Finding a term when 'boyfriend' won't do

Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

bio | email

DEAR AMY: What is the proper way to introduce or refer to your "significant other" when dating in your 50s? We are both divorced and have been dating for 3 years. I refer to him as my "boyfriend"; he refers to me as his "lady friend." I feel "lady friend" sounds as if we are a couple in our 80s; he feels we are too old to be referred to as "boyfriend" or "girlfriend," and I agree that it isn't ideal.

--Too Young to Feel Old

 

DEAR TOO YOUNG: Some people go for "sweetheart"; others prefer "main squeeze"; and I've taken a recent liking to "man toy."

I agree with him that "boyfriend" sounds like the title you'd assign to a kid named "Scooter" in geometry class, but "lady friend" sounds saucy -- and not in a good way.

When you're introducing one another to friends, your first names will suffice because your body language will say it all.

And so there's no clear winner or loser on this one.

I'll run reader suggestions.

 

DEAR AMY: I'm responding to the letter from "Shocked," the newlywed who chose to keep her maiden name. I got married 18 months ago, and I'm still changing my name. It has been an endless stream of phone calls, letter-writing, forms to fill out and providing certified copies of my marriage certificate. I may have it done by our fifth anniversary. Newlyweds -- before you decide to change your name, list every card in your wallet. Then list every email address you have; every online shopping account; every organization you belong to; review bank accounts, and list vendors for your bills; then collect every legal document that you have -- for your home, car, insurance, etc. That is how many companies you need to contact to change your name. Kudos to the woman keeping her name. I wish I had.

--Exhausted

 

DEAR EXHAUSTED: In my life, the husbands may change, but the name stays the same.