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, rein 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”
  • “Feyonce” (like Beyonce)
  • “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?

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Comments on The F word

  1. It’s so weird to say that word. Every time I say it, I feel like I’m trying to put us in this separate class of people. Like, “oh no, he’s not my petty boyfriend…why, he’s my FIANCE…(insert uptight and snobby laugh)” I like your suggestion of using the French accent because that makes it less serious and snobbish, and makes it fun!

    • Yep, this is how I feel about “fiance”, it feels to me like I’m saying “I’M GETTING MARRIED AND YOU’RE NOT SO I’M BETTER THAN YOU!!!!1”. Or maybe I’ve just met too many people who think that a fiance (or husband) is a status symbol…

      We used to work together, so I can generally get awway with just using his name as most people know him. Around the OBB Tribe, I tend to use “other half” to describe him.

      • I have the issue that I told my fiance not to propose unless he was willing to marry me then and there, so if there was some button we could have quickly and painlessly pressed to be “ta da! you’re now husband and wife” I think we would have done it then and there. But whenever we’ve tried using the words “husband/wife” (because that’s how we treat each other) people are always like “hey, you’re not married yet! You can’t use that word until you’ve thrown the wedding party and/or signed the government paperwork!” (signing the government paperwork costs $400 and given that we’re both studying its hard to justify spending that on getting registered just so that we are socially acceptable enough to use the term “husband/wife”). So it sucks. For me personally, he’s not my boyfriend, he’s actually willing to commit to me for life. But until we pay for the government to update their computer systems or make the promises in public in front of witnesses (not just reaffirm them to each other privately every day), we’re not allowed to be treated/seen as married. So unfortunately I’ve had to settle for the awkwardness of “fiance” because we can’t justify rushing to spend $400 (and the month’s preparation, digging out birth certificates, etc, not to mention the fact that marriage in Australia is still the John Howard vows “one man one woman exclusion of all others for life”). It’s not going to improve our relationship, and the only perk will be that people will view our commitment as seriously as we do (which is why I empathise with the LGBTI community, because in Australia its only when you are married [not even civil unioned] in the eyes of the government that your commitment gets taken seriously).

        • $400 to make it legal?!? Geez! I am so, so, SO sorry! Totally understand why you and your guy would wait to make it “official”, especially if you already feel married and all of that. Any ideas why it costs to much?
          The fees here in the U.S. vary from state to state, but here in Portland, Oregon, it’s $60 and a 30 minute wait for a marriage license.
          Congratulations to you both on finding one another! 🙂

          • In France, civil marriage is free because it’s a civil right, and you shouldn’t have to pay for it (you still pay the church if you want to go there). It’s the same for birth and death.

          • We paid €200 as a “notification fee” when we went to book the dates for our civil marriage in Ireland. There will be another €200 or so for the actual wedding – basically travel expenses for the registrar’s 45-minute car trip to our town..

            Getting married in a church, the priest does all this paperwork for you — and yet people balk at the thought of paying them….

        • Well said! I’d rather save $400 and do it privately then frame the certificate on the wall just so I don’t have to hear another person tell me it’s not okay to get away with saving that $10 000 for a house instead of blowing it on a wedding! I dont get taken seriously so I just say boyfriend to people at my college. Occasionally people will be observant and notice the ring and frankly, the ring is the only thing that does get taken seriously! Why? My years of explaining this is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with doesn’t, but having a giant expensive ceremony and a ring…that’s different?

        • Yeah, I feel the same way! I just call my man to be my husband. I don’t care if the papers aren’t signed yet. I don’t care what other people think.. we are going to get married and I might as well get used to calling him “my husband” rather than “Fiancé”. Fiancé isn’t going to last anyways and I do feel weird saying that.

          I don’t really think that it has to do with the word fiancé but once you say fiancé your kinda put on the spot and then here comes a million questions that you don’t really want to answer, but at the same time don’t want to be rude. Once the conversation gets going and its just question after question and you’re just trying to look anywhere for a way out. Its not that I am not excited about the wedding or anything, its just that a conversation should be equal. I was always taught that if you talk about yourself too much its rude. Someone says something to you, you’re supposed to reply back.

          • I just stick with boyfriend, or ‘Im Indoors when talking to my hobby club friends online. The ring on my hand is obvious, but I look younger than I am so it comes as a shock to strangers that I’ll be married in 3 month’s time.

            He has used “fencee” quite often in informal settings. I like it. 🙂

        • honestly id just buy rings. people would just assume you eloped and then it would be done. Plus you can get cheap silver rings that are not expensive or even plastic. doesnt need to be fancy and it does symbolize a union. i dont think the paperwork so much matters as the union affirmations and public announcements do. shouldnt matter but it does. you can also switch to calling him your partner. that doesnt have a label on it like husband

    • I totally agree with you on this. He’s my boyfriend…who I’m also marrying. I think using “fiance” just makes it seem like I’m trying make our relationship sound more important now that I have a ring and am looking at pretty dresses.

    • Yes! I completely agree. Every time I say it, I feel as though I’m somehow glorifying the fact that we’re getting married. And it also opens up all of the questions about “how’s all the planning going” to some stranger you’ve just met. I usually just end up sticking to partner.

      It’s weird, because before I was engaged, I loved the term, but now, I just cringe whenever I say it.

      • I agree with you. I used to love the term and would get that girly, giddy rush of “awwwww” anytime someone introduced their “Fiance”. But I have a hard time using it now. If I do, there’s always an awkward pause, and half the time I still say “boyfriend”…

  2. I’ve had the hardest time with the word fiance for several reasons – the first being that we were 18 and 20 when we got engaged, and the second being that we’re waiting until we have college degrees to get married. Now that it’s been almost three years, the “OMG you’re so young” comments have dwindled into extinction, so I feel better about introducing him as my fiance.

    We live in a fairly affluent community that seems to equate marriage with being something you do when you’re thirty, so saying that we’re engaged seems to stir up feelings normally associated with teenage pregnancy.

    I usually say boyfriend to acquaintances and fiance to friends that he doesn’t know, and he always says fiancee about me.

  3. I am totally the same way! I feel like a total dick when I say fiance. I usually refer to him as “future hubs”, and between the two of us (since we’ve been together for over 5 years) we just call the other “hubs” and “whiff” (family joke about mispronouncing wife). I totally get what you mean when people don’t know how to react to you not saying that damned word but hey, you’re [email protected] Offbeat Megan! You do whatever you DAMN please!

    • FUCK YA TORI! 🙂 THAT should have been my response to the nay sayers: “Do you know who I am!? I’m fucking Offbeat Megan, jerk! I do whatever I DAMN please!” I love it.

    • I use “future hubby” a lot. It sounds so affectionate and endearing and just makes me happy.

      • My fiance and I were informally engaged long before he actually got down on his knee. During that period in between boyfriend (which felt awkward) and fiance (which now feels awkward), we called each other “life buddy.” No reason that can’t work for engaged or married couples too!

  4. I’m definitely not a fan of the word either. I’m still calling him my boyfriend, but it’s only been a couple weeks. Maybe I’ll get used to it.

    • It’s been a year for me and I still call him both…when I remember society wants me to say fiance.

      • Same for me although a lot of my friends at work call him my “hubby” already even though we’re not married yet.

    • I’m hoping so as well. Although it’s been nearly 5 months and I still say boyfriend! Occasionally I say fiancé, but mostly I just call him Andrew. Seems to do the job!

  5. We say fiancé(e) – it makes me twitch but my fiancé is from an evangelical Christian background where it’s sort of, well, that kinda thing dictates a lot of the way we use language, not just the *twitch* ‘fiancé’ thing.

