When we’re young, labeling relationships is easy. This person is my friend, this person is my best friend, this person is my BEST best friend. When it’s a romantic relationship, it’s the same. You can be dating or going out. Someone is your boyfriend or girlfriend. When you’re young, finding a handy title for the people in your life isn’t that complicated.
But then I became old and began a new romantic relationship. One day, I was on the phone, adding Rich to my car insurance. I finished updating the information that they already had on file about my vehicle, and then said that I needed to add another driver to the account.
“What’s his relationship to you?” the woman on the line asked.
And I froze.
When you’re nearing forty and you’re in a new romantic relationship, there aren’t any good terms for it. Calling him my boyfriend felt a little bit too infantile and flippant. Even though we knew that we would be married at the earliest possible time, calling him my fiancé felt too formal for the relationship that we were in right at that moment. I figured calling him my lover would probably be a little too much information for an insurance customer service rep, so I just blurted out, “He’s my partner!”
I had no idea how much that title would come to mean to me.
I’m posting today over at You Are Here about defining relationship the second time around. Click here to read the entire piece.