The “p” bomb.

This is similar to the “f” bomb in that its effect on some people is pretty drastic. And no, I’m not talking about periods either.

Today someone at work asked me if I had a partner.

Now, I’m pleased that she took an interest but she could just ask if I had a girlfriend.

There’s lots of controversy in the LGBTQ community about what to call the people you’re with and I can see why.

I’ve always sided with “girlfriend” as partner is pretty ambiguous and has connotations, for me at least, of someone in a more formal sort of position. Others take a more comical approach and refer to them as their “better half” or “Mrs.”.

What concerns me even more is the pause and hesitation before asking about my “… erm… partner”. I don’t mind talking about it and so it phases me when people find it so hard broaching the subject with me. I just don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Basically, I felt a bit awkward earlier and thought I’d share it with you all. Do you say partner and prefer it to other words? Let me know! πŸ™‚

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30 thoughts on “The “p” bomb.

  1. I just say girlfriend or other half. Partner to me is like, partner in a business, partner in crime, that kind of thing.

  2. Loz says:

    I think partner means more of spouse i.e. you’re married. Otherwise girlfriend is good. I absolutely hate “special friend” πŸ™‚

  3. When you work for a firm of accountants (as I do), partner can be very confusing. For example, “are partners coming to the Christmas party?” could mean are the bosses invited, or it could mean are people invited to bring their spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends? As for “having a partner”, that’s a whole different ball game, usually reserved for their secretary!!

  4. Thank you for the like, looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  5. michelle0509 says:

    I don’t have a girlfriend but if I did that’s what I would call her. I feel like partner can be used when in certain settings where people may not be comfortable with any other label, in a professional setting for example. I personally don’t find it an uncomfortable question…unless I like whoever I’m asking, then their answer could end up killing my chances to ask them out.

  6. It’s a shame some people still feel uncomfortable with things like this, but it is quite amusing.
    I’d use girlfriend as it sounds more striaghtforward – though as a straight guy it doesn’t directly involve me…

    • waggcomedy says:

      It was the way she stuttured beforehand. I felt like saying “If you don’t feel comfortable saying it, don’t ask it!”
      Yeah I’d always use girlfriend as well – it’s just straight to the point! πŸ™‚

  7. barflysf says:

    What happened to use of the term “significant other?” That seems better than “partner,” doesn’t it?

  8. airthstoryteller says:

    I’m married, so I have a wife, not a partner; before we were married I had a girlfriend, not a partner. I don’t like this ‘partner’ stuff; for one thing it makes you sound like a cowboy in a 1950s Western.

    My serious objection is that the use of such terms dehumanizes us. It’s pandering to the trend of officialdom to render every human activity and attitude as neutral and worthless. And it sounds very stuffy.

    Let’s not do that, in my opinion.

    • waggcomedy says:

      I completely agree with everything you said and it seems that we feel exactly the same about that word. What a great summary of what it means to you – thank you! πŸ™‚

  9. vgonis says:

    Well the way I see it, in a forced “politically correct” environment as the office (work anyway), you don’t only have to be careful for harrassment, but also for consider the actual sexuality of the person you are talking too. It was noted before, but the thing that troubled me was the hesitation and thinking before saying the word partner. This could mean many things, but let’s narrow them down:
    1.She is interested in you, and knowing how clever you are, used the specific word to make the wheels turn. Girlfriend would have been a dead give away and she wanted to think of her as smart.
    2.She was making small talk, but since she doesn’t know you that well, she tried to avoid being politically incorrect. The stutter was to gain time to find a general word, and not a sign of discomfort.
    3.The most common excuse for using this word, that no one mentions (why? this is comedy type ramblings) is that someone has doubts about your sexual orientation. πŸ˜‰ Partner cover all bases.
    4.Some people think that asking a person about his personal life, that has not revealed on his/her own is somehow indiscreet. Some go even further considering that a healthy person in a certain age must have some sort of relation. But it could be with with anyone, or as Bryan Ferry says “In every dream home a heartache”, a rubber doll, (I blew up your body, but you blew my mind), or being between relations or whatever.

    Wait a minute. As I write these words, I realize I don’t know you that well! πŸ˜‰

    • waggcomedy says:

      Haha, you make some very good points there! I’m still wondering what she meant by it. As I’m out at work I assume she knows I’m gay (and if she doesn’t the short hair and fairly large muscles are a good give away!). We don’t know each other very well though so I guess she could just be trying to be pc to avoid any awkwardness. Haha, my blog is full of useless information about me – feel free to read on further! πŸ™‚

  10. Sappho says:

    How about “my lover”?! That should throw everyone off! LOL!

  11. I would say girlfriend because like a previous comment “partner” for me sounds more in reference to business. Unfortunately, I don’t have any friends who are gay, but if I did I would ask them if they had a girlfriend or boyfriend or even if they were married. It’s that simple.

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