    When I was a kid I thought ‘fiancé’ sounded altogether too much like ‘fanny’.

      • Haha that’s what we’ve been saying! I can’t bring myself to use the F word. I can’t even bring myself to use the W word! So I’m not having a wedding I’m having a BBQ, it’s the codeword.

        • It’s more of a private thing right now but we’ve been refering to our wedding as “Cake Party”.

        • Ha! We call ours “That Day” or “That Event”. Also hate the word fiance, I worry I sound like I’m showing off. That Day is in five weeks so soon I get to say husband which I like much better!

        • Hee, ours is “W-Day.” Because a lot of time it feels like we’re preparing to invade a hostile country.

        • I love this! I have been struggling calling Will my fiance from day one. I just introduce him as my life partner lol! Glad I’m not the only one struggling. We’re getting married pretty quick too- only 2 months to plan- so calling it a “wedding” {shudder} makes it so much scarier and too fancy. We’ve started calling it our party in the mountains or Mountainfest lol.

      • I never really got the hang of fiance either… I used partner a lot, but Beyonce is definitely my preferred fiance-term (i think I got it from OBT). My beyonce is still using the ones from before we were engaged (boss, misses, etc) for work friends (I don’t love these, but it is totally in line with his workplace culture…), and as the wedding draws closer he has started to call me his wife, especially dealing with real estate agents and the people moving us across the country for his work…

      • Yup we also used beyonce in our household and it felt right. I’m also a fan of the term ‘sweetheart’. I feels … well sweet I guess. A little old fashioned but in a good way.

      • We’ve been using “beyonce,” too! It started a couple years ago with some friends who were engaged. And it’s stuck with us! I also like that it’s like a combination of “boyfriend” and “fiance.”

      • We totally use “beyonce” instead of fiance as well… It’s amazing how many people don’t even notice we’re doing it, or kinda seem like they think we said something strange but aren’t quite certain! So much better and so much less pretentious!

  6. “partner” is great because you can keep using it after you get married so you don’t have to switch to “husband” which is my least favorite.

    • “Partner” has the added advantage of confusing the heck out of the homophobes. “Partner…? But she seems like such a nice straight girl!”

      • I LOVE partner for those both reasons — you never have to switch over once you start using it, and it freaks out the squares. I use “partner” all the time in Offbeat Bride articles. If someone doesn’t refer to their husband/wife/fiance as any of those particular monikers, my go-to word is partner. “Tribe member BLAH and her partner BLAH made these awesome things…” It’s a great word.

      • Yes, and it’s not limited by legality/religious restrictions. I imagine I will start using partner to refer to my boyfriend after our commitment ceremony. Because at that point he’ll officially be more than a boyfriend – but he’s definitely NOT my husband (since that slot is already full).

        • Anie,

          Confuzzled, but mildly fascinated, by your statement:

          ‘ … Because at that point he’ll officially be more than a boyfriend – but he’s definitely NOT my husband (since that slot is already full).’

          ‘Commitment’ ceremonies can be all kinds of things, no doubt; but I’m curious as to how the ‘husband slot is already full’ ? Feel free to email me back about this, as I’m intensely curious.

          Oh, and to the rest —

          Fiance. Yeah. The first couple of … months? Yeah, months — it was MADE of AWESOME. Then after awhile it was just … unwieldy. Most of the time he’d be, ‘Have you met Preston?’ Or, ‘My soon-to-be-but-not-yet-husband?’ And, occasionally, ‘Oh! Meet Preston! The one I’m marrying.’ It was cool to use ‘fiance’ within the span of time where it was, ‘OOH! SHINY!’ — but after that point … meh.

          Speaking of — cool website! I’ll definitely post stuff of our own ‘New Year’s Eve Party, And, Oh, Yeah, Also Wedding’. 😉

          (We’re not fancy folk, either …. )

          • Not that I’m more aware than you are, but I’d imagine that she’s currently in the throes of a divorce where the old husband just won’t let go. Or he’s MIA and refuses to cooperate so she’s dealing with technical paperwork and stuff.

          • I’m not positive about what she means either, but when I read it I assumed that she’s poly. In that she has husband who she’s married to, but also has a boyfriend who she wishes to make a commitment to.

            Just making a guess here, that’s just what I think of when someone talks about having a husband/wife as well as boy/girlfriend.

        • What Matt and I use is

          “boyfriend/fiance/husband/ person I end up doing laundry for” and…


          Yeah I get weird looks but… Haters gonna hate.

      • I always think people assume i’m a lesbian when i say partner – so i use it alot 🙂

        I also like ‘other half’ or ‘him indoors’.

      • I use partner frequently to describe my…partner (heh) to people who don’t really know us because it connotates a lesbian relationship and, while I am often miscategorized as straight, I *am* a lesbian…who happens to be dating a male-bodied person.

      • Heh, I think that can be quite an American thing. I moved from New Zealand to the US a few years ago with my partner – with whom I had been living – and eventually stopped calling him my partner because people thought I was trying to “hide something” I reluctantly called him my boyfriend, even though it sounds like I’m 15, not an adult who moved halfway round the world to be with someone.

        He proposed while we were away and I have to admit I was relieved to be able to call him my fiance. This stopped when we went home, and even now that we’re married, I still like to call him my partner. He’s my partner in crime, and it feels more equal. I don’t mind calling him my husband, although I tend to employ the term husband for comic effect with friends and family.

        Partner is a pretty normal, non-threatening term in NZ. I should point out that homosexual couples – and heterosexual ones, for that matter – can have a civil union partnership, or be “cupped”, here.

      • We’ve been referring to each other as “partner” for years (been together for 9+ years and lived together for about 4 and a half now). The best though has to be when he says “my partner Dani(Danny).”

        Love scary the homophobes. 😀

      • It’s funny, because as a queer lady, I actually do use “fiancée” to refer to my future ladywife – because I found that when I used “partner”, people would go to astonishing lengths to come up with a no-homo explanation. Saying, “This is [lady], she’s my fiancée”, puts it right out there, with no space for them to pretend to misunderstand.

        (There’s a whole other post in there, about how getting engaged put our relationship on a footing that made it a lot easier for our families and coworkers to understand—like, oh, they’re lesbians, but they’re getting married! we understand that!—but that is for another day.)

    • See, partner drives me nutty because it sounds like “SEE I DON’T HATE PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT I PROMISE! AND THAT MAKES ME SOOOOO MUCH BETTER THAN YOOOOOUUUUUU!” Or maybe it’s just me. I have no problem calling my husband my husband because, well, that’s what he is. If he were my wife, then I’d call him my wife! But I’m a bit more traditional and like the fact that husband/wife clearly indicates our commitment to each other as a family, whereas he could easily be my business partner, workout partner, ect.

      • Partner drives me nutty for the same reason; while I understand people’s reasons for using it, I never could. To me, it seems like a way to mask straight privilege. If you’re taking advantage of to right to marry – as I will be – you should own it. My future wife will be my wife because the law affords us the privilege, and it’s silly to pretend otherwise. I do concede that the gender neutrality of it can be useful at times, since the terms husband and wife may not fit everyone’s gender identity. But, as is the obvious point of this post, different words work for different people!

        • It’s so interesting to read people’s takes on the word “partner”. I’ve used it in place of “fiance” frequently, mostly because unexpected circumstances have pushed our wedding date back a year at a time for nearly five years now and “fiance” had started to feel worn out (although I’m not so hypocritical that I can’t admit that part of it was to show that I’m “cool” with same-sex relationships – AND to freak out the squares. Busted).

