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 “Fella” sounded out of date.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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