: (203) 865-8163
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                              faber at

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