Poll: Do Any Of You Use The Term “Lover”?

isabelle huppert in madame bovary with a lover

If you love the term lover, did you just step out an 18th century novel?

We’re wondering because we’ve been discussing whether or not using the term “lover” for someone you are dating is ever appropriate. I personally can’t describe anyone that way because it seems comically graphic, which is why I refer to all the people I date as “some dude I shake hands with.” To keep the mystery in our relationship!

Also I don’t think I’m sophisticated enough to take a lover.

But the idea of being someone who could refer to someone as a lover seems pretty fun, carrying with it, as it does, the connotations that you might be Catherine Deneuve. Or Isabelle Huppert. Or some other kind of woman who presumably lives in a chateau and has taken a lover with either the aristocrat next door or her gardener. And can wear fancy lingerie and not look ridiculous or as though you’re trying too hard. It’s really desirable to get to that point – it just seems like calling the dude who smoke pot and plays video games your “lover” is ridiculous (because he is your boyfriend, or some dude you shake hands with). Unless it isn’t! When is the term lover appropriate? Discuss!

Sorry! This poll is now closed.


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    • Meghan Keane

      Oh yes. I think of the time I entertained not one but two lovers whenever I eat moussaka.

    • Breezy

      Before we were married, I used to half-jokingly refer to the hub as my lover. Mostly because I hate the word boyfriend for someone serious. It’s such a junior high word. I called so many people “boyfriend” in 8th grade, and I feel like legit boyfriends and eventual husbands need a better word.

      Meghan- my first thought exactly!! Hahahah.

    • andrea dunlop

      I really liked the piece Jen wrote on ‘lovers’ a while back; about how that concept beats the hell out of the loathsome ‘friend with benefits’. I think there needs to be some word to describe people we have an emotional and physical connection with but who don’t fit squarely in the boyfriend box. If not lover, something.

      • MR

        Yeah I never got how you can still call someone a friend after you’ve had sex with them. If I make love to a woman who is my friend it’s not casual sex. We are clearly lovers.

    • Lindsey

      Yes, I have an open relationship and my man on the side, who I am quite attached to, is my lover. Because there’s no word for a male mistress?

      • M

        While I do not have one, if I did I would totally use the term ‘mastress’. Mostly because it is hilarious and embarrassing and I can be a little cruel like that to people who put up with me.

        ..No wonder I don’t have a mastress.

      • kinaz

        a male mistress is a “sancho”

    • M

      The term ‘lover’ kind of squicks me out, though I can’t exactly put my finger on why. It strikes me as the kind of thing that people call the person they sleep with when they’re trying to imply more intimacy than actually exists.

      If it helps clarify, I think it hits the same annoyance-triggering button as when I hear girls talk about their first date with a guy and the story ends with ‘..And then we MADE LOVE.’ You’ve known him for four hours. Come on. I’ve been with my boyfriend for over two years and I don’t really feel like we’ve ever ‘MADE LOVE’. But maybe it’s because I don’t have six thousand candles, a fireplace, and a bearskin rug.

    • Magda

      It feels funny coming out of my mouth. So usually if I ever say it, I say it in an obnoxious, exaggerated voice/accent and then proceed to giggle hysterically like a five year old who just said the word “penis”.

      However, I do say “loverly” but that more because of an infantile obsession with My Fair Lady and Audrey Hepburn.

    • MeggyWeggy

      I call my boyfriend of four years ‘lover’ kind of in the same way that I do ‘honey’… it’s an endearment, not necessarily a title. Or in tender moments, or when we’re cuddling or going to sleep, we’ll say, “Love you, lover,” because we’re disgusting.