Special Snowflake Insists World Create New Word for “Boyfriend”

As if another example of our culture’s narcissism were needed, twenty-something writer Elizabeth Sherman has taken to the pages of The Washington Post to complain that she doesn’t have a term for her boyfriend. Why? Because according to her, the word “boyfriend” isn’t good enough, and society hasn’t provided a new, better one yet.

“Cory is not my boyfriend,” Sherman explains in “He’s Not My Boyfriend. He’s Not My Partner. What Do I Call My Guy?” “That word does not communicate the depth of our relationship. There was no period in our relationship where we were casually seeing each other. We did not engage in the coy games of courtship, never waiting the requisite four to six hours between text messages or closing the door to pee. We aren’t technically dating, either. We both work demanding jobs with long hours, so date nights are a rare treat.”

As well, Cory and Elizabeth

“avoid labeling each other as ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ because both words sound childish to our twenty-something ears, as if they’re describing high school kids. For other couples who enjoyed a more traditional courtship, perhaps the word does not sound so strange. But we were serious from the start.”

There’s more. Debilitated by a society that won’t add words to the language to honor her unique and unprecedented relationship, Sherman has taken to lying:

“In casual conversation, I have lied to strangers. I will sometimes say to waiters: ‘I’m meeting my husband here.’ If we’re having dinner at his parents’ house, I tell the Uber driver, ‘I’m on my way to see my in-laws.’ Chalk it up to sexism, but I fear that people will not take my requests, suggestions or directions seriously if I don’t preface them with the implication that I am married.”

Why not just get married, some readers might wonder? Evidently, Elizabeth and Cory are too special for that too, having “decided to wait” for marriage, so “fiancé is another word that doesn’t fit for us,” she says.

Sherman’s piece represents a kind of event horizon of narcissistic journalism. (In astrophysics the event horizon is the edge of a black hole. Within it nothing can be seen and nothing can escape, because the necessary escape velocity would equal or exceed the speed of light, which is a physical impossibility). Her argument produces a similar kind of helpless vacuum. The indulgent parents, the everyone-gets-a-trophy ethos, the abundance of food, clothing, and pop culture—all have combined to create a swirling vortex in which this whining, unhappy woman can take to a once-great newspaper and gripe that the world won’t provide a term for her boyfriend. It’s a black hole of me-me-me that is so dense it threatens to collapse the entire universe.

Of course, her whining will most likely lead to support (if you don’t believe me, read the online comments on her piece; one helpful commenter suggested, “Maybe introduce him as your stud muffin”), which will then lead to calls to change the language, which in turn will bring up calls to change the law to protect everyone’s right to call their boyfriend whatever they want to. And the inexorable march of self-esteem totalitarianism goes on.

Just in case a future alien civilization wonders what happened to us, while they are sorting through our participation medals, transgender bathrooms, and Lena Dunham’s diary, some people do understand that there are certain markers in life that correlate with particular words. When you’re born you’re a baby. When you’re young, you’re a kid. When you fall in love you’re a boyfriend or a girlfriend, which is what Cory and Elizabeth are. If you decide to get married, until you are married, your loved one is your fiancé. Once you are married you are husband and wife. If it doesn’t work out—which I suspect might be the case with someone as self-centered as Elizabeth—then you are divorced.

Words do matter. The precise use of them is important because words represent factual reality (and their abuse, as George Orwell showed, is often a stepping stone to other injustices). Our use of them indicates a seriousness of purpose and the ability to meet challenges set by the culture in which we all live. That is reality, a healthy dose of which people like Elizabeth and her male whatever-he-is could use.


  • What should she call her guy? I don’t know, but if you’re really that tied up in the label for your relationship, maybe your relationship is not what you thought it was. Break up – now. It will be better for you, and for the rest of the world.

    • V10_Rob

      Definitely better for the guy.

      If you’re reading, dude… Run. Don’t look back.

  • Ben Dover

    I’m not your buddy, friend.
    He’s not your friend, guy.
    I’m not your guy, buddy.
    He’s not your buddy, friend.
    I’m not your friend, guy.

  • creative_dude

    She and her main squeeze should/are lost in the world of magic that helps make the world a more dangerous place. For everyone.

  • Man in the Middle

    Sounds like he’s her live-in, roommate, or friend with benefits. Also sounds like she’d LIKE him to be her fiancé, but he hasn’t asked.

  • SolonGone

    It’s called “engagement”.

  • ursafan40

    He’s waiting for someone “better”.

    She’s on her way out.

  • Shelby Clark

    What’s wrong with “lover”? Not perfect for every situation – I would hesitate to introduce him to the minister that way – but it handles at least 75% of her angst.

  • Pakvi Roti

    She sounds moderately bi-polar. He needs to run, fast.

  • David Gillies

    How about instead of “boyfriend”, “emasculated little sissy”? Here’s a good one: “epicene loser”. Or perhaps just the good old-fashioned “bitch”.

    • 2+2=4andalwayswill

      lol, how about “prey”

  • Dantheman

    Apparently saying “This is Corey” and then letting others figure it out through their body language has not occurred to her. Not nearly as dramatic as whining to the world, I admit.

  • 2+2=4andalwayswill

    After that article he may be searching desperately for the term “ex-girl-friend”

  • TiredofPC

    How about “my current out of wedlock experiment”?

  • Bubba, First of His Name

    Why the negativity? Why can’t we just celebrate the fact that, for the first time in human history, two people are in love before getting engaged. The language was not designed to handle such an unprecedented event.

