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Boyfriend or Partner? Relationship or Dating?

(30 Posts)
VelmaD Tue 11-Feb-14 17:35:57

Just interesting in the general consensus - when does a boyfriend become a partner? When you've been together a certain amount of time? When you're living together?

And when do you become "in a relationship" as opposed to dating? (not two weeks such as certain FB friends, but whole other story there!)

I've been with boyfriend six months. We are in a relationship, not dating - we do family things, he's my first in an emergency (and vice versa) we are a couple. But I would never describe him as partner (even as DP on here) and corrected someone in real life when they referred to him as it last week (they said your partner, I said "oh you mean my boyfriend" style correction nothing major)

I also saw this touched on on a previous thread - so what's the MN consensus?

Joysmum Tue 11-Feb-14 17:54:13

Boyfriend becomes partner when you set up home together in partnership.

Boyfriend or relationship when the relationship becomes exclusive.

Dating if not exclusive.

FracturedViewOfLife Tue 11-Feb-14 18:11:00

I was going to say the same as Joysmum.

VelmaD Tue 11-Feb-14 18:13:40

See, that's my vein of thought too.

But I wondered if I was being a bit odd - seeing some posts on here referring to DP and some people on FB (yes yes, the devils work but im a saddo and admit it)

Marn1e Tue 11-Feb-14 18:20:17

Err if you want to call him your partner and you view him as your partner then he IS your partner

FracturedViewOfLife Tue 11-Feb-14 18:22:02

I don't know about Facebook but on here if my DP was my boyfriend I would say DP. Everybody knows who you mean so it is easier.

Call him whatever you feel comfortable calling him though.

CuttedUpPear Tue 11-Feb-14 18:24:51

I've been with my DP for six years in an exclusive relationship.

I get flamed on here for not referring to him as boyfriend.

Apparently because we don't live together.

Lottapianos Tue 11-Feb-14 18:26:13

Entirely up to you OP. Boy/girlfriend to describe grown adults gives me the pip and I always corewxt people politely if they refer to my partner as my boyf. You and him can call your relationship whatever you like

somedizzywhore1804 Tue 11-Feb-14 18:28:42

I really don't like partner as a term. I don't know why. I called my husband my boyfriend until the day I married him!

I guess I thought we were in a proper relationship and not just dating or seeing each other after about 6 months eve though we were quite serious from the outset. When we were together long enough to have a bit of history I guess.

VelmaD Tue 11-Feb-14 18:33:48

cutted up - see that's where I am blurry, the whole long term but not living together. I've seen threads on here with things like wedding invites excluding said long term boyfriends as they aren't "partners"

I wasn't asking for how I should refer to someone per se, just seen it a few times on MN and started a thread giving my examples :-)

storynanny Tue 11-Feb-14 18:34:12

I was uncomfortable calling my partner " boyfriend" as we met in our late 40's. I dont really like the term partner either but as we have been together 10 years, live together and are unmarried not sure what to call him.
I dont thiink he is just a boyfriend if you live together. When I was young, back in the day, I certainly referred to them as a boyfriend even when we had been together for over 2 years. ( not allowed to live together back in the day, would have given ancient parents heart failure)

VelmaD Tue 11-Feb-14 18:37:19

See mine were always boyfriend before I was married. But I was young. It does feel a bit weird calling someone a boyfriend when im divorced, in my thirties and with two kids. But only I think because others seem quicker to refer to him as partner than boyfriend in rl, maybe because of my age etc?

Joysmum Tue 11-Feb-14 18:37:38

Tbh though, it doesn't matter much.

I have never once called my hubby my 'darling husband' or darling or husband. He's my hubby in RL but I got a sarcastic comment from a very vocal regular expressing her need to vomit at my terminology because it disagrees with her beliefs. She'd really up chuck if she knew we call each other babe too grin

As everyone else uses 'DH' on this forum, I do too for ease of communication but the intolerant will always find something to be offended at wink

VelmaD Tue 11-Feb-14 18:42:50

See hubby doesn't bother me if you're married. It only bothers me when people refer to their boyfriend as hubby. Especially when their said boyfriend is still married to someone else ;-)

SummersDumbAsPie Tue 11-Feb-14 18:43:00

I don't think someone becomes a partner when you live with them. Lots of lone parents don't move their partner in but in every other way they are a partner. I think someone is a partner when they are just more there in your life and you just feel like they are more than a boyfriend. You might have one relationship that lasts ten years but they never feel more than a boyfriend and have one that lasts a year or two but they feel like a partner.

expatinscotland Tue 11-Feb-14 18:45:03

So many people on MN call anyone they date a 'partner'.

expatinscotland Tue 11-Feb-14 18:46:13

Or they refer to a partner's relatives as their in-laws. You're not married. They are not your in-laws. Or their boyfriend's kids as their 'step children'. You are not married. They are not your step children.

Only1scoop Tue 11-Feb-14 18:49:47

I feel to old to say boyfriend prefer....Oh <of the moment> grin
Now we live together and have dc he is still OH ....sometimes partner.
His mother is not my MIL etc and I'd never refer to her as that.

VelmaD Tue 11-Feb-14 18:55:54

Oooh inlaws. Are my inlaws still my in laws although I am now divorced? <ponders>

expatinscotland Tue 11-Feb-14 19:03:52

Former ILs. Ex-laws. I couldn't get rid of mine fast enough. TFFT.

Joysmum Tue 11-Feb-14 19:04:42

My in laws became my in laws the moment my boyfriend became my partner as we both didn't need a wedding to confirm our commitment. Mind you, that makes a farce if it I appreciate as we weren't a partnership 'in law' so neither could his family be mine. I still saw them all as being my family too though.

Theoldhag Tue 11-Feb-14 19:08:07

Partner once love has been declared and accepted, no matter what the living arrangements are in place.

HerdyHerdwick Tue 11-Feb-14 19:16:23

I'm in my early 50's and to use the term 'boyfriend' at my age sounds ridiculous to my ears.

I don't think living together is necessary to refer to someone as a 'partner' but it does have to be an established, serious relationship.

VelmaD Tue 11-Feb-14 19:17:53

ex-laws. Out-laws?! :-D

Boyfriends family are still referred to as boyfriends family. Though his mum did add me on FB when we got to the six month stage! :-)

His son. I dont refer to him as my stepson either. As he doesn't refer to my kids as step kids. But our involvement in each others lives like that are getting deeper. Used to grate me something chronic if someone referred to my exs girfriend as my childrens step mother. They've been together three and a half years and have a two year old and we've only just started that name in last six months or so.

sykadelic Tue 11-Feb-14 19:50:11

Back in the day "partner" referred to same-sex couples so I would never have called my boyfriend my "partner".

The only other time it's makes sense is if you're in your 40's+ and it seems a bit juvenile to say boyfriend.

It's people trying to get more "serious" without actually getting married. They think by saying partner it gives their relationship more credibility.

Also, agree with expat re in-laws and step-children.

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