Girlfriend? Wife?

I’ve been struggling with how to refer to my partner in these posts. I can’t not talk about her at all because she is the biggest part of my life. I don’t use her name and most of the names in my blog have been slightly altered to protect, ummm… noone. (I’ve shared this online journal with only two friends because they were both interested in blogging themselves. I doubt either of them would share it with anyone else. Note to friends: If you’re reading this, get moving on writing your blog please!)

I’ve noticed that most other bloggers use labels or initials to refer to their spouse or partner. I’d been using girlfriend for a while, but that seemed immature to me – she’s not a girl – and the term doesn’t really convey the permanency of the relationship. Significant other is formal, lengthy and almost too p.c. Partner is okay, except that it’s hugely overused in the business world and it makes me think of money-related relationships. Wife is okay too, except that it’s a term that unnecessarily conveys gender again and again, as well as possibly implying some traditional role-playing on our parts that, while partially true due to pre-existing interests, I don’t really care to highlight. Most everyone that knows me or reads this journal knows that I’m talking about a lesbian relationship anyway. If we were able to be legally unionized, we would be, but we are not all that keen on ceremony otherwise. Last summer we found really nice matching rings at an art show. Together we decided what they mean to us and we wear them.

So in the end, I’ve decided to refer to her simply as Mel. If she prefers, I’ll use V. or P.C. – I’ll have to ask her.


  1. I had the same problem with my sig-o before we got married. At 50, “boyfriend” didn’t cut it. It was a relief when we were engaged to have the fiance label. We were legitimized in the language world, finally. We used “partner” mostly, though we are hetero. A guy I work with talks about his DJ business partner a lot and people poke fun at him, like he means “gay lover.” Though, to me, partner is a much better word than spouse, husband, wife, etc. It’s not tainted with all the gendered associations and implies a more equal relationship. Words definitely haven’t kept up with the times. By the way, you forget to address “Main Squeeze,” “Better half,” “cupcake,” and “Old Lady.” LOL. Saying “My old man” definitely seemed more accurate than saying “my boyfriend.” How about “My Love.” I never get tired of being called that.<br><br>1 of the 2<br>

  2. Okay, consider these:<br>• Love Muffin<br>• My Bitch<br>• My Concubine<br>• Love Machine<br>• Jezebel<br>• Sex Puppet<br>• The Shagmistress<br>• Ball n’ Chain<br>• Tampal<br>• Guard Dog<br>• Sex Toy<br>• Mistress<br>• Master<br>• The War Department<br>• Bed Bud<br>• Zipper Girl

  3. I know exactly what you mean. The worst is when you are trying to deal with someone on the phone and they ask: "And what is your relationship to (insert gf’s name here)?" I say, "Partner", but I always feel like we’re a law firm. Lately, I’ve just been calling her my Claudia. Cause really, that’s what she is ! 🙂

  4. The first time the wife read the blog entry in which I referred to her as "the wife," she snorted in derision. Still, I really like the sound of it. Proprietary yet gruff. "The wife": I think I’ll keep it.

  5. I am so right there with you on this one!! My ‘partner’ and I go round and round. Wife makes me laugh and I like using it with friends, but the heterosexual institution of marriage doesn’t apply, so I usually use ‘partner’. We so need a word to define our relationships. Its out there somewhere…

  6. oh, I don’t know…my friends use "husbands" when they talk about their relationship…to me it depends on what you feel comfortable with…

  7. Yes, actually I’m with T. When I’m talking to straight folks — especially ones I don’t know very well, I say "partner." "Wife" is a term I reserve for friends and family only.

  8. There’s a word for it in Swedish: "sambo". It specifically means co-habiting lover. If everyone starts using it, it could be an English word, too…

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