  • Whitney

    Uber will only take her to her “in-laws” but not “boyfriends parents ” That’s hilarious

    • sez-who

      Maybe if she just gave them an address, they could find it better.

      I can’t recall ever feeling obligated to explain to a taxi driver WHY I was going where I was going.

      These people are weird.

  • AWD87

    Please, for the love of all that is holy, let me get my last 10 minutes back for having read this. I think you should call your “boyfriend” an idiot from now on based upon what I just read.

    • gtwreck

      Why is he an idiot? He is getting the milk for free. Are you suggesting they are saving themselves for marriage? Does not sound like that to me.

  • AARGH63

    Sperm donor?

    • Rezqewr

      Nah, she probably makes him wear a jimmy hat. Creampies are so like, “eeewwww!!!”

  • lcuvillier

    Meanwhile, millions of Radical Islamist want to blow us up – but we have to worry what this tramp wants to call her mate? smh. This country has turned on it’s ear.

  • Rich
    • ChupaMe (Deplorable)

      Damn. Beat me to it.

  • J_H_C

    In Alabama, it used to be that if a couple declared before witnesses that they were husband and wife (and this included one declaring this and the other not disputing it, as silence legally is consent), followed by what was coyly called “cohabitation”, it established a common-law marriage, which required a divorce to dissolve like any other marriage. It is my understanding that the law in question was passed to make it easier to prosecute adulterers, as it would be easier to get a conviction for bigamy than adultery (specifically, signing a motel registry as, say, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” was legally “declaring before witnesses.”) The Young Lady in question might well be advised to check the law in jurisdictions where she and her Young Man have “cohabited”; it is possible that they have already been married by their own declarations and actions, will they nil they.

  • jubadoobai

    Elizabeth is applying public pressure to get Corey to marry her. She wants to be married, but he isn’t asking her. It is unlikely he knows of the “discriminatory” attitude of Uber drivers who will take her to her in-laws but not to her boyfriend’s folks.

    One would think that with such compatibility, Corey would rush her down the aisle. However, Elizabeth is narcissistic and Corey, who knows it, is getting the milk free, so….

    Run, Corey, run!

  • Lowell McCormick

    I’ll bet she has no trouble coming up with a word for Cory after he dumps her.

  • sez-who

    gentleman friend. beau. lover. friend. buddy. mate. companion. . spousal unit. paramour. escort. suitor. intended. swain.

    Has she no dictionary? Are there no thesauruses . .er . . thesauri . .er . .

    whadda knucklehead.

  • DudeAbiding

    I’d say the word she is searching for is “moron” if he regularly puts up with this kind of thing.

  • Bandit

    What do you call someone who doesn’t really exist?

    • Nemo

      A dildo?

  • Bandit

    Actually the term already exists FWB

  • disqus_sBKZDGKiG8

    It is the tradition of English to import foreign words when there is no appropriate word in English. Surely the French have a good word for her relationship.

    And, if he is just like your husband, put a ring on it.

  • Alexander Rawls

    Poor girl is going to be very disappointed when, after getting the milk for free for many years, her whatchamacallit decides not to buy the cow and becomes her ex-boyfriend, a painful reality for many young and once-young women since the 1960s sexual revolution.

  • Retired military

    Words do matter.

    The girl in this article is a DUMBASS.

  • Chris Prestridge

    The World doesn’t care about your relationship thus, no need for the world to create anything new for this little snowflake. Such priviledged 1st world problems this woman has to deal with, oh the pity.

  • Tex Taylor

    In the insufferable era of Obama, I have made it my mission to put the abjectly stupid like this dimwit in my rear view mirror. I haven’t been totally successful yet, but I speak to fewer and fewer Leftists these days. And that is a good thing – my own 100 ft personal wall.

    I think these imbeciles are beginning to understand that I have no allegiance to them; I have no use for them.

  • Eldrick Wo

    it has got to be devastating to have such problems.

    • DJ9r

      it has got to be devastating to have such first-world problems.


  • Zeke Clinton

    The horror!

  • m a

    How about- the poor, pathetic, self-loathing, male without the pride or self-confidence to find someone who isn’t a self-absorbed sociopath?

  • Fifty Ville

    May I suggest the term “meat puppet”?

  • crinedel

    Significant other? Manfriend?

  • Mutantman

    Odds are that if they get married, eventually she’ll pen an article saying she needs another word for spouse or husband they just don’t cover the special relationship they have.

  • hmmathis

    How about “girly man” or “Low-T man”?

  • whiteyb


  • werewife

    Oh, for the Love of Life Orchestra. No doubt neither of these overgrown children is well-read enough to be aware of the lovely old word “paramour.”

  • Brutus974

    Sounds like “guy you’re hooking up with.”

  • jbspry

    If he’s black you’re better off not calling him anything – darkies are real tetchy about that sort of thing.

  • Pingback: Special snowflake whines that society needs to make up special words for her relationship with her don’t-call-him-a-boyfriend()

  • billyoblivion

    Yeah, well he just calls her his special little drama queen.

  • Donald Sensing

    Well, Elizabeth, you think you are in a “serious” relationship, but does Cory ever tells others your are his wife? Hmm? Ya think? Ah, no. Nope, he doesn’t need to. Because there is a word in English for him to describe you. Sorry, it’s for men to use, one of those sexist things, I guess.

    You. are. his. mistress. There, problem solved.

    • saltysailor

      As in “Matress Mistress”.

  • Rezqewr

    How about your “Phuque” buddy?

  • James McEnanly

    Depending on how serious the relation is, how about paramour, inamorata, lover or companion? We don’t need new words, we need to take stock of those we have.