At what point is ‘girlfriend’ no longer an appropriate title?

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One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is how “set” the straight relationship world is, and how “totally and completely not set” the lesbian world tends to be.

As an example:

Marianne’s sister is getting married in September, a month before us, and has been dating the guy for about four years. And it seems that all her family had talked about (after the first eight months) was “when’s the wedding?” “why isn’t she engaged yet?” “is it really ever going to happen?”

While I’m super excited for her sister and the fiance, it occurred to me that No.One.Ever.Asked.Marianne.and.I.Those.Questions.

In some sense I appreciate that. I like being so out of the “norm” that people tend to leave our relationship alone because they don’t know what to do with it. But on the other hand, it’s kind of lonely. So it begs the question: When is ‘girlfriend’ no longer an appropriate title?

I know it depends on the relationship, I guess my point is that in the straight relationship world everything, everything, is set up around marriage and children. And in the lesbian world I don’t feel like it is. I feel like lesbians sort of have to shove their way into the marriage circus ring.

Personally, Marianne hasn’t been my ‘girlfriend’ for awhile. She’s been my partner for as long as I can remember calling her something, but I think that has more to do with the fact that I think ‘girlfriend’ sounds like someone I’m breaking up with next week. That or someone I dated when I was 15…and then broke up with in a week. But even partner sounds so clinical, or business-like.

We need a different title. How about wife? I like that. Marianne can be my wife.

I saw this article on the Huffington Post today and while there are a lot of reasons for people to get married, I like this quote the best:

Our relationship deserves marriage, that’s how I feel about it. I mean there was a time in our relationship where it just wasn’t right to call Christin my ‘partner’ or my ‘friend’ . . . or even my ‘civil-unionized partner.’ You know she’s my wife. . . . We deserve those titles, those rights.

Well said, Deb, well said.

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