Learn English – more concise term for a long-term girlfriend/boyfriend than “significant other”


I've been together with my boyfriend for around 9 years now. There are times when I want to communicate that I am referring to someone who plays a major role in my life, like that of a husband, and "boyfriend" does not seem adequate.

To me, "boyfriend" seems to signify a newer relationship, one that is still in the experimental phase.

I've tried out a couple of other words, but they don't seem to carry the meaning I want.

"Partner" seems too detached, and makes me think of business partners.

"Companion" makes me think of a dog.

"Lover" seems too casual and is not really something I'd want to use in the workplace or when I'm trying to appear professional.

"Significant other" is what I would like to say, but I dislike using the term because there are so many syllables and it seems so wordy.

Is there a shorter term to use to describe a long term boyfriend/girlfriend that fills the role of a husband/wife?

Best Answer

There's not really one that I'm aware of-- or one that at least, as you said, doesn't carry other strange connotations with it or isn't long/awkward/wordy.

Honestly, I would just recommend 'boyfriend' for everyday use. I know it sounds a little juvenile (I've been with my girlfriend for much less time than you and it already feels a little insufficient), but it's a quick, easy term that people will immediately understand, and it doesn't always have to apply to less serious couples.