Please forgive my ignorance on this, as I have been married forever, but what do

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  1. Faith Reaper profile image83
    Faith Reaperposted 11 years ago

    Please forgive my ignorance on this, as I have been married forever, but what does one mean . . .

    Way back in the day, one either had a girlfriend, boyfriend, roommate, wife or husband.  Please do not take offense at this question anyone, as I am just clueless, but what does one mean when one says my "partner"?  Does that mean roommate, girlfirend, boyfriend, or fiancee?  I know that "life partner" means same sex "partners."  But when one just says "partner" when they are not of the same sex, is it that "partner" is his or her roommate, girlfriend, boyfriend, fiancee or could be all of the above?

  2. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 11 years ago

    The word partner is normally used in homosexual couples. No disrespect intended, but this seems to be the case.

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the answer JThomp.

    2. profile image0
      JThomp42posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      You are so welcome.

    3. IDONO profile image60
      IDONOposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yes! And I'm sure John Wayne would have said, " That's OK. No offense taken." Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. profile image0
      JThomp42posted 11 years agoin reply to this


  3. Amy Becherer profile image67
    Amy Bechererposted 11 years ago

    Dear Faith,  No question asked in sincerity is ignorant.  In response to your question, I believe, referring to another as a "partner" implies commitment.  It is more serious than a relationship defined as boyfriend or girlfriend.  If the term "roommate" is used to classify a relationship between a man and woman, it  means they live together, but it doesn't always mean they share a sexual relationship; it can be a living arrangement that is strictly as friends or for shared financial reasons, too.  The term fiancee doesn't necessarily imply the permanence intended by the classification of "partner", though the intentions of the couple are the promise of marriage, fiancee is a temporary state with the couple either proceeding to marriage or with the possibility that one or both deciding to forego their plans. The term "partner" usually is said with the mutual, discussed, agreed upon intention of a committed, life-long relationship. Partners often make this decision based on their love for each other, with or without the decision to legally marry.

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Amy, thanks so much for the detailed answer.  I know about all, except wasn't too sure when one uses "partner" and you have explained it so well dear one.  So live and love together and not necessarily get married. . .

    2. Amy Becherer profile image67
      Amy Bechererposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you so much, Faith.  Your question is a great, very thought-provoking one.

  4. IDONO profile image60
    IDONOposted 11 years ago

    I believe partners are two people involved in any kind of a relationship, whether social, business or whatever, that have equal input and value toward the purpose of the formation of the partnership in the first place. That partnership can be intimate or business.
         You are not ignorant. You stated that you've been married forever. You are not involved in a partnership. Your marriage is more  than that. Why would you know?

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      IDONO, thanks so much for the great answer, and I appreciate your noting my being married as part of my not knowing of such, and it being more than a partnership!   Thanks so very much for answering in such a kind manner.

    2. IDONO profile image60
      IDONOposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Even though you asked the question, isn't it a relief to understand why you don't know and the answers confirm that you don't need to know? It's not part of your life and I envy you. We already have too much on our plate.

  5. janshares profile image96
    jansharesposted 11 years ago

    I agree with everyone but I would also add that "partner" is also about being politically correct and not assuming that the traditional defining labels are applied to all relationships. It also takes away the assumption of traditional gender roles. I see it as a generic, all-inclusive term that I hear a lot of people using now, more often than, say, 20-25 years ago.

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for taking the time to answer the question.  Yes, I hear a lot of very young people using it, and was not sure exactly to what they are referring, whether dating, living together or partners in life together, just sharing expenses.

  6. Levertis Steele profile image76
    Levertis Steeleposted 11 years ago


    Dance Partner (Square dance, line dance, or any dance). I am thinking of an old square dance song with the lines "Honor your partner, Honor your . . . Swing your partner . . . ."

    Any Business Partners, such as, in a Law Firm

    Partners in Crime

    Sparring Partners

    Graduating Partners

    Two in an Intimate Relationship

    Casual or Best Friends

    "Howdy, partner!" is a Western expression used as a friendly greeting. This one is/was often used between familiars or total strangers.

    "Partner" once meant a person committed in a relationship with another whether intimate, business, or casual. Two guys who shoot hoops together every afternoon may refer to each other as partners. Two ladies who practice tennis together once a week may call each other "partner." Two individuals who dance, sing, study, play, hang out, or do anything else together may call each other "partner." Partners, not limited to just two persons, are teammates of any number.

