I've never liked the word boyfriend.
It gets stuck in my vocal cords, and frankly sounds a little strange to me. I've never really liked the term, but then again I have not had many serious boyfriends upon whom I would have bestowed that title. It sounds a little silly and juvenile to me, I guess.
Recently I was out with a friend who was asking about the state of my lovelife. After filling her in on some of the broader details she asked me, "Is he your boyfriend?" and then giggled. Giggled I tell you!
I stuttered...I stammered. "I..I.. I don't know.".
"How could you not know?!" I don't know how I couldn't know, I just didn't. "What do you call him then?"
"I call him Damir, or the guy I am dating, I guess."
She laughed at me and changed the topic of conversation, she made me feel a little silly for not having figured out yet the parameters of boyfriend vs. non-boyfriend status. When does one cross that line? Does it have to be mutually agreed upon? I once heard Damir refer to me as his "girlfriend" but it was in passing and quite a while ago. Plus, it could just be a language thing (though his english is near flawless).
It's like the word "date". To "date" someone in Europe, well, at least in Amsterdam doesn't mean the same thing as it does where I learned English. Here it implies a romantic connection. There it just means meeting up. I was very excited to go on a date (what he called it) many years ago with David the Dutch Dude, and was quite disappointed when I realized it had no romantic connotation whatsoever. Ah, well.
So this weekend I just flat out asked him. "Damir, can I ask you a silly question?"
"what is it about then I will tell you if you can ask it"
"definitions? What do you mean?"
"Well, just let me ask you the question and you'll see."
"Um, ok. What is your silly question"
"How do you define me?"
"What are you talking about?"
"If you were to talk to me to someone, what would you call me? A friend, a girl you are dating, your girlfriend, you know what I mean?"
Yes, and still more laughter, along with a big hug and a kiss.
So, yes, I am his girlfriend and I suppose he is my boyfriend. But I prefer to find another term. Maybe sweetheart. That sounds a whole lot nicer for some reason to me.
In conclusion, here is the photo of the weekend taken in the Public Garden of me and my sweetheart.