What do you call your SO when you're not quite engaged yet?

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
2677 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

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revmcleod2 :  Congrats, that’s all very exciting!

Until you’re officially engaged I don’t think there’s really anything else to call each other though. I think I’ve seen someone post on here that she was “pre-engaged” and it made me cringe so hard.

ETA- be giddy and happy and excited! It’s an exciting time and October is right around the corner! 

Post # 3
3322 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I think if you are already living together and living your life as partners, then it is appropriate to refer to one another as your partner. But otherwise, boyfriend/girlfriend is the appropriate title.

My fiance and I were living together for over 2 years before we became engaged, and a year and a half of that was in a house we own together, so boyfriend/girlfriend didn’t feel quite right to us. We generally referred to each other at work and stuff as “my partner”, and socially we kind of used boyfriend/girlfriend and partner pretty interchangeably for a while. 

It was nice to finally get to use the term “fiance” though. I still use partner sometimes though and probably will use them interchangeably until the wedding when I switch fully to “husband”.

ETA: I don’t want to sound like I am invalidating or downplaying the significance of your relationship, but despite being in your 30s, I do think that having been together less than a year, boyfriend/girlfriend is probably still more appropriate than partner, especially if you haven’t already been living together for a while. Your relationship is still very new and you’re still likely in the honeymoon phase. I hope that you take your time being engaged and don’t rush in too fast for the sake of claiming a more serious title. 

Also. I agree with PP – “pre-engaged” is super cringe lol

Post # 4
153 posts
Blushing bee

I live with my partner. He hasn’t proposed yet but we both know he will. He just wants to surprise me. So when I’ve no idea. 

But tbh partner seems most appropriate and I get what you mean about bf and gf sounding so juvenile. 

Post # 5
1209 posts
Bumble bee

Partner? Significant other? 

Post # 6
3625 posts
Sugar bee

I always referred to him as my significant other (he is 52 and I’m 37)…and I actually still do as I don’t really like fiance.


Post # 7
1345 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I usually just say “boyfriend” but sometimes I refer to him as my partner or significant other (I’m 30, he’s 39). I do agree that boyfriend/girlfriend seems kind of juvenile, but the others seem…stuffy? I can’t wait until I can just call him my damn fiance lol.

Post # 8
643 posts
Busy bee


Boyfriend/girlfriend acceptable if you’re 15

Post # 9
2710 posts
Sugar bee

Boyfriend/Girlfriend makes the most sense here to me.

I think when a couple has been living together several years, or plan to be together forever but not get married – then partner makes more sense. But you’ve only been dating for less than a year and are about to get engaged, so calling him partner seems kind of unnecessary.

Maybe it seems weird to you because you weren’t as serious about previous boyfriends. But lots of people that are boyfriend/girlfriend talk about marriage and are committed to each other and haven’t made it official. I actually frequently called my husband my boyfriend when we were engaged because I hate the word fiance lol.

But either way, it’s just a word! You can call him whatever feels right to you.

Post # 10
4011 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Canada

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revmcleod2 :  I’m in a similar position except he picked up the ring on Saturday!! EEE! So I have NO advice re: expecting it to happen all the time haha. BUT  we still refer to each other as bf and gf, even to people who know the ring is coming/purchased/picked up. Until I’m his fiance, I’m his girlfriend. For right now, I’m good with that because once he proposes, i wont get to call him ‘boyfriend’ ever again!

Post # 11
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

I think dating under a year no matter what your age is still qualifies as a boyfriend, it can be a very serious boyfriend but to me partner/signifigant other isn’t appropriate yet. But that’s just me!

Post # 12
1630 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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revmcleod2 :  I think boyfriend is best – maybe it’s because I work in business but partner to me sounds so clinical and not like a loving relationship.   I called DH boyfriend until we were married (I didnt’ really like fiance – sounded pretentious).  Here in Aus the guys often refer to their girlfriend/wife/fiance as “The Missus” and I really like that as it doesn’t provide any context of the relationship (I know mrs. are married women but colloquially this term refers to any female significant other), but the male Equiv. of “The Mr” just doesn’t sound right.

Either way, I say enjoy him being your boyfriend because it sounds like it won’t be for long 🙂 


Post # 13
2828 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

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revmcleod2 :  I was in this situation (although it had been a couple years) and called him my partner.  Then he went from fiance to husband in like 1 month, lol.

Do you guys live in the same place, or is it LDR?  Remember that the infatuation phase of a relationship lasts 1-2 years and even longer in an LDR / online relationship.  Getting through that phase and then seeing how you two click after that is what dating is for!  

Post # 14
434 posts
Helper bee

Current situation here too but about a decade younger. 7 years dating, ring on finger by year’s end. I call him my partner or my SO (significant other) – he was boyfriend till about 3 years in when I knew I wanted to marry him. My friends joke that he is my permanant +1. In private, he already refers to me as his wife. In public and to his friends, I’m “the missus” – we’re Canadians but living in Australia and he’s adopted a lot of the local lingo and terms of endearment.


Post # 15
333 posts
Helper bee

Boyfriend? Partner? Significant other? I switched to partner after about two years, so I used that for about a year and a half before we got engaged. That’s what I still use.

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