    These are synonyms for "partner": friend, buddy, pal, spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, cohort, roommate, wife or husband, soul mate, fiancé, etc.

    Unless one meaning of "partner" has caused the others to become close to obsolete, there are still many.

    I had fun with this one. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Wow, Levertis Steele, you have covered it all here!!!  Thank you so much for the very detailed answer.  I guess it can be just semantics.  But I was thinking relationship-wise, as to what exactly is one referring.

  7. MickS profile image60
    MickSposted 11 years ago

    It is just a bit of 'politicaly correct' rubbish designed to not refer to gender titles such as wife, husband, etc.

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Ha.  Oops.  Great answer too.  All good answers as to each one's own perspective.  I was thinking it may be along the lines of not referring to one's gender.

  8. Mazzy Bolero profile image68
    Mazzy Boleroposted 11 years ago

    You have to be careful, though. A friend of mine was talking about his business partner, referring to him as "my partner" and the person he was talking to assumed he was gay:) i thought it was hilarious but I don't think he was amused!

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Really, I sure can see that happening.  I'd personally rather stick to what is obvious, for such reasons as you have stated.  Another great answer.

  9. Peter Allison profile image77
    Peter Allisonposted 11 years ago

    Usually long term boyfriend, girlfriend of persons who consider their relationship that of a true couple but not married. Irrespective of sexual orientation.

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Peter, that sounds like it sums it up pretty nice.  I appreciate the answer.

  10. WritingPrompts profile image64
    WritingPromptsposted 11 years ago

    Just one more thought to add to the rest.  "Partner" seems to imply an equal relationship between two people.  I'm thinking of dating adds where the person claims they are looking for a partner rather than ... some variation of "take care of me" or "I'll take care of you".  As an effort to avoid people who are looking for a mother or father figure to date - or the "sugar daddy", etc.

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi WritingPrompts,  thanks for the answer and I am sure a lot are not looking for amother or father figure to date - or especially, the "sugar daddy."  Good answer.

  11. jlpark profile image79
    jlparkposted 11 years ago

    I use 'partner' in a variety of situations.

    I don't like things being assumed about me, so I give the same respect to everyone I met - if referring to their other half, I ask about their 'partner' - not assuming that they are opposite or same gendered as the person I am speaking with - not worried either about the answer they give - as I believe as long as they are happy - all is well. I'm a nurse, and a smear taker, so I'm asking about 'partners' all the time, usually to people I hardly know!

    As in any people orientated profession, we share little things about ourselves in conversation with people we've only just met, to make them comfortable, to find common ground.  So, I use the term 'partner' when describing something involving my same-sex wife. My patients have no need to know I'm gay, as it affects NOTHING about my work or my treatment of them.  I'm merely replaying a story of something that may make them more relaxed etc.

    I use partner because I HATE referring to my wife as a 'he' - it feels like a lie, and I'm not comfortable lying to my patients, my friends, my wife or any one.

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi jlpark, thanks for answering the question.  Interesting perspective, especially being a nurse.  Great answer too.

  12. profile image48
    caspian69posted 11 years ago

    I love this question, because it exactly reflects a constant problem my girlfriend and I had before we became engaged.

    Maybe it's different in the US, but here in England it just doesn't feel right for couples in their thirties or forties to introduce their other halves as "girlfriend" and "boyfriend". We'd use it between ourselves but always felt it made us sound like teenagers (not always a bad thing, perhaps!).

    So what are the other options? Well, when introducing each other to friends I sometimes used a jokey "meet my better half" epithet but, really, that's a bit dated.

    Other times we kept it simple (or chickened out!) by simply introducing each other by our first names, and letting the third party work it out. The downside to this, however, is that it often led to quizzical and unsatisfied expressions at the pont of introduction. It's human nature for people to want to place others in neat little boxes, and this solution doesn't really offer that.

    By far the best solution, particularly when meeting work colleagues in a formal setting, was to use the term "partner". It conveys a committed relationship (and, when all's said and done. that's the message you want to get across) while allowing the third party to neatly "categorise" you.

    I certainly don't agree that "partner" is limited to same-sex couples. However I will admit that, despite it being the best available option, it does have a bit of a cold and corporate feel about it. You have to rely on body language to fix that. Now we use fiancé and fiancée. 

    Can't wait 'til it's husband and wife!

    Hope this helps a little.

    1. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for answering the question caspian69, in such great detail.  Very interesting points you have made here no doubt!!!  Yes, this helps a lot dear one.

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