Q: I’m divorced and have just started living with the man I’ve been seeing. At 45 I feel silly calling him my “boyfriend,” so I’m at a loss as to how to introduce him to others. What should I call him?
A: You’re not alone with this dilemma! Fortunately, there is a simple solution-just use his name. You’re under no obligation to specify your living arrangement, especially when making introductions to acquaintances or business associates. But when he’s meeting your close friends or relatives and you choose to tell them that you’re living together, it’s still awkward to find just the right description. Is it friend, partner, lover, or housemate? None of these is ideal. The one word that makes the most sense to me is companion, because it’s generally recognized to signify a deeper relationship than friendship. But your best option is to do what feels most natural.