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-   -   I think they might be.... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17870)

Trees 11-28-2011 06:15 AM

I think they might be....
 
Okay, I have this friend who at first seemed really into me then I found out she has a kid with a guy that she is still currently with. I know I'm most likely looking too far into things but she only refers to this guy as "My partner." This really confuses me seeing I have only heard that term being used when referring to homosexual relationships. On a side note she always comes and hangs out by herself and she is really flirty towards me. Do you think she is poly?

Anneintherain 11-28-2011 07:16 AM

You'd really have to ask her.

Storm 11-28-2011 07:46 AM

Yes, best to ask her. I'm a lesbian and use the term partner, BUT I do have straight friends who sometimes use the word as well.

nycindie 11-28-2011 07:49 AM

How can any of us tell you whether she is or not? :confused: Talk to her and ask.

gort 11-28-2011 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trees (Post 113134)
Okay, I have this friend who at first seemed really into me then I found out she has a kid with a guy that she is still currently with. I know I'm most likely looking too far into things but she only refers to this guy as "My partner." This really confuses me seeing I have only heard that term being used when referring to homosexual relationships. On a side note she always comes and hangs out by herself and she is really flirty towards me. Do you think she is poly?

You'll have to ask her. I've always thought gaydar to be unreliable. And poly-dar isn't going to be any better.

A side note: some states have "domestic partner" laws. They are really aimed toward gays but are very much available to straight people too.

So, it could actually indicate a legal status.

hyperskeptic 11-28-2011 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gort (Post 113155)
A side note: some states have "domestic partner" laws. They are really aimed toward gays but are very much available to straight people too.

So, it could actually indicate a legal status.

. . . or it could just be a kind of progressive distaste for the traditional language of marriage. The terms 'husband' and 'wife' are very, very patriarchal in their origins: husband = manager, man in charge; wife = woman, possibly rooted in a term meaning shame. 'Spouse' seems legalistic and cold.

'Partner' suggests both equality and consent. It does not, in itself, reveal anything of whether the partnership is exclusive or open, or on what terms it is open.

MichelleZed 11-28-2011 03:18 PM

"Boyfriend" can sound sort of juvenile after awhile, if you're living with a guy and co-parenting and have built a life together. If you're not married (and, for a long time, gay people couldn't be), using the term "partner" can be a choice you make to try and convey the seriousness of your relationship.

It doesn't have anything to do with poly.

gort 11-28-2011 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hyperskeptic (Post 113195)
. . . or it could just be a kind of progressive distaste for the traditional language of marriage. The terms 'husband' and 'wife' are very, very patriarchal in their origins: husband = manager, man in charge; wife = woman, possibly rooted in a term meaning shame. 'Spouse' seems legalistic and cold.

'Partner' suggests both equality and consent. It does not, in itself, reveal anything of whether the partnership is exclusive or open, or on what terms it is open.

Merriam webster seems to put doubt on this last part. Seems unlikely to be synonym for shame.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wife

The origins in either case are very old. Prior to 12th century.

hyperskeptic 11-28-2011 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gort (Post 113304)
Merriam webster seems to put doubt on this last part. Seems unlikely to be synonym for shame.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wife

The origins in either case are very old. Prior to 12th century.

Fair enough, but the (admittedly online and therefore dubious) source I consulted suggests some disagreement on this point:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=wife

I've got to get my own copy of the OED!

nycindie 11-28-2011 08:18 PM

As for the term "partner" -- I'm straight and lived with my boyfriend in 1979 and referred to him as my partner. Though I was only 19 at the time, I thought myself too old and mature to use the word "boyfriend." In later years, I have used the word partner for my husband. This is not a trendy new term that means anything other than what people using it want it to mean.

OP, you just need to have a conversation and find out what the dealio is.


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