Is There A Better Word For "Fiancé"?

Illustration for article titled Is There A Better Word For "Fiancé"?

I never knew how much I hated the word "fiancé" until I got engaged. I kind of cringe when I have to say it to people I don't really know and lately, I've been finding myself saying "my boyfriend," then quickly, quietly adding "or fiancé, whatever." The word just sounds so pretentious and fruity, and it inherently implies a kind of smugness about marriage that I find embarrassing. But there's pretty much no alternative, because its synonyms - "betrothed," "intended," "promised" - are worse. After doing a quick poll of married and engaged friends, I realized that this word is universally uncomfortable and awkward. Let's brainstorm for a new term after the jump.Gavin says that he never said "fiancee" when referring to his now wife. "I think I just said 'my wife.'" I've actually contemplated just referring to my fiancé as my husband a few times, like to people who don't need to know my life story, e.g. the lady who does my nails. But I couldn't bring myself to do it, because we don't even live together, and it sorta reminds me of something that a weirdo habitual tale spinner like Kim from Real Housewives of Atlanta would do. Sadie has the same problem. "I say 'boyfriend' and then people check my hand to see if we've called it off." Anna, who got married this past summer said, "I would either say 'boyfriend' or i would say 'fiancé' but I would preemptively explain how much I hated the word. There was always a warning before it came out of my mouth." Sadie suggests that we "just go totally archaic with 'liege,'" but that still sounds weird. We tried to come up with some other options like "pre-wed" or "GIM" (as in "guy I'm marrying"), but neither of those seem very viable. I know it's just a word, and I'll probably continue to say "boyfriend," but it would be nice to find a word that conveyed the distinction of our new relationship status without making it seem like our relationship is a status symbol. Any ideas?

DISCUSSION

hortense-smith-old
Hortense Smith

I'm not engaged, but I avoid the "my boyfriend" thing (which I hate using, as it sounds so 8th grade, but there aren't any better alternatives to that, either) by just introducing him/referring to him by his name, with no relationship-word attached. Usually people will say, "Oh, is that your boyfriend?" and I'll say, "Yeah." I think that could work for Fiance, too. Or you could just say, "Oh, this is BlahBlah, we're getting married next year," or something like that.