Forced to Face the World Without a Moniker

Calling all Significant Others (not that you’d ever call yourselves that), what do you call…yours?  Life Partner feels like there’s a kidney on the auction block.  More medical undertones with Live-In Companion.  (Did you start dating your aide?)  Domestic Partner seems reserved for same sex couples. Companion could be your partner, or your four-legged friend.  Better half.  Seriously? If you’re cohabitating, the U.S. Census Bureau calls you a POSSLQ (pronounced poss-il-que, referring to Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters).  Lady Friend and Gentleman Caller belong in a bygone era of outdated social mores.  (I’m sure the Lady Friend is hooking up with her Gentleman Caller.)  Plus One?  You may end up fighting over who’s the Plus and who’s the One.  Unmarried Spouse.  Un? Why describe ourselves as something we are not?  But unmarried couples over the age of 30 in a committed relationship are forced to face the world without a moniker.  Regardless of living arrangements, once a couple passes the stage of dating, it’s difficult to find an appropriate name to call your…

A 56-year old man is not a boyfriend.

Baby Boomers need their labels.  In light of the Gray Divorce Revolution with divorces on the rise and marriage rates on the decline, there are lots of mature people out there dating, finding new relationships, but struggling with introductions:  “I’d like you to meet my….um….”

What do you call…yours?


2 Responses to “Forced to Face the World Without a Moniker”

  1. Karen

    I am 46, and my umm…..is 48. Back story: I found your blog through the NY Times and the article you wrote “Surviving An Alcoholic”. I just lost my Dad and Grandfather last year. Dad was a highly functioning alcoholic who died of alcoholic cirrhosis. My ex husband of 12 years asked for a divorce before Christmas. Fine! Merry Christmas! He is what is known as a “dry drunk”. My ummm…..also has alcoholism in his family and a divorce under his belt. He also has gone through counseling and therapy for substance abuse issues including drinking, as have I. We both are approaching the next phase of our lives with eyes wide open to the the past. The point is, widowed or divorced, finding new love in mid life has been wonderful. He and I have known each other for 10 years and have had ringside seats at each other’s journeys through some tough times and bad decisions. It was a joy to recently discover a mutual crush and admiration that we are now taking one day at a time. We agree that to love one another is to not attempt to change each other, but to help each other realize the best version of ourselves. When we are out and about and introductions are made, we have decided (cheekily) to refer to each other as “this is my lover”. As in (insert plummy English accent), “I have taken a lovah”. And with that spelling do we refer to each other as well. And why not? We are. Boyfriend/Girlfriend seems so trite at this stage of the game of life.


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