Home Plus One Dating Calling Your “Boyfriend”

I have a really hard time with titles when in a relationship. Whenever introducing a guy I’m dating to someone, I never know what to say.  The term “boyfriend” grosses me out.

By definitions it means:

boy·friend   (boifrnd) n.
A favored male companion or sweetheart.

But to me, “boyfriend” just sounds like neediness, middle school, and an ominous end.

But I feel bad. I want that person I’m in a relationship with to know I’m connected. I want to be linked. But I just can’t say “boyfriend”. It comes out of my mouth like a cringing slow motion. BoiiiiiiiiiifffffffrrriEND.

To try to appease the guy I’m dating and my heart I’ve tried other titles too:

“Significant other” sounds like you’re just trying to avoid another word (which I am).
“Partner” makes me feel like John Wayne.
“Lover” reminds me of the hot tub SNL sketch.
“Manfriend” sound like you are just trying to hard.
“Beau” is just silly and frustrating since I hate the spelling.

I guess if I had to choose I would go for “mainsqueeze”, “honey shnookums” or “snuggle buddy”, but I don’t think those are very appropriate for an introduction.

So I’m kind of stuck. I guess I’ll just skip the title and stick with his name while introducing and let others make the connection in their minds.

Unless you all have any better ideas! Anyone have any good names for your “boyfriends” or is there anyone else that feels the same way I do? I’d love to hear your opinions!

Let’s talk.

Happy Thursday y’all!

25 replies to this post
    • I am anti-“boy toy.” That term totally grosses me out. But I like “guy I’m seeing.” It gets the point across, but it’s sufficiently vague.

  1. I don’t think there is anything wrong with “boyfriend”. The term exists for a reason – kinda states your exclusive and are planning on being together for a while. And if he wants you to call him that, and he wants you to be his “girlfriend” that means something too. “Partner” sounds much more committed than “Boyfriend”, so I wouldn’t jump straight to that either.

    I feel weird saying it sometimes because I’ve been dating mine for so long sometimes it doesn’t feel like it has enough weight behind it. We like to play around with the term, “Life Pard’ner” mostly because of Arrested Development, but whatever. However, we rarely introduce one another to other people as anything. We just say ‘This is Name’ and let people figure out what we are if it isn’t already painfully obvious.

  2. I think the problem with this is that other terms can be too ambiguous. Laura suggested “the guy I’m seeing,” but to me, that’s something I would introduce a guy as before we decided to make it official. After we’ve made that call, I feel like that’s not enough. When someone says “partner,” I usually think of gay or lesbian couples, since that’s the term many use when they can’t say “husband” or “wife,” so if a girl introduced a guy to me as her “partner,” I would be thinking, “is he her business partner…?” I tried to think of some other alternatives, but the only things that I could think of that aren’t totally silly and accurately convey your relationship are just going ahead with “boyfriend,” or doing what Midge does and assuming people will be able to tell from how you act toward each other what your status is.

  3. I totally agree about the word boyfriend, but I use it because I’m weak and easily cave to the semantical pressures of society around me. Why doesn’t girlfriend have the same ickyness to it? Even ladyfriend isn’t bad, while manfriend, as you point out, is kind of a joke. In fact, before my boyfriend and I were officially official, I constantly, in a half-joking way referred to him as my manfriend because I had no idea what else to call him.

    I really like partner, and I’ve heard it used more and more (among straight and gay couples). However, I think it definitely denotes a commitment more akin to marriage than dating. It’s what you’d use when “boyfriend” doesn’t seem serious enough for your relationship.

    What it comes down to is this – the term boyfriend probably isn’t going anywhere. It’s best replacements don’t mean quite the same thing.. so it’s probably best to just try to acquire a taste for it. Eventually it’ll go down a little easier and you’ll be saying boyfriend like there’s no tomorrow.

    On the bright side, we get to say “guy friend” and everyone know we mean “friend that is a guy.” While guys have to say “friend that is a girl” every time because there’s no equivalent.

  4. For whatever reason I never liked the word boyfriend either. Perhaps thats because I had a few bad ones back in the day that ruined the term for me. Or, perhaps its because I had heard one too many of those certain kinds of girls who can’t use their guy’s name, just “my boyfriend this, my boyfriend that…” WAHHHH! I agree that using their first name in an introduction may be enough and keep the mystery. Another term that is endearing but not needy/annoying is “my person.” Great topic!

  5. I think people should just elope with people instead of dating. Marriage doesn’t mean anything nowadays anyways, so it’s not like getting divorced is any different than breaking up. And you wouldn’t have to use the creepy word “boyfriend”.

  6. This made me laugh! I agree about the titles.

    When first going out, I referred to mine as my ‘gentleman caller.’ Then when we got more serious I called him my beau. :) I’m pretty much used to boyfriend now (he always called me the girlfriend), although I’m still not crazy about it. Especially since my boyfriend isn’t a boy. He’s a man!

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