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HomeAustraliaRelationship experts say using the word partner is vague and smug

Relationship experts say using the word partner is vague and smug


The one “smug and annoyingly vague” term you should never use in relationships or the dating world: “Just cut it out of your vocabulary”

  • Heterosexual couples should avoid the term “partner.”
  • It has been described as “smug, annoyingly vague”

People in romantic relationships should avoid calling their other half their “partner,” according to experts who claim it comes across as “smug and vague.”

According to relationship experts at The Cut, the term should only be used if you’re “trying to get something out of it,” are a feminist refusing to marry, or are part of the LGBTQI+ community.

The publication’s most recent “friends and lovers” etiquette guide banned the term at number ten, stressing that it’s rarely okay for straight people to use it.

“Some examples of when it’s acceptable: when you’re trying to get an apartment or a seat next to your, ahem, ‘partner’ on a plane, and negotiating moves with bosses.”

The the same list calls on people to stop using the “voice they talk to their pet in private” when others are present and claims it’s fine to cancel almost any evening plan before 2pm.

Straight people should never name the person they are in a relationship according to their “partner” experts

While some of the engagement rules seem so niche that they are rarely of any use, the term partner seems to pop up everywhere as a term to avoid.

On Reddit, people hurl the term, alongside the “significant other” horror.

It also sounds strange to me. I don’t like using it. Of course I’ll use it if someone wants to be called that, but otherwise I like to use real names if I can,” said one man.


Is “partner” cringe?

  • Yes 5 votes
  • No 10 votes
  • Only when used for traditional couples 0 votes

“My girlfriend hates girlfriend because she thinks it makes her sound like a teenager – but she’s murderous when I use partner because she sounds old and boring,” one man laughed.

“I think partner sucks every bit of passion out of describing the person you love,” said another.

“For a long time I always associated ‘partner’ with ‘howdy partner’, like cowboy movies and stuff, or buddy cop movies, so it sounded so strange to me when couples referred to each other as their partner. Although it sounds even weirder to hear ‘significant other’. Like…my god, at least partners are equals. But now they’re just an ‘other’?’, a woman added to the conversation.

And even people in the queer community, which The Cut claims are free to use the word, are beginning to disown it.

One woman said she and her wife dislike the term’s “business deal sense.”

“For us, when we talk about each other in the third person, we refer to each other as ‘my wife’ or by name. To us, ‘partner’ feels more like a business deal,” she said.

But others were willing to defend the term “useful.”

“What else are we supposed to call them when we’re not married and too old to deal with something as youthful as a lover. I can’t think of a better term than partner,” said one woman.

The term was popularized in the 1980s by gay couples as they sought to escape stigma and persecution based on their relationships

The term was popularized in the 1980s by gay couples as they sought to escape stigma and persecution based on their relationships

According to LGBTQI educator and coach Dr. Sophia Graham, the term became popular in the queer community in the 1980s.

She explained that at the height of the AIDS crisis, the term was used by men to indicate the depth of their relationships so that they could see their friend in the hospital or go to their funeral.

It then became a popular term to avoid stigmatization and persecution in the wider gay community, she said newscorp.

Prior to this, while it was used intermittently to describe the relationships of heterosexuals, it was more commonly used to describe people involved in business dealings.

What terms do people like instead?

1- Man, woman

2- The person’s name

3- Girlfriend, friend

4- Lover

5- Significant other

6- Other half

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