          • I started using “partner” before we were engaged because I was going through a medical crisis and “boyfriend” just wasn’t doing enough for medical staff. We made it more “official” by changing the word and people looked at us differently.
            Now we are engaged and I also hate “fiance” so I’m sticking with partner.

        • I see partner as a word that puts the focus on gender equality in a relationship more than the words husband or wife. I understand that some people would rather be “husband” or “wife” than “partner” and are legally unable to do so, but for me it would be more about naming the relationship as something that is about two adults coming together as a partnership. I also live in an area with quite a few unmarried couples (who have been unmarried but together for at least 10 years) so perhaps I’m just conditioned to just assume that I need to ask further questions rather than assume that they’re gay or in a business enterprise.

    • I use partner currently. My lover and I (said in the Rachel Dratch/Will Ferrell hot tub voice) have been together for 4 years, we live together, we work together, we travel together, we sex it up, we will mostly likely get married in the next few years. So I say partner… though I am loving “Beyonce” for future use. 🙂 We are both in the late 20’s-early 30’s range, straight in nyc. I also sometimes say “my sig other.”

      My hippy dad always had “lady-friends” and my mom (a therapist specializing in elder sexuality), has a male “partner” she owns a house with and has been engaged to for 7 years.

  7. We refer to each other as “this guy/girl I know.” And if I’m talking about him to someone who’s going to meet him once or never, I just say “boyfriend.”

  8. I’m so glad you posted this! I don’t like the word either. It’s even worse when people *correct* me–smugly, “he’s not your boyfriend anymore!” I tend to just call him my man and leave it at that 😉

    • Ugh, THIS! Yes. I tried every time I said “boyfriend” I got freaking corrected (usually by the older people in my family). WTF guys, it’s not like I forgot or anything, clearly it’s a choice.

      • I, on the other hand, get “Oh, what’s your friend’s name?” from the older members of the family. Or “You should invite your friend Anthoney for the holidays.”
        Yeah, Gramma. My ‘friend.’ That’s what the love of my life is called. Good job. lol.

        • HA! My grandma did the “friend” introduction thing, too. I was all like, “you mean my BOYfriend, Grandma?” Lol…

          Also, am I the only one who doesn’t like the word “boyfriend” all that much? I still use it, because I don’t really like any of the other descriptors out there, but it sounds so middle school to me.

          When we get engaged, I think I am totally going to use “betrothed.” And if I’m feeling particularly snobbish, I’ll say “betroth-ed” in a snooty English accent. It will be awesome.

          • I’ve been with my “boyfriend” for 7+ years and we’re neither married nor engaged, with no real plans to do those things anytime soon. I HATE the word boyfriend because a) it sounds like I’m 13, b) it doesn’t accurately express our comitmment to each other, and c) ick. I use partner all the time, and I actually really love it; I’m sure I’ll continue using “partner” when we eventually decide to get hitched.

          • I hate the word boyfriend, too., and I thought it was just me. I usually avoid saying it as much as I can unless I have to. It’s nice to see that someone else hates that word too!

        • I’ve also been refered too as my partner’s ‘Friend’ even though it was at our engagement party. Kinda passive agressive I think.

          I find that calling him my ‘partner’ feels more comfortable to me. A lot of people think that I’m already married and refer to him as my husband. Which I’m cool with, kind of a practice run to get me used to calling him it fo’ reals 😀

    • Oh my gawd, YES! Even my close friends do that to me! I’ve resorted to calling him Agent Banana Mchammock and telling people he’s giving up the exciting life of an international spy to be a homebody.

    • Ugh!!! Being corrected is the worst.

      People saying “nu uh, he’s your FIANCE” *big stupid grin*.

      Yuh, thanks I know… Although, I’m totally going to swipe Agent Banana Mchammock from Roarkette, that is SO RAD. Although, maybe I’ll mix it up a little and throw some ninja in there. Just confuse the heck outta people.

      • Hehe, I call mine either “Lover” or “My ninja” I have also on a rare occasion, said, just to confuzzle people, “This is the man who cleans my apartment, whom I am also having incredible amounts of sex with.” And he just grins. Shakes their hand, (Which they usually look slightly cautious about) and goes about his business. Which usually means nuzzling my neck. 😀

          • My uncle has been engaged for 15 years and once said something about a maid, and he meant his fiance. I was like, you are doing WHAT with your maid?

          • Now that Aaron and I are married I call him “that guy I married” so I love this.

  9. Yes! I still call myself R’s girlfriend from time to time. I’m getting more used to “fiance” wrt my dude, but we also try to use partner when we remember. I have a feeling that husband is going to feel really really bizarre, though a tiny bit of me is looking forward to that. Both fiance and husband have a touch of “hells yeah I’m done with this dating shit” (hopefully), which calms me during the wedding planning hell.

  10. WOW I thought I was the only one! Just last night, a friend introduced us to his parents…and after saying this is his girlfriend sarah…ha asks you guys are engaged though right!?
    Yes we are. We just don’t need a fancy name for it! 🙂
    I do like the idea of saying ‘partner’. Simple and covers everything.
    Thanks for the awesome post and reminder I’m not alone!

    • “Thanks for the awesome post and reminder I’m not alone!”


      I read this blog for the confirmation that I’m not the only one trying to carve a place in a conventional world for my non-conventional self.

      I’ve been engaged twice before and even though Chris has informed me he wants to marry me, I’m leery of calling him my fiance. The word is tired now, and since he more made a statement of intention to court me than a proposal, I’m free to get away with it.

      • courting!! now there’s a level of relationship that hasn’t been talked about in a while. i think it’s time it has a comeback! sounds kinda like “more than just dating-boy/girlfriend but not to the engaged stage yet” i love it!!! thanks for the reminder;)
        oh- and to the grandma comments: i would be thrilled if my grandmother introduced my man as a “friend.” currently he’s been reduced to some kind of escort. to quote my lovely grandma, “it’s nice you have a boyfriend. now maybe you can go places sometimes.” as sweet & well-intentioned as she was being, it took all my willpower to not shout down the phone, “GRANDMA!!! IT’S 2011! I *am* allowed to leave the apartment on my own now. It’s called the women’s lib. movement…” i just silently shook my head instead. lol.

  11. I think the word fiance attracts a lot of attention. It seems like people can’t help but start asking about your wedding once you use it. If I was just mentioning my fiance in passing, I would just say boyfriend, because otherwise it would be “OMG you’re getting married?!”, and then I’d be thinking “Yeah, that wasn’t really the point of what I was saying…”. I just didn’t think everybody I talked to needed to know that.

    Also, for fun we would pronounce fiance more like it looks like – like “finance” without the first n.

    • Exactly! I hated when I would have to say fiance because I just knew immediately whatever we were talking about would change to the other person asking wedding questions. And of course, if they didn’t know you to begin with, they don’t know you’re planning an offbeat wedding so the questions just get more and more awkward from there. 🙂

      I’m very glad to be done with the “fiance” stage…now if I could just figure out how to stop the inevitable “so when are you having kids” questions…ha


        ‘Oh! You’re getting married!’ -gush; 20 minutes later after wedding talk is sufficiently exhausted- ‘ … Soooooooo — ‘


        ‘ … No?’

        ‘No. Look. I’m going to be a step-mom. It’s awesome. I’m a writer and creative professional. I’m a career chick. Always have been. Getting married at ALL is like, WOW. If it weren’t for how amazing he is and how incredibly well we click, it wouldn’t even be on my radar.’

        ‘ … So … no kids?’

        ‘ -Sigh- ‘

        Or whatever that anime emoticon is for someone who’s really, really grumbly about something. That works, too.

