Love You, Bae. 12 Hip Slang Alternatives For The Word 'Boyfriend'

"Boyfriend" sounds so high school. But what do you call the guy you're seeing?

boyfriend and girlfriend Getty

Dating in high school is dramatic: He kissed her? I thought he liked me! Will he tell all his friends if we go to second base? If I ask him to the dance, does that mean we're dating? And if we're dating, is he my boyfriend?

As an adult you're more mature, but grown-up dating is fraught with it's own challenges: Why hasn't he called me back? When do I introduce him to my kids? When do we go from friend-with-benefits to dating? And if we're dating, is he my boyfriend?


OK, maybe it's not so different from high school, after all.

One question certainly remains the same: what do you call the guy you've been seeing for the past few weeks? It's a question of status, but as an adult, it's also a question of word choice. Because, when you're both adults, isn't he a little old to be your boyfriend? It sounds so, well... high school.

In the spirit of maturation, whether it's "bae," "boo," or a pet name, we came up with 10 alternates to call your man. Try these on for size.


1. Partner

The good: There's no doubt that everyone's equal in this relationship.

The bad: Are you dating or starting up a limited liability company?

RELATED: The Definition Of 'Bae' And The 20 Best Bae Quotes, Memes And Tweets

2. Lover

The good: It's sophisticated, it leaves nothing to the imagination and can we say sexxxy?

The bad: We've got four words for you: "Granny, meet my lover…"

3. Paramour

The good: It's French, and they seem to know little bit about how to make love last (hello, kisses).

The bad: Trying to explain to your family this doesn't mean he has a wife and 2.5 kids at home.

4. Life Hostage

The good: No need to grip his sleeve at parties; you've staked your claim.


The bad: Possessive much?

5. Manfriend

The good: You're finally dating a grown-up, so good for you.

The bad: He's retreating to his man cave with his man sack in tow right about... now.

6. Honey

The good: It's sweet enough to eat, and doubles as a nickname appropriate in the bedroom and out.

The bad: Mariah Carey called. You stole her line.

RELATED: 7 No-Doubt-About-It Signs You've Found Your 'Ride Or Die' Boo

7. Flame

The good: Hot, hot, hot.

The bad: All that's missing is a set of gold chains and a bad perm, and you're back in the seventies.

8. Beau

The good: It's old-fashioned romance at its best.

The bad: Other than the fact that you sound like old Aunt Agnes, not much.


9. Escort

The good: No need to have "the talk" if you're not sure how into monogamy he is.

The bad: Explaining you didn't pay this guy to sit at your table at your best friend's wedding.

10. Companion

The good: Wherever you go, he goes, and he's happy to be along for the ride.

The bad: You know who makes a good companion? Your dog.


11. Boo

The good: Makes you feel like the leading lady of an R&B music video. 

The bad: Not to be confused with Halloween.

12. Bae

The good: You're not old school, you're up with the times. You're an adult, but a cool adult. Or you're Kim Kardashian.

The bad: Your best friend is also your bae... as well as Chris Pratt... and Beyoncé. Everyone is your bae.

RELATED: 7 Things Your Man Loves Hearing You Say

Jeanne Sager is a contributing author to Babble and Droolicious and contributing editor of Grand Magazine.