Lartner = Life Partner
All you sudden bachelors who couldn’t resist the hankering to be attached to a woman of the opposite sex. But for whatever reason, you’re not getting hitched. Yet.
Go on thesaurus.com. Look under spouse. But- you protest- I’m not married! And-I don’t necessarily want to be. But I am with someone. Possibly I’m divorced and with my- new person in my life. What am I going to call my other person? The fact that you went to look under spouse to find the right name is a good signifier of the problem- what the hell do you call the significant other in your life without calling them ‘significant other’. Or partner, redolent of law firms and business relationships. Or girlfriend, which- coming from a sixty year old for example, sounds- well, ridiculous.
Back to thesaurus.com under spouse. Synonyms: better half, bride, groom helpmate, husband, man, mate, partner, roommate, wife, woman…
So you see my problem. I’m with the person who I want to be and who is for all intents and purposes my spouse and life partner- but spouse doesn’t apply because we’re not married, and life partner requires two words and is clumsy sounding.
Maybe in French or some other language there’s a term- like sometimes Yiddish comes to your aid when no other words describe something or someone- like schmuck?
But stranded here in English- what is the term for longterm monogamous lovers living together like a married couple who are not married?
On thesaurus.com- look under boyfriend or girlfriend. You are avoiding the use of this term for the above-mentioned reason of ridiculousness. The term seems to have evolved from elementary school to cover middle- and high school, then ultimately college, opposite sex relationships. It translates awkwardly at best to middle age
So you try on “love” for size. Like my love. Meet my love, John. Or my beau. TMI. The problem with most other synonyms for spouse or girlfriend is TMI. You don’t want to be getting all misty eyed and slobbering and stuff when you describe your- significant other. ‘Husband’ or ‘wife’ doesn’t say a bunch about how much sex you have, what degree of besottedness you are laboring under, how wonderful they are or aren’t… Any qualifier that signifies more than that this is the permanent male (at least he thinks so) in my life is likely to evoke an internal wince from the hearer, even if unconscious.
So let’s go back to synonyms- under boyfriend: admirer, beau, companion, confidant, date, escort, fiancé, flame, follower, friend, intimate, partner, soul mate, steady, suitor, swain, sweetheart, young man.
Are you serious? Young man? Who calls their boyfriend ‘young man?’ unless it’s a 90 year old with one of those creepy old people lovers or maybe an illicit student teacher relationship or one of those kinky role playing things? Admirer? My admirer? Swain? Let’s go back to Victorian times, shall we?
I’m telling you- there’s a serious gap in the marketplace for the word to describe the modern live-in lover. And no- it’s not ‘live-in lover’! TMI!!
I’m starting with lartner- but it’s a horrible ugly sounding word, you can do better, I can do better. All of you (two people?) out there- give me something to work with!