This weekend I’m meeting a man who lives 400 miles away and has called me nearly every day — sometimes twice a day — for 4 months.
So how do I refer to him when I talk to friends? I don’t usually share potential suitors’ names with friends until I’ve at least met a guy and know he’s going to be around for a while. So he’s not “my guy” or “beau” or even “man I’m seeing” since we haven’t yet met.
In the old days it was somewhat simpler. Unless you were starting a long-distance romance via mail after having been “introduced” by friends or family, you had both met and could call him your “gentleman caller,” “suitor,” “fella,” or most commonly, “guy I’m dating.” With virtual introductions being more common, it has left us with a language void. My teenaged nieces would say that “we’re talkin’.”
“Cyber suitor” or “virtual boyfriend” don’t quite capture it, but perhaps it’s a start.