The term "partner" has a solid ring to it. It indicates that you are with someone who wants to share his or her life with you. On the other hand, a "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" is someone you fondled in high school at a house party — and it was serious because it happened more than once.
Of course, terminology doesn’t always matter; however, there is something very grown-up, romantic and soulful about calling the person you love your partner.
It shows respect, equality and a determination to at least try and live a life together — even in the face of adversity, boredom, misunderstandings, insecurities and fears.
Here are 11 differences between your boyfriend or girlfriend and your partner:
A partner genuinely is your best friend
This does not mean that either of you forget every other friend you ever had and start living like hermits in a cocoon of unwashed sheets and omelettes in bed. Rather, it means you find each other funny and trustworthy.
A boyfriend or girlfriend will always turn up for the Thursday night romp
...not so much for the Saturday morning outdoor activity. The boyfriend or girlfriend might have promised you a bike ride, but is hungover from last night’s unexpected shots.
A partner will be at your doorstep at 6 am, sandwiches in hand.
For a special occasion, like your birthday, a partner will take time to plan an activity
... and it'll be something the two of you can do together.
A boyfriend or girlfriend will buy you a gift and be done with it, but will happily enjoy the free booze you provided for the party that you planned yourself.
A partner will want to physically touch you, even when it is not about sex
He or she will put an arm around you when you are out with friends having a great night because he or she associates happiness with you.
A boyfriend or girlfriend will touch you, mostly if sex is anticipated within the next 30 minutes.
A partner will kiss you before going to work
Affection is easy to come by at romantic restaurants, on drunken dancing nights and when you are horny, but affection at 7:30 am on a weekday, when you are late and thinking about meetings and deadlines, should be taken much more seriously.
You are such an important part of your partner's life that without you, it would be difficult to get up and go to work — or do any of the things we have to do, as humans.
A boyfriend or girlfriend will share his or her TV-binging preferences, but will keep the real secrets under wraps
A partner will tell you more than he or she tells anyone else. A partner knows that you are the one person in the world who will work hard to sincerely understand.
A partner really thinks you are smart and can help
A partner knows exactly what you do at work and will also ask you for advice regarding difficult situations in his or her career.
A boyfriend or girlfriend will say that you do something related to marketing or administration — or any such broad category that sounds about right — when asked about your career.
A partner will get excited by things that excite you
...even though he or she might not personally find that something very interesting. Partners are excited by your happiness and know that whatever it may be, together, you will find a way to enjoy it.
A boyfriend or girlfriend will do whatever just to score brownie points to use against you at a later date.
A partner will let you know if he or she is running late and when he or she is leaving work
This very simple gesture actually means a lot, as it shows respect and consideration.
Everyone is busy and things happen, but a partner knows that you are waiting to see him or her and wants to keep you in the loop to show you that you are a high priority.
Your partner might be a sarcastic ass (and that’s probably why you love him or her), but he or she knows when to shut up and speak from the heart
A boyfriend or girlfriend won’t pay enough attention to you to know when you are really upset.
You will catch your partner smiling, when looking at you secretly
Partners just can’t help it. Partners will also pull you closer in the middle of the night.