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June 30, 2006

Terminological Troubles

Yesterday David saw my blog for the first time and objected to my referring to him as my boyfriend, insisting that he is much more than that. And I agreed that, yes, he is more than that; in fact, he is my everything. But everything is not very precise.

So what to call him?

There are many accurate options, but none are quite sufficient. Boyfriend sounds too casual, though he is a boy (actually, he is a man -- I'm not a pedophile) and he is my best friend; lover is too much information, though I won't say it isn't so; roommate is not enough information, though we have been living together almost four years; partner sounds like we are in business together, which I suppose we are, given that we jointly own our house; accomplice sounds like we are committing crimes together (I'm taking the fifth on that one); fiance is accurate -- we got engaged on January 1, 2004 -- but sounds pretentious and always begs the unanswerable question: "so what's the date?" (unanswerable because of the complicated mess that is at the intersection of my academic and financial life); mentor is true, as I often make my best decisions by asking myself what David would do, but I have other mentors as well; former co-worker is also true -- that is how we met -- but I also have many of those; finally, lifesaver has been true on more than one occasion. I guess he isn't quite my everything because he is not my parent or sibling (that would just be gross). He is not related to me in any way, but today he is my family.

So I guess the easiest thing is just to call him David.

Posted by eklanche at June 30, 2006 10:49 AM


I have always liked the fact that gay people have partners. 'Husband' and 'wife' both have an implicit sense of possession that is disturbing, and a sense of history that makes me feel oddly tired. Both terms have you standing facing each other. But a 'partner' is someone you stand side by side with, facing the rest of the world, and I feel like that's the right way to be oriented to the person you spend your life with.

Posted by: esik at February 11, 2007 11:54 PM

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