    • Same here…I’m in college and we’re pretty young, so the F word throws *everyone* off. Instead of saying any term at all I just refer to my guy as Zack. Then, instead of “That’s my fiance’s favorite movie” then the conversation shifting from Star Wars to wedding decorations and crap, I’ll say “That’s Zack’s favorite movie.” Either people will ask who Zack is and I’ll explain, or they won’t and the whole thing is avoided. Although I am liking “matrimonial candidate” haha

  12. If you think this is bad, try being over the age of 40 (hell he’s over 50!) having lived together for 16 years, in a state without commonlaw marriage and trying to figure out what to call your “man.” I mean seriously, he’s NOT my husband. We aren’t really engaged, we are way too old to be “boy” or “girl” anything, and lover just sounds creepy. I am almost willing to get married (despite the fact that it will actually HURT us financially) just to have a way to introduce him to people!

    • Paramour! No “boy” or “girl” necessary, but still clearly designates a romantic relationship.

      • Can I just say how much I LOVE this suggestion? I hate calling my guy my boyfriend, even, but calling him my paramour sounds perfect. Lmao thanks!

    • You could be Carrie Bradshaw-esque about it and call him your “manfriend.” I would jokingly use that from time to time.

      • I would call my psycho ex my manfriend because he refused to commit to be my boyfriend, but didn’t like it when I just called him my friend because we were dating but he hated the title.

    • I liked “other half” when my hubby and I were dating. “Boyfriend” just reminded me too much of middle school, it wasn’t serious enough for how I felt.

      • I absolutely hate the terms “boyfriend” and ‘girlfriend”– no idea why, they just irk me. So I call him “my gentleman” and he generally calls me “my lady”.

    • I’m 44 and I have to agree the “boyfriend” word makes me cringe. Amusingly, my mother has been known to introduce him as her “fun-in-law”

      • So glad I’m not the only non-twenty-something around here (I’m 46). 🙂 I too, hate the word “boyfriend” and have tended to call him “the guy I’m dating” to people who don’t know him, which sounds lame even to me. I’m looking forward to being able to call him my “fiance” or maybe “HTB” (husband-to-be).

    • My 78 year old Grandad takes great delight in telling people about his “girlfriend”. His girlfriend is 66 😉

    • If you feel like it, you could just call him your husband anyway. My great aunt and her husband were together for 30+ years without getting married. Also for money purposes. No common law marriage there either.

    • Some of my friends referred to each other as “my person”. I really liked that. It’s nonspecific, doesn’t set a relationship stage, but still manages to imply more than friendship…

  13. God yes! I hated fiance. And you know what? I honestly don’t like “wife” very much either. Which is crazy. I think with fiance it was the word I didnt like, but with wife, I feel like there are still so many stigmas and stereotypes attached. YES it’s 2011, but for some reason a lot of people still get a completely different idea of me if I say I’m a “wife”. So. My personal solution for both is Significant Other. I also like Spousal Unit. Personally.

    • I love Spousal Unit! Tha Man, or Mr. Moo is usually what I call my guy. He rarely uses Fiance, but often calls me his Wife (we’ve been living Common-Law for several years) But Spousal Unit is awesome because his parents call their kids Child Unit 1, 2 and 3. I’ve been referred to as Child Unit 1.5 on occasion lol (my guy is Child Unit 1 as he’s the eldest)

      • She really does. I’m friends with Llora and I’ve practically called her husband elect Mr. Moo before.

        • I used Husband Elect for the duration of our engagement. Much to my (now-inaugurated) husband’s chagrin.

          • I LOVE husband elect. I almost want to get engaged just so I can say that! And then nont get married so I can continue to say it. 🙂

  14. I’ve always hated saying fiance. I typically just don’t. We’ve been engaged for almost two years and I’ve just never gotten used to it. I still call him my boyfriend and he still calls me his girlfriend. But the Spanish language definitely has it right, with the word “novio” meaning boyfriend, fiance, and groom all at the same time (and novia for girlfriend, fiance, and bride).

  15. I HATE the word fiance with a passion. It just feels awkward, weird and just plain wrong. People make fun of me for it because we’ve been engaged 6 years now. I should have gotten used to it by now, right? Nope. Still a gross word that doesn’t fit into my vocabulary…so we call each other ‘loverface’ or ‘wovey’ lol. It works.

  16. I literally only said fiance if I was getting hit on at a bar (it shuts people up faster than boyfriend). Saying it made me feel like that woman on that episode of Seinfeld: “WHERE is my Fee-Ohn-Sehhh? Have you seen my Fee-ohn-sehhh? I’ve LOST my Fee-ohn-sehhh…”
    Plus it was fashionable for highschool girls in my home town to have “fiances” who they had no real intention of marrying.

    • It’s funny you should mention that! I rarely called Joel my “fiance” and if I did, I brought up the Seinfeld episode you mentioned. Sometimes I called him “Husband the Prequel” but mostly I told the Seinfeld story, said I didn’t like the word, made a “dingo ate your Feeyonsaaay” joke, explained to anyone who hadn’t met him that future spouse is named Joel, and from then on, I referred to him by his name.

    • I’ve been covering my discomfort with the fiancée-word by using the Seinfeld reference too! It’s about the only way I could get around it, by making some kind of joke.

      I had an old boyfriend who was a big player in the academic world. He took much pleasure in calling me his ‘partner.’ I am very much ‘to each their own’ and all that, but I always sorta felt like he was intentionally trying to queer himself for the sake of his academic persona.

    • I personally am a big fan of “partner” (and I’m in a straight relationship). For me it’s b/c he IS my partner; we’re 7+ years in, we’re not engaged (nor would we be fans of the F word), we’re not married, but we’re far past the level of comitmment that boyfriend connotes (at least for me).

    • There was a bride and groom who did this a few years ago, I remember seineg them on the news because the groom studied Thriller videos and taught the dance to the whole bridal party. I tried to find them on Google, but all I found were a ton of wedding videos of people doing Thriller Maybe look at some of those for ideas? Good luck.

  17. For years before we even got officially engaged, I’d call now-husband my Man-Wife. People instantly got that we were together, that he was much more than mere Boyfriend, and that he is, by far, the more domestic of the two of us.

  18. Okay, the word “intended” makes me LOL. It’s not Jane frakking Austen, people.

    That being said, I actually *do* like the word fiance/e. It was a bit of a shocker to me to realize this, because I’m about as knee-jerk anti-tradition as they come… And yet…

    Fiance/e is one of those rare words that is gender-specific but means EXACTLY the same thing for each party (unlike, say, all the “man and wife” bullshit that’s so prevalent in so many languages).

    Referring to The Dude as “my fiance” and being referred to by him as “my fiancee” sounds exactly the same when we speak it, but gives us each our own word–it simultaneously makes us equal in position *and* allows for our gender differences. I think there needs to be a lot more of that in society at large–the idea that male and female can be equal in function and status, but different in their natures, without conflict.

    • I totally agree. I love that it’s (kind of ) gender neutral and doesn’t have the many (socially imposed) charges that “husband” or “wife” have.
      However, my “fiance” HATES the word, he’s been calling me his girlfriend and his girl friends keep correcting him! I feel weird saying it. Not because of him but I do feel like it’s SO fancy, like if i’m introducing him as my fiance then I assume that the person we’re speaking to feels they have to then congratulate us for something… in fact, the entire getting married thing is way too much attention for me. (and i’m an attention whore!) so… that’s my beef…

      • Heh. My fiance LOVES to call me his fiancee. It makes him downright giddy, which, in turn, cracks me up, so we just ran with it right from the start.

