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Difference between spouse and partner

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It's becoming more and more popular for people in relationships to refer to each other as "my partner" instead of calling each other boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband. But exactly what is a partner in a relationship, and what's the difference between calling someone partner vs. Partner is simply a way of describing someone you're romantically or sexually involved with. It doesn't necessarily indicate any particular level of seriousness or commitment, although some people do tend to associate the word with a more committed relationship. The word partner is not new. Husband originally meant "master of the house," Doll reports, so you can see the need for an update.

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Is It Time For All Couples To Use The Term “Partner”?

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It's becoming more and more popular for people in relationships to refer to each other as "my partner" instead of calling each other boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband. But exactly what is a partner in a relationship, and what's the difference between calling someone partner vs. Partner is simply a way of describing someone you're romantically or sexually involved with.

It doesn't necessarily indicate any particular level of seriousness or commitment, although some people do tend to associate the word with a more committed relationship. The word partner is not new.

Husband originally meant "master of the house," Doll reports, so you can see the need for an update. But of course, the terms husband and wife have endured as well, and their gender-neutral counterparts still catch eyes.

That's why Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who is married to California's governor Gavin Newsom, made headlines when she announced she'd be referred to as "first partner" instead of "first lady. Even if we don't intend them that way, words carry with them deeply rooted underlying meanings and historical weight, says relationship and well-being coach Shula Melamed, M. Words like boyfriend and girlfriend may not necessarily suggest an unequal relationship, but they do nod toward the traditional roles men and women have played and have been expected to play in their relationships.

Girlfriends are cute, needy, emotional, and controlling; boyfriends are protective, clueless, and hard to hold down. These characterizations are obviously not true in all or even most cases, and yet they ring in our ears as truisms because we've been enculturated with them.

Especially when it comes to marriage, some married people "might feel that the terms wife or husband have some traditional implications or historical weight that doesn't reflect their relationship," Melamed says.

Using partner , on the other hand, is "a way to express equity in the relationship" with one single word. Partner is free from all the cultural baggage layered onto all its gendered alternatives. Not everybody fits into the categories of boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife. Because of the binary genders implied in those terms, they're generally not applicable to nonbinary people. In general, society as a whole ought to be adopting language that doesn't completely erase nonbinary people from the picture—that's why you'll see many media publications increasingly using the word "partner" instead of any of the gendered alternatives.

The gender-neutral word also destabilizes heteronormativity more broadly by forcing people to ditch their assumptions about what kind of person you're dating.

For example, as a prolific sex writer, I write about my own relationship regularly without mentioning my partner's name, and that word choice prompts you to recognize that you have no clue about what my partner's gender is. It challenges people to avoid assumptions. Some people gravitate toward the word partner because they want their relationship to be taken seriously by others, even if they're not married.

Melamed says she knows many couples who have been together a long time, share a life and a home, and are deeply committed, and boyfriend and girlfriend just don't reflect the depth of their relationship. Furthermore, not all couples intend to get married , and it's nice to have the choice of a label that's distinct from the ones they used for all their short-lived high school romances.

You might be thinking: What about the term significant other? Although this term also accomplishes the same gender-neutral and serious energy as partner , some people take issue with the way significant other implies that everyone only has one significant person in their life and that that relationship must be a romantic one. Doesn't that somewhat minimize the importance of friendships, family ties, and our other meaningful relationships? My mother, for one, is certainly an S. More importantly, partner more accurately describes what a healthy romantic relationship really looks like: a partnership.

It's two people who've got each other's backs, who are collaborating on their lives together, and who are tackling life's tribulations and triumphs together in a mutually satisfying way.

At the end of the day, of course, the words you use to describe your relationship are wholly up to you. Use the relationship labels that feel comfortable, that feel natural on your tongue, and that make you both feel good. Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food?

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Kelly Gonsalves is a sex educator and journalist. She received her journalism degree from Northwestern University, and her writings on sex, relationships, identity, and wellness have appeared at The Washington Post, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere.

