Ok SO im in a relationship with a person that ive formed a “pair bond” with and its an open relationship. The problem is, its more of an emotional partnership with the bonus of sexual stuff, and no romantic component which is perfect for me, but i am uncomfortable calling him my boyfriend, because no romance, and i wanted to ask if you had any terms you could suggest instead of boyfriend! Thanks and have a lovely holiday!

Here is a non-exhaustive list of words besides boyfriend or friend:

  • Partner
  • Dudefriend
  • Guyfriend
  • Lover
  • Smoosh/boo/bae/other cutesy gibberish
  • Amour
  • Any other term that has specific meaning to you - anything from Monster to Bear to Jujubean 

Honestly, it’s not all that important. I have dated lots of people who didn’t feel like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” accurately captured our circumstances, but we eventually gave up and just referred to ourselves that way for convenience sake.

If you make up a term besides “boyfriend” and use it with people who don’t understand the situation, you’ll end up having to explain it. And if you two feel good about the terms of your relationship, you don’t need a word to define it between the two of you.

Part of the joy of relationships is creating a world full of shared experiences. Build the relationship you want, and you might find that a cozy language that fits your needs will just sort of fall together.