Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Boyfriends, girlfriends, cowboys and lawyers

PARTNER, in my opinion, is a term that should be reserved for the head honchos at legal firms and the acquaintances of cowboys. It should not be used to describe your significant other.

At what point did it stop being alright to call someone your boyfriend or girlfriend? It seems that once certain people hit a certain age, somewhere around the mid-30s by my reckoning, they think it's childish to use those terms and instead revert to the far more clinical 'partner'.

It's not that I don't understand the reasoning behind the reluctance to use 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend' once you are a certain number of years or failed marriages into life. I'm sure there is a section of society that thinks 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' is the reserve of teenagers and 'partner' is for middle-aged divorcees.

What I don't understand is why the latter demographic are so afraid to use youthful terms to describe their 'partner'. Chances are this is the one aspect of their life in which it's still appropriate to use teenager terminology because as one grows older, and every element of their life becomes dominated by reason, a romantic relationship is the one constant that continues to defy logic.

It's my experience that a girlfriend can excite, inspire, frustrate, infuriate and delight in ways that nothing else can once you're out of childhood. I can't speak for having a boyfriend but my lady reliably informs me that I can at the very least frustrate and infuriate to beat the band.

A relationship, by it's very nature, is illogical in that it requires us to go against our most primal urges by being monogamous. But therein lies the beauty of the whole logic-free situation, it doesn't really make sense to shack up with one other individual, especially these days when the chances are greater than ever that it will end in acrimony.

Yet all over the globe people of all ages continue to pursue these wondrously illogical relationships, displaying the kind of abandon normally reserved for teenagers. Surely then when labeling the other participant in this foolhardy arrangement they should stick with the lighter, more youthful names, rather than a term as sanitized and safe as 'partner'.