@stephchach

Seattle adventures, life, home, and coffee—in no particular order

The F word

I’ve always thought the titles boyfriend and girlfriend don’t exactly do justice to the committed long-term relationships we enter into as adults. No matter how many times I’ve referred to Adam as my boyfriend, the term always conjures up images of the middle school dating scene. Doesn’t it devalue, even if just a little, the relationship that you hold dear with your SO? For that very reason I’ve taken to calling Adam my man-friend. Not really any better, but it’s definitely more fun to say.  

What it is about the classification of non-married relationships that we look down on? Is it their perceived impermanence? Is it the lack of a public commitment? Is it our country’s Christian roots? Whatever the reason, I have to cringe every time I refer to ‘my boyfriend’ in more serious conversations, especially when they involve finances. This was most true when we bought our house last summer. I can’t count the number of patronizing looks I got when revealing that I was going through the grown-up process of buying a house with my…husband? No, boyfriend. Oh.  

When introductions come around for my classes, I’m never quite sure whether I should mention ‘my boyfriend’ or not. It’s perfectly acceptable for married members of our program to include their partners in their intros, but most of my non-married peers don’t mention their SO’s. Is it just me? Maybe so, but I still feel a little silly using the B-word, even in passing reference.

But now there’s this new word. The F-word. That’s right, fiancé. It’s such a powerful one that Microsoft Word immediately prompts that pompous accent mark. Whoa.

I’ve never liked this word either—French pronunciation or otherwise. It just sounds so…affected. I have yet to use the word with a straight face, and on the rare occasion that I do use it, I just can’t get over the feeling that I’m trying too hard.

As it happens, Adam doesn’t like the F-word either. Recently after we were engaged he worked up enough courage to ask me about it. He breathed a big sigh of relief when I told him I’m omitting the word fiancé from all polite conversation. Whew.

So now we’re in this long limbo that is our engagement. And until we make a commitment to each other in front of our dearest friends and family, I’m going to go right ahead and call him my man-friend. And then he’ll be my husband. Shockingly enough, I don’t have an issue (yet!) with that title.

I’ll leave you with this, more engagement foto goodness from the lovely E Nomura:

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One comment on “The F word

  1. Erica
    January 7, 2011

    I was just looking at Facebook and it’s “in a relationship” function and irritated and then remembered this post and would like to go back and give you belated kudos. Boyfriend will now be referred to as “gentleman friend” or, if the occasion dictates, like if I’m being escorted to a ball, “gentleman caller.”

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2010 by in Wedding.
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