Well. I spent a lovely evening with my other partner last night and after a few glasses of wine I asked if I could call him my boyfriend. He's monogamous 🙄 and we've been dating for 6 months. He said no. We had a nice conversation about it and other expectations, but, that's really not what I wanted to hear. For him, "girlfriend" implies all the relationship escalator things that are off the table for us. I get it, but it still makes me sad.

Oh @poly_pockets I'm sorry to hear that. Maybe something more unique, like "Special female friend who holds her own space in my world". That's better than girlfriend anyway! 😝

@Jerrik thanks. I'm in a weird place about the whole thing. I just want to be acknowledged as more than "this girl I've been seeing," as though we don't text every day and lay around the apartment in pajamas together.

I'm sorry :/
It's weird that he would date you for six months and reject the boyfriend label but I guess that's just people being people.

@sagebrush I agree. It really took me by surprise. He said me asking him was "adorable," by which he meant that it is endearing that I think of him that way - but that on top of everything else feels so condescending.

I left my shampoo and conditioner under his sink in silent protest. He may think I'm not his girlfriend but that doesn't mean I'm going to lug all my things back and forth like we don't hang out every week... My lame attempt at humor even though I really don't feel like laughing.

I very much hope that the disparity gets worked out. It sounds quite important to you and it's probably best to not lose sight of what you really want in a relationship :IH:

@poly_pockets complete opposite of my SP/RA bf. He started calling me "a" girlfriend (as opposed to "his" which implies ownership) really early on and it really confused me as I do tend to associate bf/gf to mean more than I think he does, even now after some time sitting with it. Yet he expresses love regularly and we communicate like primaryish partners, and ask that confuses me as well still, tbh. Language is important. Maybe we need a different word for poly bf/gf that is more specific??

@kalliope absolutely agreed. He told me he likes the phrase 'significant other' and considers me to be a significant part of his life. I feel like that's a little clunky, but the sentiment is nice. I just can't imagine responding to someone, "oh yes, my significant other and I went to see that movie!"

I've been using 'partner' - which I know can have a variety of meanings but to me feels like an umbrella word that could be referring to anything, even my husband.

@poly_pockets okay that is super weird. SO is used mostly by monogamous dyads to mean their "other half" ie primary partner ie MORE important /significant than just a gf/bf!

@kalliope also. I think my frustration is that I want a word that will clearly distinguish who I'm talking about in a conversation. If I say partner or SO, than it's unclear if I'm talking about my husband or not. Bf seems so much clearer to me while also indicating some level of committed relationship.

@poly_pockets @kalliope ah, the words we use:

I've been using "companion" for the people "in my intimate circle".

I like it, because it means "one with whom I break bread with". And a company, was originally "a group of people who break bread together".

"Partner" to me means "long term agreements". Ironically, the ex-wife and I are great partners now in terms of raising the kids.

A companion can be a partner too, and that comes with discussion.

@weft @kalliope companion is interesting. At first glance it feels more platonic than I would like, but it's something to think about.

Interesting how our use or partner is so different, though! My point with him is that we prescribe words meaning, and so we could decide to give a particular meaning to whatever word we felt comfortable using. However, if that were entirely true, using (or not using) a particular word shouldn't make me feel so strongly.

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