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Old 11-28-2011, 06:15 AM
Trees Trees is offline
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Default 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?
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:16 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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You'd really have to ask her.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:46 AM
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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.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:49 AM
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How can any of us tell you whether she is or not? Talk to her and ask.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:30 AM
gort gort is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trees View Post
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.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by gort View Post
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.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:18 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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"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.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:56 PM
gort gort is offline
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Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
. . . 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.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gort View Post
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!
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:18 PM
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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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