Mate or partner?

When referring to your significant other, which do you prefer, mate or partner?

Me? I prefer partner. Or snuggle-bunny-squishy-bottoms. But don’t tell him I told you… :smiley:


If we weren’t married, but were in a long-term, committed relationship, I think I’d go with partner. Mate seems too TMI descriptive.

Husband. But of the two, I prefer partner, as I find that pretty descriptive of our relationship as a whole.

Partner, because ‘mate’ here means someone who is just a friend.

Hubby was “Partner” before we were married, now he’s Hubby (obviously) and punkin pie when nobody’s looking :slight_smile:

But “partner” sounds like a business arrangement!

In places where ‘Partner’ might be mistaken for a business relationship, I will use “SO”.
Or, if I just don’t feel like explaining things (like making an appointment or reservation), “husband”.

Boyfriend, then fiancee, now husband.

She Who Must Be Obeyed.

‘The Boss’

Yeah, but what do you call him? :smiley:

Do the straight people who prefer “partner” have any concerns about being mistaken for a gay couple? (Not because they wouldn’t want to, but because it would give the incorrect idea?) To me, “partner” means “same sex long term partner”.

Yes, except mine wont’ be “husband” for another 10 months. I’ve never called him my partner or mate, it would sound really odd to me to refer to him like that.

You know, I don’t actually know any gay people who refer to their bf/gf as “partner”. I’d really like to know what the actual usage of “partner” is in the gay community. I’ve only met people who use boyfriend or girlfriend, and in more recent times, wife (don’t know any gay male married couples yet, so haven’t heard husband).

Mate would never fly in Upstate NY. People would be thinking “Is she trying to be Aussie, or what?” Partner doesn’t work all that great either, actually. I used to hate it more but now I just say boyfriend and get it over with.

Mostly I don’t even say it like that. I just say his name until there’s some reason to specify that he’s more to me than that.

Well, all sorts of people did back in the late 90’s/early 00’s, when I lived in Atlanta. Now I really don’t know what the usage is, come to think of it, but then at least it was widespread for long term live-in relationships.

Fiance. Before that, boyfriend. Before that “cute boy at work”. :smiley:

I associate partner with same-sex couples.

Primary Caregiver. Or husband. Whatever.

I get seriously confused when people use the term partner; it’s just so ambiguous. Nowadays, with it being more socially acceptable to have any configuration of genders for both romantic and business relationships, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell which the speaker is referring to. It’s perfectly okay not to want to disclose the nature of your relationship, but for those of you who are genuinely trying to be descriptive, you should know that using ‘partner’ can sometimes be as clear as mud. Or maybe I’m just dumb.

I did sometimes refer to Hubby as my Significant Other. The reason I chose partner, though, is because it’s less unweildy. I didn’t call him boyfriend much, because boyfriend just evoked images of the ‘boyfriends’ I had in primary/high school, and that didn’t gel right with me. I didn’t do the fiance thing either as we were never really engaged as such, we just got married one day (or one day and one month after registering it with the registry office, which I suppose is an engagement).