        I was surprised how annoyed I’ve been (living here this past year) by the Italian usage of “Fidanzato/Fidanzata” to mean regular boyfriend/girlfriend, without any connotation of impending marriage-commitment-whathaveyou. It confuses the hell out of me, actually, and I kind of wish they had a different word to denote the status change.

        I guess it matters to me that the status difference be recognized. Huh. I only just realized that via this conversation!

  19. I’ve never liked that word either. In part it’s because when I say it I always feel like it’s a little too close to being THAT GIRL who can’t even mention her other half without also bringing up the wedding. Which is strange because I never feel like that if anyone else says it. I also just don’t like the sound of the word for some reason.

    Instead I usually just say boyfriend, but that’s gotten me into situations where it’s then kind of awkward to explain that actually we are engaged already. My other favourites are ‘partner’ for pretty much the reasons Ariel and Megan used above, and ‘other half’ because it’s what my parents always say and in spite of sounding kind of sappy when you think about it it’s possible to say it very casually, like “you know Sue, Jeff’s other half”.

  20. I dislike the nature of the word ‘fiance.’ Boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, husband, wife, etc., these names can last a lifetime…fiance implies you’re in transition. I’m NOT in a transition period with my guy. We’re not ABOUT to become committed to each other, it’s always been that way. We’re planning a wedding is all. And I think it’s weird that we have to have special names for that.

    • Exactly! I just started referring to him as my husband about 2 months before the wedding since we had finally moved in with each other and were married minus the paperwork. Everyone who knew us thought it was sweet since it was pretty much true – we’re kind of sappy and believe that we were always spouses, even before we met (like when he was little he was still my husband since he’s the same person. When recalling a story in the past I wouldn’t call him my friend.). And the people who didn’t know us just assumed what was already true to us.

    • I totally understand! Being currently engaged, it’s so hard what to pick. Normally, if I’m talking to my (traditional) family, it’s his name, where, with my parents it’s “Fi-ance” (cue the Raising Arizona reference here…) and to other people it’s either boyfriend (I’m 20, so it’s still in the acceptable range) or Husband-to-be.

      Yes, we are in a “transitioning stage” because we are going from somewhere to somewhere else, but at the same time, I don’t think we need a special name for it, or anything..

  21. I have the exact same issue, so I just call him my boyfriend for the most part. When people get curious as to if we’re still getting married I just say yeah and leave it at that. Sometimes I’ll say Fiance but I have the same sort of inner turmoil when I say it, its just an awkward word that doesnt slip off the tongue smoothly and really he’s still my boyfriend he’s just marrying me.

  22. i, too, hate the word “fiance” – but i hate “boyfriend” just as much.

    until legal status changes, he’s either my partner or my permanent roommate.

    • Agreed.

      I stopped being able to stomach “boyfriend” once my relationship got serious, because it felt inaccurate.

      So I switched to “partner” when it got serious, and I haven’t been able to make the since to “fiance” since then because it almost feels like a step backwards… we live together, we move across the province together, we share finances and our career ideas with each other… we’re partnered.

      (On a similar note, sometimes I get annoyed when I hear people say “partner” for non-gendered political reasons and mean “sex partner for two weeks”… I wish we had a non-gendered term more similar to ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ that didn’t infringe on my personal definition of partner as economic partner… but obviously, I’m being a little selfish here – the ability to defy societal obsession with gender binaries is SUPER more important)

    • We were the same way…”boyfriend” and “girlfriend” made me feel like we were still in high school…as you said, felt inaccurate for who we were together and everything we shared. I am going to be the odd one out and say that I didn’t really mind fiance. I knew it was only temporary and allowed us to avoid stupid questions. But I can understand the aversion.

  23. I love this! My ummm… partner (lol) has always hated the word fiancee, along with his other least favorite word “preemie”, since long before we were serious (I’ll step away from Freudian implications of both those words’ associations with growing up). He calls me his “gal” or “partner”, depending on how formal the company. Glad to know we’re not the only ones to actually discuss what to cal each other:)

  24. I, on the other hand, hate “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”. I’m not in high school, passing notes between class and making out behind the pop machine. I’m a grown-ass woman, and I feel like “girlfriend” just suggests that I’m some slip of a fleeting thing in my “boyfriend”‘s life.
    When I was engaged, “fiance” made people take my relationship seriously. If I mentioned having a boyfriend, I could FEEL the assumption that he was a flavor of the month and that we were in no way serious. But FIANCE sparked interest, suddenly, in his existence.

    I guess I mean to say… like many things involved in weddings, relationship words are loaded terms. And, like many things involved in weddings, use what feels right and flip the bird at the rest!

    • I’ve noticed that too sometimes. When I started a new job and told people I lived with my boyfriend a lot of people seemed suprised and questioned (with varying degrees of subtlety/politeness) if it was a good idea to make such a big commitment in what was obviously a casual relationship.

      They were even more suprised when I said we’d been together 3 years before it happened and it was a very carefully considered decision.

      As far as I know co-habiting isn’t any less common here than anywhere else, so all I can assume is that it’s unusual to keep using the word ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ when you move in together.

      • I also get a shift in consciousness from people when I mention I have a boyfriend, and they ask “how long have you been together?”, and I say “five years”. Maybe we should have a new significant-other term that quantifies how long two people been together. Is the distinction between married or not married really that relevant anymore? “This is my 4-year cohabiter”

      • In Sweden, we actually have a term for a couple who lives together, but isn’t married. It’s called “sambo”.

        He’s my sambo. She’s my sambo. (EVERYBODY, SAMBO! *music plays*)

        Some people in Sweden stay sambo for life, some do it before they get married. But it’s a partnership that is taken very seriously. They have the same rights as a married couple, save for a few division of property protection laws.

        • OK, this is a really long time after this comment was posted, but I just want to say THANK YOU. Not only does that term cover what I want it to say, but it sounds so… happy… as a word. Sambo. It’s fun to say.

          I am using this word henceforth. English steals other language’s words all the time, I don’t even feel bad. ;D (It can be a little language lesson for anyone who is all “wtf?” when I use it!)

        • I know this is an old post, but I am also stealing this word to make it happen in America! My significant other and I had been looking for a word for SO LONG that described our cohabitating but not married status…that didn’t sound too fancy (fiance) or two clinical (domestic partner.

          THANK YOU SWEDEN! 😀

    • I always felt silly calling my fiance my boyfriend. I first used the term fiance when I had to undergo a medical procedure and wanted him by my side. It did not work but after that he started using fiance as well. I on the other hand only used it that once and waited until we were engaged to use it again.

      I say whatever makes you comfortable, go with.

  25. We’ve been together so long that I had gotten to the point of just calling him my husband at work. This was fine at my last job, but I’m going to have a fun time explaining to my current boss why I’m marrying my “husband” next year. 😀 He has always called me his “wife-type”, which is from a drunk guy on an episode of Cops.

  26. I never really minded fiance, except when I’m writing in online and can’t easily type the special e and the spell check tries to correct it and… ugh!

    But, We had a long engagement, and a lot of time to get used to the word. Now, I’m nearly married, and I’m getting prepped to switch to ‘husband’. That’s going to be more odd to me, for some reason.

  27. I’m so happy to hear that I’m not the only one that hesitates to relive that Seinfeld episode: “Has anyone seen my fiance? I’ve lost my fiance! Poor baby!”

    We use “partner” and have used the word almost immediately since transitioning passed dating. It has a more committed ring to it.

  28. Yep! Hate it! And I’m not sure which pronunciation I hate more. My fiance’s brother’s girlfriend suggested “fur-yawn-say”, which I quite like. Yeh know, so’s not to get to fancy ’bout it.

