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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » alternatives to term "girlfriend"

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Author Topic: alternatives to term "girlfriend"
000
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So a friend and I, who went to the same alternative high school, met recently for lunch.

We were talking about a relationship she had recently had, that didn't last very long. We also discussed how we were really uncomfortable talking about our relationships to outsiders, especially using "boyfriend/girlfriend" type terms. We were just uncomfortable with the general concept of being a girlfriend, really. (I personally, dislike the term "girlfriend" in particular and cannot really pin-point why.)

Does anyone else have this issue? Any suggestions for alternative vocabulary? (We're "seeing each other" or we're "dating" sounds more grown-up, right? I'm more likely to use those terms when talking about /anyone's/ relationship, as opposed to "boyfriend/girlfriend" *shudder*)

[ 01-10-2007, 08:23 PM: Message edited by: iheartdc ]

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wanderlustful
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Is it the label you are afraid of or what the label ensues? If the word itself bothers you just don't use it, say "we're together" or we are "dating" they are more laid back and nonchallant. However, if its the actual relationship you don't like, it can't be blamed on the simple word.
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TheMadMorrigan
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I know EXACTLY what you mean. The term "girlfriend" irks we as well, though for me it's the fact that in the past when I've been So-and-so's "girlfriend", that's the only capacity that people have known me as. Additionally, it seems to me to be a rather juvenile term to use when you're a late-teen/twenty-something and beyond. Personally, I just refer to my boyfriend as my "partner" or my "significant other", and do the same for my friends and coworkers.
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echomikeromeo
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I couldn't agree more with all this. It seems to me that words like "girlfriend" connote a sort of traditional, cliched idea of teenage romance, something I stay away from. About six months ago I was embroiled in my first (and only) romantic involvement, and I ended up confusing a lot of people because I wouldn't say we were "dating" or "going out", and I was loathe to call him my "boyfriend". Those words just didn't make sense.

On another point, though, I'm bi, so I'm often struggling with a gender-neutral term for talking about hypothetical romantic relationships. It's hard - I don't really like "significant other", and "partner" suggests you're married or involved long-term. I suppose that's a whole different kettle of fish, though.

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tbelle
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I also agree...if I am romantically involved with someone, it's always much deeper to me than thinking of them as my "boyfriend". First of all, he would be more than a "friend", and second, he wouldn't be a "boy". I really can't think of a good alternative term, because our society hasn't established any. Personally I like "my love" but that's only to be used with them, in an intimate way. And the same goes for girlfriend.

[ 01-13-2007, 09:45 PM: Message edited by: tbelle ]

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not_a_hobgoblin
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What about "my (insert name here)"?

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moscovitz
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i always thought i was the only one with a problem with the term 'girlfriend/boyfriend' and i've always had trouble explaining my annoyance. i have spent time looking for a replacement but i've had no luck
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September
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It never bothered me, until my most recent relationship. At some point, when you've been together for years and are planning a future together and, most importantly, are out of your teens, "boyfriend/girlfriend" just really sounds wrong. I eventually started to refer to him as "my partner", which is just a whole lot closer to what I really mean to express.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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awons
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My man/woman-romantic-friend :]
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Emily 249
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I believe The Boy once used the phrase "egalitarian life partner", although it was strictly in a joking capacity. Plus, it's a bit of a mouthful for everyday use.
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poppybluefrogs
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I still refer to my boyfriend as 'boyfriend' only because he seems to immature to be called a partner so thats my only reason really. If he'd just grow up a bit to be perceived as mature then i could say he was my partner. There are other men in my life whom if i was dating them i would call them my partner rather than boyfriend. To me at the moment boyfriend and girlfriend has a different meaning that it did say, three years ago when i first started seeing him. Then we were young teens and it was acceptable to call him my boyfriend, now i would call him my partner if i felt he deserved that kind of maturity labelled on him. Unfortunately he doesnt seem to be growing up anytime soon.
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Heather
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You know, I'm 36 years old and my live-in partner and I use both partner or boyfriend/girlfriend pretty much interchangably. However, it should be said that I came of age queer (so "partner" is something I've used for a long time), I'm opposed to marriage, and that at this point in my life, I know full well that others will interpret my relationships in any number of ways I can't control, so I don't get too hung up on titling.

But mostly, we just call each other by our names to other people. As in "This is Heather," and "This is Mark."