Last updated on February 17, Share on:. What does the word partner mean in a relationship? Article continues below. The difference between partner, boyfriend, and other relationship labels. Partner avoids gender roles. Partner makes space for queer people. Partner has some gravity to it. Partner reflects what a healthy romantic relationship really looks like. Kelly Gonsalves is a multi-certified sex and relationships educator based in Brooklyn and the sex and relationships editor at mindbodygreen.

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The difference between Significant other and Spouse

There are few distinctions between the definition of a spouse and the definition of a common-law partner. A common-law partner is simply someone you have lived with for a prerequisite amount of time in a conjugal fashion. You both are in a marriage-like relationship, but aren't legally married. A spouse is a partner who has gone through the process of obtaining a marriage license and are legally married. For the most part, immigration law applies to both types of relationships in a similar manner.

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When used as nouns , significant other means one's romantic partner, regardless of marital status or gender, whereas spouse means a person in a marriage or marital relationship. Spouse is also verb with the meaning: to wed. The difference between Significant other and Spouse When used as nouns , significant other means one's romantic partner, regardless of marital status or gender, whereas spouse means a person in a marriage or marital relationship. Significant other as a noun : One's romantic partner, regardless of marital status or gender.

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Roughly half of the U. A domestic partnership has its benefits, as well. The financial differences between a marriage and a domestic partnership are many, and each has its own benefits. Which is right for you depends on your preferences and circumstances. There are many financial benefits of marriage. For one, your retirement could benefit. Married couples can also transfer an unlimited amount of assets to one another, sans gift or estate taxes though some states are exempt. Domestic partners may not be eligible for death, pension, or survivor benefits if your partner passes away. Tax season may also sweeten the marriage deal since there are several tax benefits of tying the knot. As a married couple, you are also eligible for a large home sale exclusion.

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Is that guy asking to see your patient, her boyfriend or her husband? Today, people wait a while to get married, instead of doing so in their early 20s. They could have been dating for several years, and be engaged to get married soon. All these shades of distinction can be confusing in a healthcare setting, because regardless of what their relationship is actually like, there are legal considerations that healthcare professionals must keep in mind.

A spouse is a significant other in a marriage , civil union , or common-law marriage.

You may know that Google is tracking you, but most people don't realize the extent of it. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to dramatically reduce Google's tracking. You are legally married to a Spouse. A partner may simply be a boyfriend or girlfriend of a substantial length of time.

Knowing The Difference Between Spouse & Boyfriend Could Save Your Career

Common-law marriage , also known as sui iuris marriage , informal marriage , marriage by habit and repute , or marriage in fact , is a legal framework in a limited number of jurisdictions where a couple is legally considered married , without that couple having formally registered their relation as a civil or religious marriage. The original concept of a "common-law marriage" is a marriage that is considered valid by both partners, but has not been formally recorded with a state or religious registry, or celebrated in a formal religious service. In effect, the act of the couple representing themselves to others as being married, and organizing their relation as if they were married, acts as the evidence that they are married. The term common-law marriage has wide informal use, often to denote relations that are not legally recognized as common-law marriages.

An acquaintance may come up to you and introduce someone as their partner, and this word may lead to some confusion. Do they mean a business partner? A close friend? Or their life partner? Spouse is generally used to refer to an individual that one is wed to, and has a legal implication on marriage.

Common-law marriage

How Do I? View How Do I? Family Law Guides. The provincial Family Law Act defines spouse as including married spouses and unmarried couples, provided that the unmarried couple has lived together in a " marriage-like relationship " for at least two years, or lived together for less than two years if they have had a child. Because the federal Divorce Act only applies to married spouses, all of the rules that apply when unmarried relationships end are found in the Family Law Act. This section talks about qualifying as unmarried spouses, the consequences of being in a spousal relationship, and unmarried spouses' entitlement to government benefits.

As nouns the difference between spouse and partner is that spouse is a person's husband or wife while partner is.

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Difference Between Spouse and Partner

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