The F word

Photo by docksidepress, used by CC license.

I'm putting this out there because I believe I can't be the ONLY ONE to have felt this way. Okay, here's the deal: I hate the word "fiance."

My partner Aaron and I were engaged for a year and we never got used to saying it. It just felt funny on my tongue and weird coming out of my mouth. Another one of those "this feels too fancy for me" things. (I swear, I must have some sort of insane anti-"fancy shit" complex. Is there a name for that? Okay, I'm getting off topic, reign it in Megs.)

It got to the point where I started to dread when I would have to introduce Aaron to someone new. There was always that moment where I thought that I'd be okay saying "my fiance" — I'd just grin and bear it, no big deal, people do it all the time, what the fuck was wrong with me — but when it came to that moment I'd just freeze. Then this kind of thing would happen all the time…

John: Hey Megs, have you met Wendy?
Me: No, I haven't. Hi Wendy, it's nice to meet you.
Wendy: Hi Megan, nice to meet you too.
Me: Wendy, this is my… (pause for inner conflict) …boyfriend, Aaron.
John: Wow, you're still fighting that word, aren't you?
Me: Yup.

I just couldn't bring myself to use the "F word." And it caused some confusion too, like, there were whisperings about whether or not we were still planning on getting married because Aaron and I just flat out refused to switch from saying boyfriend and girlfriend to saying fiance.

Aaron was the same way. From the moment we were engaged we talked about not wanting to use the word "fiance," but what are we to do!? There's no other term for it that didn't give us the wiggens; betrothed, intended, future spouse? Nope. Uh-uh. Too formal. But the fact remains that he's more than a "boyfriend" but he's not a "husband" yet.

To anyone who is freely and happily using that term — good on ya mate for that! I think people should be happy to, both, be and have a fiance. For the longest time I couldn't wait to be affianced. But once I was, I just couldn't bring myself to ACTUALLY use the word. I'm telling ya, sometimes I hate myself. ;)

So, here are some of the terms we finally came up with to use instead of "fiance." Feel free to use them as your own…

  • "Marrying girlfriend" or "marrying boyfriend."
  • "My future partner in crime," sometimes shorted to just "partner."
  • "The one I caught"
  • "The guy/girl who's making an honest girl/guy out of me"
  • "The one who would have me, despite all the glaring flaws."
  • "That guy/girl that I'm gonna marry."
  • "Matrimonial candidate"
  • "Spousal Unit" as suggested by a reader
  • Or, my favorite, introduce your partner in a french accent as in "Zees ees mah fee-yon-say."

Does anyone else feel the same way about the "F word?" If so, what terms do you use instead?

  1. I've been engaged for 6 years and rarely call my guy my fiance, his my significant other or my partner, or even more simply mine! Fiance just sounds so up tight , so old money to me.

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  2. YES, I feel weird every time I say it! Glad someone else feels the way I do! I'm pretty sure FH doesn't have the same inner-turmoil as me. He always corrects me when I say boyfriend.

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  3. We're in transition, both of us seriously planning our wedding, without being engaged.

    Boy/girlfriend feels childish, but being non-official leaves limited terms. We tend to keep it light, with terms like my "keeper, minder, chief mischief maker, back rubber extraordinaire, queen blanket theif".

    If people want to really be obnoxiously pressing, I tell them that he's my tomorrow. It's the most true thing I can think of and it also is sappy enough that most people get awkward and wander off. :)

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  4. I on the other hand, adore the word "fiance". Granted I've only gotten to use it for about a week, but I've been dating my guy for more than 6 years. We have grown from awkward teenagers into adults together, we lost our virginity to one another, I was there when his dad died, we flew out of our parents nests and made a new one together– so much life stuff that "boyfriend" just doesn't cut it. It sounds like we are still in high school or I just picked him up at a bar.
    "Future husband" also works for me. And partner. But fiance is a special word to me that better embodies how serious we are about each other and I am so excited to use it.

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  5. SO flippin' glad to read this post and so many of the comments who agree!!!!

    Spousal Unit is pretty hilarious….I think I might just try out each option out loud and see which doesn't feel like my tongue gets stuck on itself.

    I think, for me, at the end of the day any and all of the words makes me feel like I'm showing off or something. Like, "oooOOOooo! Look at me!!! Someone loves me enough to put a ring on it…OooOOooO! Watch me with my fancy words!" *does fancy dance*

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  6. We don't use the "F" word either. We tend to say, partner, significant other, or just jump right to the wife/husband even though we are not "legal" yet. We have been together about 8 years now (we can't say for sure, because its our time together, not the date of that time, that we care about) so we even occasionally say that say something along the like of "We are Goldie and Kurt – ing it" in reference to Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, who have been together a very long time and still have not yet married.

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  7. I have the hardest time with the word fiance, as well. In fact, well into our relationship he was "the b-word" and now I regularly refer to my guy as my "F-Word." That's even how I have him listed in my phone!

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  8. My friend works in politics, so she's been using Husband-elect! :)

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  9. Even worse than the word fiance is the word "hubby." I am dreading the day someone refers to my husband as hubby.

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  10. Agreed! It feels strange to say. We started pronouncing it "feyonce" like Beyonce as a joke. Turns out that's an actually thing (google away for t-shirts, etc). Most of the time we just shorten it to "my fee", "future hubby" or one of the other random nicknames we have for each other

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  11. My problem with the word fiance (or fiancee) is that it sounds so pretentious. I have known same girls who are like "He's mt fiaaaaanceeeeeee," as if it means something MORE than just being in a serious relationship, or that they're just bragging that THEY got engaged. My future in-laws call me his more-than-girlfriend, because they know that that word really f*cking bothers me.

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  12. I like variations on the word, domestic. He's my domesticator and we are domesticating in a domesticative domestication. It doesn't carry the non-committal or immature stigma of boy/girlfriend and also sounds a bit naughty, which both of us (shamelessly) are. I love to domesticate with him in front of visitors and sometimes we'll domesticate together when visiting others! ;D

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  13. Before we were engaged, I couldn't wait to use the word "fiance" because "boyfriend" started to feel really juvenile after a few years, and didn't represent our level of commitment (we were together nearly 6 years before getting engaged). But now that I am "fianceed", I still find myself using "boyfriend" more often than not. It's all in my head, I realize, but I feel like I/our engagement won't be taken seriously because I'm young (and not THAT young, mid-20s, but I look younger) and live across the country from my person, so most of the people I talk to in person have never met him. I really like the word "fiance", but can't usually say it with enough confidence to own it. I've always had icky feelings about the word "husband", too. Hopefully, I'll get more used to "fiance" (and then "husband") as we get more serious about planning both our wedding and our future lives together. Again, I realize this is more for the sake of other people than myself, but I feel that if I can offer concrete evidence that we're serious (he has a full-time job now! she moved to the same state as him!), then others will take me/us seriously, and I'll gain the "right" to use the terms that have rightfully been ours for nearly a year now.

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