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BelleMorte
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I don't like girl/boyfriend either, it just sounds silly... unless you're like my brother and his girlfriend, they're really immature, so boy/girlfriend fits... but for a serious relationship, I don't like it.

I like "my (name)," or what I think is absolutely adorable is "mon petit chou" which is French for 'my little cabbage' that's what French people call their significant others, and I think it's sweet...

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"Ne donne un baiser, ma mie, que la bague au doigt" -Méphistophélès from Faust (Don't give a kiss, my sweetheart, until the ring is on your finger)

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fille_francaise
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I use the term "Lover" or "Beau" when I'm talking about him formally. Casually, I'll refer to him as "The Boy" or just simply "boyfriend," though, just like everyone else, I hate that term more than anything. It has such an immature sound to it. I'm still trying to think of something more clever to call him because our relationship is much more than "puppy love boyfriend/girlfriend."

When someone asks me how long we've been together, or the subject comes up, I usually tell them we've "been dating" "been seeing each other" for such&such months. Rather than saying, "He asked me out on ____." I never realized how much of a difference those terms make, but they're really quite important.

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-- death cab for cutie.

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echomikeromeo
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I've become very fond of the French term for boyfriend or girlfriend, "petit(e) ami(e)." (You add the "e" on the end if you're referring to a woman.) Because it's a foreign language, it doesn't to me have the social connotations that English words have. It also sounds gender-neutral aloud, which is nice when I'm talking about hypothetical situations like "If I had a boyfriend/girlfriend..."
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Leabug
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You know, I had an interesting encounter today that reminded me of this thread- I was meeting with my Old English prof and we were discussing my interests in manuscript production- I so wanted to bring up the fact that my boyfriend is learning calligraphy and such, but I felt like a dork saying "my boyfriend" to this ancient old prof... hmm.... so I switched to "my partner" and it felt a little better [Smile]

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Lea

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ninster8
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i HATE titles! i think that even more than i hate being someone's girlfriend, i hate having to describe my partner as my boyfriend. it sounds so possessive. i hate sounding like someone is my property or like i am that of someone. my brother calls his girlfriend his "lady." me and my lady are going to the movies, etc. i think i like that.

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Kara Zor-El
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I've never had a huge problem with the word "girlfriend" but, that being said, I don't use the term very often. I guess I prefer gender neutral terms -- like in the relationship I'm in now I usually refer to my girlfriend as "my honey." That may be too cutesy for some people but it just comes naturally to call her that. However, I never called any past girlfriends "my honey" and if, Goddess forbid, I should ever have another girlfriend, I would call her something different. Maybe having a new term for different significant others is the way to go.

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Surferchk07
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Haha and if Goddess forbid...*highfives* I thought I was the only one who said that.

Anyway when im in a relationship I refer to whoever im with differently..I usually say this is "My Love" or if its a very serious commitment I use my partner. Girlfriend always just sounds weird because Im a lesbian people think oh its your Girl FRIEND and thats it.

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Elizabeth

"Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." -Spinoza

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PenguinBoy
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wench.

not really. um... "my darling sarah" (i don't have a darling called sarah). I love the word darling, how it rolls of the tongue.

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Ikeren
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Usually names, although sometimes "Moje srdce" - slovak for "My heart". (The one slovak phrase I learned for the purpose of saying it to her. I did brutalize the pronunciation, but that is okay.)

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19, male, interested in Sadomasochism (BDSM) and some bisexual tendancies.

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NervousFreak
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my grandpa is Slovak and I tried to learn it for the longest time and all I learned was one poem, anyways back on topic

I really like yours Ikeren, how does it sound phonetically?

Recently we went out for supper with my brother, my sister in-law and a friend of their's and my brother introduced Shaun as my boyfriend, and I kinda cringed at the sound of it. Another time my mom introduced him as my my common-law husband since we live together and that irked me a lot (not because I don't like the sound of it that's just a whole other issue on it's own)

But I've taken to referring to him as 'my codependent romantically involved roommate' to my friends as a joke

If it's someone who doesn't know us to begin with, I introduce him as 'my boyfriend', or 'my shaun' and 'my partner' if it's someone I look up to or who grades my papers.

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If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

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Ikeren
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The srdce requires rolling an R, which I can't do for some reason.

Closest I can type... ["moy (joy) - ey" (day)] [sriztz (one syllable...soft vowel, and I can't think of anything to rhyme it with) zuh (cud)]

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19, male, interested in Sadomasochism (BDSM) and some bisexual tendancies.

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