Your Boyfriend, I mean… No, I Got This…Um, Your Fiance

by admin on August 27, 2012

I don’t have so much a story as I do a question. My fiance and I have been dating for 4 1/2 years now, and we only just announced our engagement this past February. Because we dated for so long, people are really stuck on calling him my “boyfriend” rather than my “fiance,” which isn’t a big deal, but I’m really excited to finally be able to call him that! Is it rude for me to nicely correct people on this, or am I better off just leaving it alone? 0822-12

Don’t correct them because about the time you finally have everyone trained to say “fiance”, you’ll have to switch to “husband”.    They’ll get it eventually so let it go.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Bint August 27, 2012 at 5:30 am

This really is one of those things that you should let go. People still refer to my husband as my boyfriend after years of marriage, they call me his girlfriend, and they still call me Mrs X despite knowing that isn’t my name. Provided this is only in conversation, it isn’t worth it. If he is not *treated* as your fiance, that is different. Otherwise, definitely let it go.

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jena rogers August 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

Leave it alone. When introducing him to new people, and IMHO, anytime you happen to be talking about him to anyone, you can refer to him as your fiance’ . Correcting people on a relatively minor issue like this may be interpreted as splitting hairs and will be a distraction from the conversation.

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AS August 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

Hahaha… I used to have a hard time correcting myself when my boyfriend of 4+ years became my fiance’. My friends used correct me :) . We married six months after getting engaged, and now I have to remind myself to call him my husband! I had even checked the box saying “single” once, and had to correct it!

Coming to your question, you could correct people if you suspect they don’t know that you are engaged. But otherwise, it is best to override it – unless, as Bint said, he is not treated as your fiance’.

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Cat August 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

Or you could make a running joke of it. “Shhh, my fiance doesn’t know about my boyfriend.”
Once you are married, you can introduce hubby as “my first husband” or “my former fiance” so long as he is in on the joke and finds it funny.

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grumpy_otter August 27, 2012 at 10:36 am

I think there’s a cute way to do this. When someone says “boyfriend” you can excitedly say “I’m so glad he is my fiance now!” or something similar. As long as you don’t try to force them to call him that, I don’t think anyone would take offense (unless it happens 5 times in the same conversation).

And congratulations! I hope you and your fiance will be very happy!

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Library Diva August 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

I still do this myself, and so does my fiance. Every so often, I’ll slip and jokingly point out how he has “the best girlfriend ever” because I did something nice for him, or after he did something thoughtful for me, tell him that he’s an awesome boyfriend. He’ll do the same thing from time to time. If we, as the engaged couple, still slip up, what hope is there for other people?

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Harley Granny August 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Maybe because I’m not much on titles but to try to put it bluntly but not rudely, you and he are probably the only ones this matters too.

My DIL is so hung up on these titles that when she’s talking to me she refers to my son as her “husband” did this and her “husband” did that.
Now if she were speaking to new aquaintances it’s different.
I feel like I should have named him “husband”!

I introduce my other half like this….This is my husband..Harley Grandpa. From that point on I refer to him by his name.

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Roslyn August 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

It’s habit for people. My Mother wrote my maiden name on birthday & cake checks, mail etc even though I had been married for more than 18 years and had two kids.

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josie August 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm

How about calling him by his name???

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Ashley August 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

My fiance and I have been together for going on six years now, and I honestly don’t care what title anyone wants to put on us, as long as they are aware that we are together. Life’s too short. Plus, as Admin mentioned, by the time anyone catches on fully, they are going to have to switch to “husband” anyway, so all your time getting people to say fiance will have been for naught.

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Gabriele August 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I’d let it slide. For one thing, if you insist upon ‘fiance’ then that opens the door to, ‘oh when’s the wedding’ and the sticky business of are you or aren’t you going to invite that person to the wedding.
I’ve known people who never married but were very happy together, people who did marry and weren’t and I think it’s the quality of the relationship that matters and not the word that defines it.
If someone I didn’t know well corrected the ‘fiance not boyfriend’ in conversation with me I would mentally think that the person was overly concerned with a checklist that ended with “Mrs”. rather than “I love him and he makes me happy”.

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SashatheBrit August 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Or you could really fancy and introduce him as “my betrothed”. Or “my help-meet.”

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Bint August 28, 2012 at 4:55 am

Ha ha ha! My soulmate? My intended? My knight in shining armour?

It’s so much easier for blokes. You just call the girl his missus. Or, at my husband’s club, his better half. I quite like that one!

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confused August 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm

My dad insists on calling my fiancé my betrothed!! “This is my daughter, confused, and her betrothed” :D I love it!

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Shiny Gloria August 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I have a friend who, after two years of marriage, still introduces her husband as: “This is my, umm, husband, Jeff.” I guess if she has trouble, you can excuse your friends.

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koolchicken August 28, 2012 at 6:08 am

I’d let it go, it’s really not worth the hassle and the admin is totally right. I was with my now husband for a little over 7.5 years before we got engaged and we married just months later. It actually felt weird calling him my fiancé as he’d been my boyfriend for so long. We’ve been married a year this month and I’m just finally saying husband instead of boyfriend when I talk to people (still doing it in my head though). And I STILL forget and write my maiden name sometimes. So I would totally cut your family some slack. Don’t let their slip ups ruin your happiness, I doubt they mean any harm.

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Jenny August 28, 2012 at 8:14 am

I also had trouble adjusting to saying fiance and then husband myself, so I totally get why others would have that problem. Often I would say, “This is my [husband’s name]!”

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confused August 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I’m going to go against the grain slightly and say sometimes it might be necessary. If someone who knows about the engagement but is used to saying “boyfriend” says something like, “And is your boyfriend coming to the party this weekend?” just let it go, as long as it is clearly a slip up. If you see someone from high school or something whom you have not seen in ages and they say, “So are you still with your boyfriend?” you could say, “Great news, he’s my fiancé now!”
the reason I see a difference between the two is because of my own situation. Where I am from, we wear the engagement ring on the 4th finger, left hand. Where I am living, an engagement is something quite old fashioned and if you get engaged the ring is likely to live on your right hand. I feel the symbol is for myself, not for others, so I wear it the way it is worn at home. (Also, I work with a lot of ex-pats who get the symbolism). It means, though, that people are sometimes not sure of my relationship status, and they say “boyfriend” in a quizzical way: “So what about your – em – BOYFRIEND? Is he living here too?” If that intonation is paired with a stare at my ring, depending on my relationship to the person, I say, “Yes, my fiancé is also living here.” But only if it was fairly clear that the question was indirectly intended to find out if we are engaged, without risking the embarrassment of saying “What a beautiful ring, are you engaged?” when the answer might be no.
Hope my rambling makes some sense :)

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Rachel September 22, 2012 at 2:21 am

I still call my DH of three years my boyfriend, he thinks it’s cute. My philosophy is “Just because you marry a man doesn’t mean he stops being your boyfriend.”

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Enna September 22, 2012 at 7:49 am

It’s hard to break a habbit. Leave it alone – they will get used to it soon.

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Claire October 30, 2012 at 3:34 am

That’s nothing. My ex husband used to say “why don’t we go home next weekend” – he always called the town where he was raised “home”. He couldn’t understand that “home” to me was where we were living as husband and wife and not where his parents lived.

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