And who is this handsome gentleman with whom you are now shacking up?

I need some help. Let me clarify that: I need help with a social etiquette issue.

Some brief background information may help.

  1. I’m single by virtue of a failed marriage.
  2. I’m 53.
  3. I’m living with a man who is single due to the same reason.
  4. He’s 53.
  5. We’re in love and plan on staying that way.
  6. We didn’t cause our mutual singlehoods (that’s not necessary “intel” for help with my social etiquette issue, but I have a compelling need to remind myself and anyone who might be wondering).

My problem: what do I call him? Another clarification is needed here. I know his name, so I know what to call him when speaking with him face-to-face or in other positions. And I can easily introduce him to others by name.

The problem arises during that awkward after-the-name time when people expect relationship information. What do I say at that point?

“Boyfriend?” I’m 53, not 13. I’m way too old to have a boyfriend. He’s not a boy. He’s a 6’3″, 230 pound former Marine.

“Partner” is an option. But that conjures up a business association. We are not co-managing a cremains disposal franchise. As far as I know, there are no plans to do so in the future.

“Friend” is another possibility. That, however, does a monumental disservice to the word “friend.” We are so much more than friends. Don’t get me wrong, we are friends, but…well, you know.

“Lover” is out of the question in America, which is where we live. Maybe if we moved to Italy…

Now that you understand my situation, can you help me out? After I introduce him, what do I say? Can I leave it at his name and let people wonder? Or how about if I say, “Oh hi, So-And-So, I’ve been wanting you introduce you to my [fill in his name].” I know that sounds very possessive and I would only suggest this because his name si NOT John.

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated! We enjoy being seen in public on occasion.