“Hi, I’d like you to meet my friend P.”, said Mr. T introducing me to one of his workmates.

Friend, my brain cried out. What do you mean, friend?!?! We’ve been dating for several weeks. Heck, we’ve even slept together! Luckily, I intercepted my brain’s monologue before it got to my mouth and just smiled at the nice secretary.

Six months later, firmly entrenched in girlfriend status, we visited his family for Thanksgiving.

“Suzie,” Mr. T’s mother said to a relative. “I’d like you to meet P., she’s T.’s friend.” There we go again with the friend thing, exclaimed my brain. We’ve been dating for seven months! Just because you prefer to think we aren’t sleeping together doesn’t mean you can dismiss my status as girlfriend! How dare you…Ooooo, that pumpkin pie sure looks yummy! Bringey here!! (Luckily, my brain got distracted just in time).

It took me a while to get over being called his “friend” instead of his “girlfriend”. However, I’m not even sure I like the terms “girlfriend” and “boyfriend”, and this is something I’ve been mulling over for a couple of months now. First of all, I’m not a girl and Mr. T is definitely not a boy…ehem…

Secondly, we’re a lot more than friends. And it’s not just this “friends with benefits” crap which I hear about so often nowadays. We’re in a serious, committed, monogamous relationship of equals. Which brings to my mind the word “partner”. However, that term has smartly been adopted by the gay and lesbian communities (I bet you they could teach us a thing or two about relationships of equals), and I really don’t want to go through the hassle of explaining that I’m not a lesbian.

Mr. T suggested “my dude” or “my stud” (OK there, cowboy…), but I don’t think that would go over too smoothly in work-related situations. The only option I’ve been able to come up with is “my man”, but that sounds very country music, don’t you think? I’m at a loss…Any suggestions?