    We kind of use boyfriend/girlfriend and fiance interchangeably, but mostly still just say boyfriend/girlfriend. We were just talking about how once we’re married it would be weird to slip and say boyfriend instead of husband or whatever.

  29. I also hate the word fiance, we just refer to each other as our “financier”… It’s more fun that way. I also can’t wait til I can stop using that annoying term…. Husband sounds way better to me.

  30. i love using the word fiance but looooove the cheesy french accent idea even more as i m french myself and can master it to perfection 😉

  31. Every time I say it comes the windfall of questions about the wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about getting married, but all the questions all the time get old.

    I just introduce my man as my better half. =P

  32. I’m dying! I just had to edit my comment because I scrolled up and realized I’m not the only one! YES! I wish I hung out with you OBB’s! No one EVER remembers that episode when I try to explain it to people, and then I’m left to crack up all by myself!!! lol! Original Comment: Does anyone remember that Sienfeld episode when the lady at the party kept saying, “Oh dear, I’ve lost my fianceeeeee, has anyone seen my finaceeeeee?” And then Elaine said, “Maybe the dingo ate your fiancee.” Anyone? Ok, well, I’m probably the only one who remembers (and is brave enough to admit my utter dorkness – lol), but it has stuck with me all these years. Whenever someone says it I hear that woman in the back of my mind! I absolutely can’t stand the word, and I call my “fianceeeeee’ my boyfriend since he’s been that for over 8 years. 🙂 I hope “husband” will come more naturally than fianceeeeeee.

  33. I never liked “fiance” either. Eventually I settled with “future husband”.

  34. I never thought about how much I disliked this word until I had to start using it every day!

    We find it hilarious to say that we are “fianced” but referring to each other as fiance seems too fussy for us. He calls me his “lady” and I usually call him my “future hubby”. Seems a little less snotty that way!

    Although, I will admit that I do say fiance on occasion when I see someone I haven’t seen in awhile or someone who doesn’t know we’re now engaged. It seems to be the easiest socially acceptable way to get to the point.

    • Lol! Jrobertson, when we got engaged my guy said “You just got fianced!” sorta like saying I got Punk’d. or Pwnd if you’re nerdy like me.

  35. I’ve used future husband for the whole of our engagement. I like that best.

  36. Yay! I am not the only one out there who hates that word too! I will be married in less than 3 months. So for strangers I just say husband, and everyone else My Guy. I even gave my future married name today when signing up for a discount card at a store today. Felt good too!

  37. I do use fiancé(e) a lot beause I am french and you known, that is the french word, so it doesn’t sound snobby.

    From the other side of the Atlantic, the french “wedblog” community is using all these english words for weddings like “STD” “candy bar” “w-day”even if there are french equivalents. And they do sound snobby saying and writting that.

    So I guess you should definetely find an english equivalent that won’t sound strange. And Spousal Unit is a great idea.

    • “From the other side of the Atlantic, the french “wedblog” community is using all these english words for weddings like “STD” “candy bar” “w-day”even if there are french equivalents. And they do sound snobby saying and writting that.”

      That is so strange to me. I always thought the habit of using french words in english, especialy when there are english words for the same thing, came from this idea that french is a more sophisticated language from a more cultured place (I’m not sure how that fits with the UK tradition of claiming to hate the french, but the two have co-existed a long time). Either that or maybe in the UK it goes all the way back to ye olde days when France conqured us and all the nobility were/spoke french.

      Whatever the case it’s strange to think the same is true the other way around, that using english phrases in french can sound snobby. I’d expect it to just sound trashy.

      • It really does sound snobby when we Frenchies use American words. I can just read it in people’s eyes whenever I say “wedding cake” or “wedding planneuse” (=french female version of “planner”) but just like “fiancé” in English there just isn’t any equivalent in French for those 2 !

    • Mais oui! My question is: why oh why isn’t there an English equivalent of this word? What’s up with that? Well, I suppose technically there is, but “betrothed” is so hopelessly old-fashioned it sounds even goofier.
      However, I’m glad to know that French people using English words sound just as snobby as Americans using French words. 😉

      • Fiancé is the noun part of a full sementical family.
        Fiancé(e) : people being engaged
        Se fiancer : getting engaged
        Fiancailles : engagement party / the period during which you are engaged

        So I guess the english word that is missing is something like “engagee”.

        Yeah uing english word is like, I know there is a french equivalent, bt writing it in english makes me look like someone who knows better. IRK.

  38. I agree that fiance is an awkward title. I do not like it, or use it. When I talk about my man to someone we don’t yet know, I just call him my husband – that feels perfectly fine. I worry that not saying fiance makes people wonder if I’m really committed – I am 43 and getting married for the first time, so I don’t really blame people for wondering. The most appropriate term in my mind is partner, so I do use that sometimes, but it lacks the “something more is in the works” thing that comes with fiance.
    Oh well, in 6 months this dilemma will be behind us! 🙂

    • I think that’s the one good thing about the fiance/e dilema – at least it has a time limit!

  39. I realized I hated the word before we got engaged. A co-worker brought his chick to work one day. And people were like “oh is this your girlfriend?” and she was like “NO! I’m his fiancé!” (um yeah big difference, honey! *rolls eyes*)Is there any other country that uses the word fiancé? Is it just an American thing? Me and my future hubby were never to into using “girlfriend” “boyfriend” either. I would say boyfriend, Neal a few times and then after awhile, people would just understand that Neal = bf.

  40. We also dislike the F word. We sometimes say “ex-boyfriend/girlfriend”. That really throws people off!

  41. My man hates the word too because it’s French. Not that he’s racist or anything, he just feels like we should have our own word for it. So he usually just calls me his almost-wife.

  42. It’s kind of sad that both of us feel weird saying “fiance” because I thought for sure it would feel better to be his fiance rather than his girlfriend. We’re young, so I don’t want people to think “Oh, they’re boyfriend and girlfriend; I wonder how long that’s gonna last! Hur hur hur.” I want people to know how serious we are about being together for the rest of our lives. And when I would try to explain it that way, they’d look at my bare ring finger and laugh in an oh-so-condescending way. But fuck them, we’re getting married in October and THEY’RE NOT INVITED SO THERE.

  43. I still say bf.. as others have said for some reason I almost feel ashamed to say “fiance”, but how sad is that? I feel that we should all be proud to be getting married to the love of our life! Why should we be made to feel like we’re lording over other people for taking this step.. next thing you know we’ll be scared to say “husband” and “wife” 🙁

  44. I’m not engaged so I’m not sure about how I would feel about the word finance. I rarely call my other half my boyfriend instead I usually describe him. Since he’s Irish and known for being a loud personality I will ask people if they have seen my angry Irishman.

  45. I’ve also found that around older people I feel completely at ease saying fiance, but it’s younger folks who tend to not like hearing the word.

  46. I just call him my man mostly. Pretty much the whole world knows we’re engaged, so it’s no big deal. I’m not huge on the f-word mostly cause I can’t spell it to save my life. My language elective was spanish, not french. Besides, we’ll be using it for a grand total of 16 months, hardly long enough to really get used to it.

  47. I don’t like it for similar reasons as others here, but my partner LOVES to say it. He gets all mushy and giddy when he introduces me, as “my beautiful fiancee.” it’s actually kind of cute!

  48. Actually, I don’t like “husband” either. I’ve decided I’m cool if he wants to call me his wife – actually, he already does occasionally – but I can’t stomach “husband” and I don’t have a reason for why.

