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To Partner or not to Partner

Published : August 19, 2015

According to polite society it is no longer correct for single folk to be in possession of a boyfriend or girlfriend, one must have a partner.

By Wally Graham

Having only been dating for a short while my girlfriend and I were just getting used to the idea of having each other around and to refer to each other as partners was not on either’s agenda.

Although there was definitely a spark of a different kind between us, past relationships had made us both wary of acting too rash.

It was only when the collective pressure applied by our partnered peers raised its ugly head did we succumb to using the ‘P’ word.

I can honestly say without recourse that it wasn’t me who said it first, it was my girlfriend…my partner…her.

It surprised us both as, even though we hadn’t verbally addressed the state of our relationship, we had sensed I would be the first to crack.

Both having large circles of friends our initial months were a never ending cavalcade of, “I’d like you to meets” and, “I’ve heard so much about yous” and, “Nothing good I hopes”, “Ha Ha Ha”.

It was on one of these occasions, with her friends, that she faltered and introduced me as her…PARTNER.

I was actually quite chuffed at the time and was proud to be introduced as such.

But, at that moment time stood still, activity around the room moved slowly about me, I stood there thinking, “What does this mean? Has our relationship suddenly just reached a new level? I no longer have a girlfriend!”

All of a sudden everything felt so adult.

When I raised it later she confessed that, as she said it, she too had thoughts similar to mine racing through her head, but that didn’t change the fact that our relationship had shifted.

The confounding thing is that when alone we still refer to each other as boyfriend or girlfriend.

At a recent social gathering with my friends some new introductions were in order. When asked if she was my ‘partner’ she lamented that she was struggling with the grown up stigma attached to that term and that she wished to be known by another.

After much deliberation it was decided that she should now be referred to as my ‘squeeze’, which I have to say was a term I never expected her to accept but one that made the cave man deep within thump his chest with pride.

But all this doesn’t address the girlfriend / partner conundrum.

Is a girlfriend just a girlfriend or is she a partner in life and does it mean that partner will become a wife?

Such a notion is impossible to consider without poetry!

We’re now contemplating buying a dog.

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