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

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"Boyfriend" sounds so high school. But what DO you call the guy you're seeing? 12 alternatives.

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. She shares her New York State Press Association first-place winning columns on her blog Inside Out where she writes about being a mother and the parenting stuff she's not embarrassed to own.

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