    I was planning on going from “partner” to “fiance” to “partner” again – but I haven’t been able to get “fiance” out of my mouth more than a couple of times, so I’m just keeping my head down and plowing right on through with “partner”.

  49. If you really want to throw people off Introduce them as your *Looover* ala the old SNL skits. It only gets funnier the more often you say it.

  50. I don’t like it and I think it’s because I’m from a small town where every high school girl would get a ‘promise ring’ and then start referring to their boyfriends as “my fiance” and two months later they would break up. I think that has taken away any special meaning it could have held for me.

    Also, in the movie Freeway (one of my faves), Reese Witherspoon refers to her fiance with a beautifully exaggerated southern accent: “FEE-AHN-SAY” (and I’m not knocking the accent; I’m from the south myself). That’s what I hear every time I say it and it makes me cringe.

    It’s a beautiful word, and I’ll definitely grin and bear it, but I don’t have to like it!

  51. My husband was funny, he never once called me his fiancé in the 2 years we were engaged. Then about 6 months before the big day, I became his “wifey” or “future wife”. He hated the word fiancee, and marriage seemed too far off at the time we first got engaged, so I was his girlfriend for quite some time, until something clicked and I became wife before we were even married 🙂

  52. I totally agree. When I say “fiance” it makes me feel like I’m bragging, or it opens the floodgate for questions that I’ve answered a million times. My future husband is Japanese, and I much prefer the Japanese word that means “fiance”: konyakusha, or literally, “marriage-promise-person”. That hits the nail on the head!

  53. i am not really a fan of fiance, i have to admit. but i kept using boyfriend, and it turned out it really bothered my other half. he felt like i was trying to underplay the fact we are getting married which is awesome and exciting, and somehow i was embarrassed about it. i try and use it for him now, since it’s important to him. unless i can’t be bothered talking about the wedding, as ‘fiance’ inevitably is followed by questions about the where and when…

  54. eek, I know I know. I hated it too. I still say future husband quite a bit BUT…

    now that I’ve been using fiance fairly frequently for the past 1.5 years, its just a word…like foie gois or quiche…its french, I use it. I don’t love it but I no longer hate it.
    When I started using it, I tried to picture my fiance so it started to mean him, rather than a pretentious french word…ya know?

  55. i skip the whole “F” word phase and went straight to the “He’s my husband” state. And if i dont want someone at the wedding, i give the impression that it’s already gone down, and if i do want you there i say it’s still to come!

  56. After we got engaged, my now-husband and I moved to a new area. While house hunting, it was strange to realize that we were taken ‘more seriously’ when meeting potential landlords. Afterall, we weren’t just boyfriend/girlfriend, we were fiances! The privilege of it just felt yucky. (which is now heightened even more now that we are now husband/wife). sigh.

    • I noticed this too, the estate agent got a lot less awkward about us renting together, especially long-term when I mentioned we’re engaged. Even though they already knew we’d already been renting for 3 years.

  57. I can’t get used to the word fiance/e. I was previously engaged to someone who continued to introduce me as his “girlfriend” for a year, and I think the resent I developed took the fun out of the word for me. I’m beyond excited to be getting married now, but the F-word just grates me the wrong way. I say it around people who don’t know my betrothed’s name, but otherwise I avoid it. I’d rather say husband-to-be, husband-elect, or future husband than fiance.

  58. I had this same issue!!!! ‘fiance’ is such a show-offy “oh looky at me, someone wants to marry me” word!!!!! He’s my boyfriend, and when he’s my husband that’s what he’ll be!!!! Or, occasionally ‘my fondant fancy” when we’re being silly (this is the name of a little cake in uk)
    Who cares really, our friends and family know who and what we are to each other, and we don’t move in circles where we need to prove our class and status, Or would we ever have people question our relationship (lucky us!)
    I’m glad it’s not ust me who cringe’s a little at this word!!

  59. Yes! I get awkward when he says the “f-word.” So I’ve just flat out started saying, “This is my F-Word Geoff” He laughs, they look at me weird, it works well! I also use “Future Husband”

  60. You could also use “my almost husband” or “my almost wife”. It works if you don’t mind/ plan on referring to each other that way in the future. It shows a step up from dating, but focuses more on the future of your relationship rather than the interim of wedding planning. I also think “betrothed” or “intended” sounds so old fashioned and hilarious that anyone with any sense of humour would crack a smile.

  61. I love Joy Behar’s phrase of ‘spousal equivalent’ because, seriously, for most of us in this day and age…what’s going to change after you sign that form for the state? Bupkis! My boyfriend and I have been together for 10 years. That makes it MORE awkward because people always want to know when we’re getting married or if we are…which we don’t plan on doing. It also feels a little silly to say boyfriend at this point in time. We consider ourselves already married…but we’re not so this works for me. He just calls me his wife. =)

  62. See, I’m one of the ones who hates the word “boyfriend.” The connotations it has for me are immature and lacking in commitment, and it doesn’t quite capture the relationship between us. I usually just introduce my guy by his name rather than by his relation to me. He usually hesitates when he introduces me, and once referred to me as his “not-yet finacee.” All in all, it’s easiest to skip the title entirely. People can usually figure out our relationship by watching how we interact for two minutes anyways (and if you’re engaged and wearing a ring, people will notice it if they’re that curious).

    Where I work though, a large portion of my coworkers have complicated relationships, and will refer to any significant other as “old man/woman/lady,” or “my/your/his/her guy/girl.”

  63. My dude and I switch between boyfriend/girlfriend and fiance/e. He was the one who started us calling each other hubby/wifey but that still feels a bit awkward to me. Not totally sure why, but for us it’s probably a matter of the fact that we haven’t moved in together. So for me, having a transitional phrase works. We are in transition, because we’re shortly to move in together (for a number of reasons, it didn’t happen earlier) and that does put us in a between state, especially for me. If we’d been living together and sharing bank accounts, etc, for years then it would probably seem sillier. I don’t have issues with the word though, unless people are trying to get attention. But people use any term to do that. “Oooh, look, this is my husband (and thus my relationship is more grown up than yours).” “Oooh, look, this is my boyfriend (and you don’t have one).” I’m the last one to get married, so it also doesn’t make me seem special or anything. I do forget sometimes and just use boyfriend though.

  64. Man if feels weird on my tongue now too. He had no issue calling me fiance. The switch was effortless. I still call him boyfriend most often. I just don’t feel like I’m still not a kid and can use such words. Yuck. :p

    I do refer to him as my betrothed on occasion. I like that word for some reason.

  65. My hang-up is over the word “husband”. Maybe it’s because I’m a jaded divorce’ or just a jaded biatch in general. 😉 But I just shudder and twitch when I think of having to say “husband”. I love my partner. I absolutely freaking adore him, yet I still think of the word husband as indicating some sort of ownership and that makes me cringe (I guess fiance could be taken the same way). I like “partner in crime” the best. I use that a lot. Or I just refer to him as “my sweety”.

    I actually had a professor that when I met her husband she corrected me and said, “Oh no he isn’t my husband! He’s my lover!” I dig that. 😉

    • We use pre-husband and pre-wife as well, or at least we did quite a bit at first, when we were both uncomfortable with fiance. Then, over our year and a half of engagement, we just used fiance for the most part. I don’t mind the word as much as I used to, just like I don’t mind the idea of marriage as much as I used to.

      Now, 3 months away from our wedding, it seems our friends and co workers have just started straight up using husband and wife… It throws me a bit, but I like it. It’s seems everyone knows that the ceremony itself doesn’t change our relationship and it’s already at that point of commitment.

