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UNMARRIED to each other                

"This Is My--Um, Uh...": Naming Each Other
Chapter Five

Unmarried partners say that one of the most baffling challenges they face is figuring out how to introduce each other. Many find that "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" make them feel like teenagers, "lover" makes it sound like all they do is have sex, and "significant other" just has too many syllables. In chapter five you'll find:

- A list of 40 different terms you can adopt to introduce your partner

- Why "partner" is catching on as the best option -- and why it doesn't always work

- How to get your friends and relatives to use the words you want them to use

- How to take the same last name without getting married, if the idea appeals to you

- Quotes and stories from partners around the country about how they've dealt with the naming challenge (including one who called her partner Frootloops on national TV)

Go back to the full chapter list, or chose from the chapter topics below:

Considering Cohabitation | Why Aren't You Married? | Pressure and Discrimination | Staying Together | Naming Each Other | Legal and Financial Protections | Domestic Partner Benefits | Commitment Ceremonies | Unmarried With Children | To Marry or Not? | Cohabitation's Past and Future


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I don't think there's a good word that describes the situation that we're in. "Lover" implies getting together on an occasional basis, and there's a little illicitness in there, like he's somebody you've got on the side. ... He's not my husband: we're not married. He's not my fiance: we're not planning on getting married. There's just no good word to describe us. Paramour? I don't know.
     - Laina, quoted in Unmarried to Each Other