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What Do You Call Your Guy?


You’re over 40, dating again, and found someone to call your own. But what, exactly, DO you call your special someone? Read on for suggestions.

By Laura Schaefer

he man you’re dating means more to you than just a dinner engagement planned for Saturday nights. Invitations to family reunions and work events have become part of the mix and you two are happy as a couple of clams. (Clams? Who said clams are happy?)

You’re together, in love, over 40 and unmarried. It’s a fast-growing group. More and more reasonable folks are taking their time on the
The language of your earliest years seems a little trite.
way down the aisle—or never quite making it there at all. That’s perfectly fine. But what should you call this new paramour? The language of your earliest years seems a little trite (there’s no way you’ll let the words “my steady” slip past your lips). Perhaps, hidden in the following list, is a moniker right for you.

Girlfriend/boyfriend
Unfortunately, the English language fell a little short when it provided us with these well-worn terms. Sure, it sounds fine if you happen to be in your teens or twenties and essentially are a “boy” or a “girl.” But there’s got to be something better.

Significant other
Another tried-and-true handle, this one puts things on a distinctively formal level. Probably a good choice if the two of you are university professors and tend to sound dignified.

Honey/sweetie
Go ahead and refer to him or her as “my honey,” but be prepared for other people in the room to squirm uncomfortably.

Beau
Add some Scarlett O’Hara-esque southern gracefulness to your vocabulary and unleash this antebellum phrase. Your “suitor” will probably look confused unless he was a big fan of Rue McClanahan’s character on Golden Girls.

Main squeeze
This phrase suggests that there might be other “squeezes” in
It might be good for eliciting a playful vibe.
your life, so use with caution. However, it might be good for eliciting a playful vibe.

Partner
Ah, the big gun. “Partner” is another serious term best invoked when house-shopping or taking on a business venture. Still, it’s got a nice simplicity to it and most people will know exactly what you mean.

Lover
Ooooooh. This one lets everyone know, in no uncertain terms, what goes on when the lights go out. Your children will love it.

Fiancé
Getting engaged and staying that way for years or decades is a solution favored by some couples. The ring is also nice bonus. People will stop asking for the big date after a year or two—if you’re lucky.

Here’s the part where I tell you it doesn’t matter what you call your _____ (fill in the blank. I refuse to commit to a term). Well, it’s true. Whether he’s a “boyfriend,” a “lover,” or a “partner,” the important thing is you’ve found someone who makes you smile. And if anyone out there lands on or invents the perfect name for this particular relationship, do share.


Laura Schaefer is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to Happen magazine.
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