  66. My boyfriend and I still refer to each other as girlfriend and boyfriend. Although here I refer to him as my fiance, just because it seems easier to type it than say it.

  67. I hate the F word and I hate Boyfriend to. We have a baby together so he is more then my bf and we arnt married so I cant (though i have slipped a few time) call him my husband so he is my partner or my other half.

  68. we’ve just stuck with boyfriend and girlfriend. using “fiance” just doesn’t feel natural to either of us. i know plenty of people don’t take our relationship as seriously as they would if we made it obvious we’re engaged… but fuck those people, seriously. we’ve been together for 5+ years, i’ve nothing to prove to anyone.

    AND CAN I JUST SAY… megan looks freaking GORGEOUS in that picture. srsly.

    • Well, gorsh, thanks! That photo was taken almost four years ago — your typical “silly photo in an attempt to show off the ring, but not actually looking like you’re trying to show off the ring”/”I just got engaged” shots. 😉

  69. I’m with you on this one! I never called David my fiance ever. It was so awkward and uncomfortable. I don’t even like the word ‘engaged’ because it reminds me of diamond rings, puppies, rainbows, etc. (None of those things I like anyway!)

    We’ve been married for months, but the wedding is April 23rd. We just call each other partner if someone looks super confused. I usually just say “Oh, this is David” and leave it at that.

  70. Neither of us can bring ourselves to say “fiance” either. So I’ve started calling the poor guy “my gentleman lover” or “my man-friend.” He introduces me as his “wife” or his “partner,” which cracks me up, because I don’t mind it, but he complains when anyone else uses it. When I call him out on it, he says, “What? You’re actually my partner in everything we do. They’re just trying to be different.” Whatever floats his little boat.

  71. I am in an awkward spot in our relationship where we are SO much more than boyfriend/girlfriend, but we aren’t officially engaged yet or married. We are common law though, so I use boyfriend/fiance/spouse/significant other interchangably as the situation warrants.

  72. We have never used the term fiance…. way too fucking fancy. Even after 2 years being engaged, we still refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend. Or, in some situations, husband and wife. We just completely skipped over the fiance thing. I’ve been corrected by friends/family quite a few times, but I just don’t care. We’re not fancy people, and we ain’t calling each other fancy names.

  73. I’ve actually never had a problem with the word fiance. What I do have a problem with is WIFE and MARRIED. I know it’s supposed to be a good thing, and exciting thing, a looking forward to thing. But for whatever reason, I can’t get away from the feeling that those words just make me feel so tied down, old, and NORMAL. I don’t want to be someones WIFE. I don’t want to be MARRIED. I want to be the same old, crazy, independent, fun loving, adventurous person I always have been. Now why those words and those things don’t go together in my head…I have no idea…but they just don’t.

  74. I hated this word as well. I preferred “french boyfriend” or “future husband.”

    Fiance just sounds like it means boyfriend (or girlfriend) in french, right?

  75. Oh Wow! Just like everyone else I feel exactly the same… as soon as we got engaged my boyfriend said ‘no fiance – it just sounds dumb’ and since he wasn’t saying it, i figured no worries, boyfriend/girlfriend it stays (plus those are our pet names). But then just like you said it leads to totally awkward introductions where people either correct me or (and this has happened a lot recently) ask me if we ever think of getting married… which of course, then leads to the explanation that we are engaged (i don’t wear a ring, because i live in a 3rd world, rip-your-finger off for your ring city). Which makes the whole thing just a little bit weirder. This is why I LOVE this site, i find out i’m not a unique spazz but a spazz just like everyone else!

    • I’ve had exactly the same problem. Don’t wear a ring, don’t say fiance and then it gets really awkward to say “well actually we’re already engaged and the wedding is X months away”.

      It’s probably my imagination but the way people react makes me feel like I’ve sprung it on them and there should have been some kind of build-up of the usual hints (like a ring).

  76. love this! anytime i refer to the man as boyfriend, people are all on me “ooohhh dont you mean fiaaaaaaaaaance?!” do we look like fiance people? i think pastels, tennis clubs, and someone named buffy or whatever. i refer to him as the future mr. conte (my last name, lol!) almosthusband, unboyfriend/unhusband, or the idiot thats dumb enough to put up with my crap forever, soon. <3

  77. You could also say My husband to be or soon to be husband…. Or my groom or My better half or my other half lol or something very simple.. My man….. just a thought or two… I never really used fiance when I was engaged but most of the time I said my groom or my man is doing this or that when we were planning our simple park ceremony and we had a “formal picnic” afterwards only because fewer people showed up sadly.

  78. I TOTALLY thought we were the only ones that used the word “Beyonce”! Hah!
    I just thought of using fubs (future hubs) but I absolutely abhor the word fiance. I just keep calling him the boyfriend, or the ginger… Formality, just drives me crazy.

  79. “Matrimonial candidate” is maybe my favorite thing of all time. I’m going to have to switch to that, even though we only have about six weeks of the awkward in-between left. I’m going to start saying that to vendors. “Well, my matrimonial candidate and I…”

    • Hey, six weeks is better than no weeks — Aaron came up with that term TODAY and we’ve been married for two years already. damn him.

  80. Mine gets “The love of my life” and, if I’m in a mood, I’ll add “and the bane of my existence!” ^_^

  81. I have a friend who refers to her sig. other as her beloved. 🙂 I know that’s a little too sentimental/heavy for a lot of people to drop casually in a conversation, but she uses it all the time. It’s sweet, and so her.

  82. I thought ‘fiance’ was too formal for us… So I chose to call him “super boyfriend.” It got the point across that he was more than a boyfriend but we weren’t married yet.

  83. I personally enjoy Fiance but wonder why there are no other real words for it. I feel silly calling him my boyfriend and only do it jokingly and he snickers “I’m not your boyfriend anymore~!” I believe fiance is french…why is there no real american word?

  84. OMG! I just stumbled upon your blog for the first time and I think I’m in love! I totally understand the weird fiance thing, can’t really bring myself to say it except in joke. My preferred form is Fi-ance (as it’s pronounced in Raising Arizona), but mostly I still say boyfriend. I’m used to confusing people since we’ve been together for almost 10 years and have 2 kids, so when I say boyfriend they assume I’m a single mom and dating. But screw it, the people who matter know the score. And the too fancy thing with the invitations! I swear I had that moment thinking “what the hell am I googling invitation phrasing for”.

  85. Me and my fiance actually just call each other husband and wife cuz, even without the crazy legal paperwork, we’re still married. I use his last name in everything except professional stuff anyway 🙂

  86. I stuck with ‘partner’. To each other, we used the term ‘engagement partner’ but whenever I introduced Andy it was as my partner. I still tend to do that, even though he’s my husband now.

  87. I love this post!!!!!!!

    I flat out refuse to say IT too. Interestingly enough, partner in crime is what I’ve switched to already!

  88. I hate the F word too. Probably because it has connotations for me of girls who at 16 ‘get engaged’ about 100 times cause they’re too fancy pants to say boyfriend like the rest of us lame-os.
    I usually use ‘andrew’ and most people figure it out from the context what role he plays in my life. I’m also a fan of ‘spousal equivilant’ if I have to use anything.

  89. See….I love the term ‘fianceé’ (And anyone who wishes to use it but can’t get that little accent to come up, it’s Alt + 130)…
    The word that I can’t stand…that sends literal shivers down my spine, and makes me want to punch a kitten is…
    Spouse. Ugh!
    I don’t know if its the “sp” part or the “ouse”….but the word itself and how I say it makes me want to cringe!!!!!!!!

  90. fiance always feels weird to me too. so i usually refer to him as my husband, and he to me, as his wife.

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