How to introduce your midlife flame to colleagues?

My sweetie and I were talking about a function we will be attending with his professional colleagues. He asked, “How shall I introduce you to my associates and co-workers? What shall I call you? I want to tell them of our relationship when I introduce you as my — what?”

We wanted to use the right word that was not too familiar and not too formal, but also expressed our relationship properly.

We debated the options. “Girlfriend” seemed a too juvenile for a 51-year-old woman. “Lover” was too explicit. “Main squeeze” too base. “Friend” too distant. “Date” too cold. It was too early in our relationship to be considered his “significant other.” “Sugar,” “sweet baboo,” “lady love” and “honey” all a tad too informal for professional colleagues. We decided “sweetie” or “sweetheart” sounded fine.

Now, what was I to call him when I introduce him to my circle? “Boyfriend” was out for the same reason “girlfriend” wasn’t right. “Suitor” was fine in writing, but sounded stilted verbally. “Fella” sounded out of date. “Escort” was too remote. “Companion” was a little closer, but without the closeness we feel. “Partner” was pre-mature. “Boy toy” would elicit a laugh, but it is too suggestive for a professional environment. “Swain” and “gentleman caller” were archaic. “Paramour” has a nice ring to it, but the definition is “a lover, especially the illicit partner of a married person.” No, that will not do.

“Beau” has a nice ring to it, as does the aforementioned “sweetie” or “sweetheart. So I’ll use one of those.

When you’ve introduced your man to your co-workers or professional colleagues, what adjective did you use? How did you determine what sounded right? Have you ever used a term that your guy didn’t like?

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4 responses to “How to introduce your midlife flame to colleagues?”

  1. Christine Avatar

    I know someone who used to call his live-in girlfriend: “my emergency contact.” He didn’t understand why he sounded ambivalent about the relationship. She finally guilted him into marriage. I can only guess how they refer to each other now.

  2. Kim Avatar

    I never understood why there has to be a “title” at all. Why can’t he just be introduced as Bill, or John or whatever? Obviously, this person is with you for a reason. Does it matter whether anyone knows the depth of the relationship? I have just introduced the person I am dating with his name and no definition and it is a little easier on everyone. I know someone else who is in her 50’s and introduces the man she has dated for 3 years as her “friend”. Each time she does it everyone looks at her like she is crazy. Why can’t she just introduce him as Bill?

  3. Gatti Avatar

    I’m in my 50s and I’ve been using “boyfriend” and it did seem funny at first. I would say to people, “I have this wonderful new…(big pause)…boyfriend”. After a day or two I got used to it.

    When I introduced him to a work colleague I just said, “A this is B” and she said, “Is this your new boyfriend?”, so that was easy!

    I’m looking forward to being able to say “partner” and have it done with! (This will not take too long, I reckon…)

  4. NY Sharon Avatar
    NY Sharon

    What works for both genders is “this is(name) and she/he is someone special to me/or has become
    special to me”.