?So, when you say they?re your ?partner?, what exactly does that mean??
After roughly 7 years, 3,000 conversations, 250 dates, and 50 relationships spanning everything from diehard monogamy to nonhierarchical non-monogamy, I?ve come to a single devastating realization: our lexicon is entirely unequipped to handle modern dating and relationships.
In the last week, I?ve heard people namedrop the following terms to describe the people they were romantically or sexually involved with:
- NSA (No Strings Attached)
- FWB (Friends with Benefits)
- BFF (Best Friend Forever)
- Sex Friend (friend you have sex with?)
- Friend (friend you?haven?t yet had sex with?)
- Partner (romantic, business, who knows?)
- Partner in crime
- Boything/Girlthing (someone you?re sort-of seeing, but perhaps not in any formal sense)
- Date (someone you took on a date)
- Sexy Date / Date With Benefits (someone you took on a date and subsequently had sex with)
- Burgeoning Love Interest (someone you?re interested in potentially escalating with)
- Special Person
- Fuckbuddy (multi-time)
- Booty Call (one-time)
- Sketchy Hookup
- Kindred Spirit
- Main squeeze
- Side squeeze
?and the list goes on.
Society typically insists upon a binary in which you?re either ?in a relationship? or ?not in a relationship.? But I?ve spent years witnessing a vast uncharted gray area, which the chart below does a damn good job of plotting for us to better understand.
So, what now? How do we radically update our societal lexicon around dating and relationships now that pandora?s box has been opened and nontraditional relationship paradigms are becoming more and more widespread?
If you?ve come up with any of your own preferred terms for your lovers, partners, and ?friends?, please let me know!
About the Author?
I?m Steve Dean, an NYC-based online dating consultant.
I offer customized consultations to individuals who need help with dating & relationships, as well as dating sites who need help with product strategy and growth.
I like to write and podcast about dating, relationships, and how to get connected to awesome jobs, roommates, and events. If you?d like to keep tabs on what I?m working on, you can follow my Patreon page, or connect with me anywhere:
Dating & Relationship Coaching | Dateworking PodcastPatreon | Quora | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram