Now I Know You Didn’t Just Call Me That Did You?

Why Is Being Referred To As 'Wifey,' 'Partner' Or 'Girlfriend' Offensive To Some Lesbians?

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You met. Things got serious. You became exclusive. You decided to move in together. Now, you’re possibly planning a whole life together. Are you here for it? What could possibly interrupt this level of bliss, right?


Here come the SEMANTICS police. Something as tiny as how you label each other in your relationship can present a BIGGER problem than you might think. And, here’s why. We may take it for granted that the word, “wifey”, “partner” or “girlfriend” are just terms of endearment and that everyone is keenly aware of what it signifies. It shouldn’t be offensive to your bae, should it?

Word on the street is that it can start a full-blown argument and here’s why.

Some lesbians in relationships don’t want to be referred to as “wifey” because it’s too close to “wife” and if the relationship is not on that level in their mind, it’s not ok …” you want WIFE perks, but still keeping me at a wifey level, that’s not going to work.” It’s apparently even more offensive to those of us that are actual WIVES — there is a feeling that it diminishes the depth of our actual legal marriages if just anyone can coin the term, “wifey” and run with it. And, don’t get us wives started about being jokingly referred to as “wifey” either, that’s starting a whole world war that you just aren’t ready for. Don’t do it to yourself. Put some ‘respeck’ on our title!

Other lesbians can’t stand the word, “partner” and this one I had never really thought about on this level because I think it’s a simple and effective way to acknowledge your significant other and can even be viewed as politically correct putting you in a space of not having to explain too much beyond the description because it is self-explanatory. Pause! It was brought to my attention that the word, “partner” can be viewed as very cold and unemotional and connotes “we are in some sort of a business relationship, not a LIFE partnership” – who knew?! But, the more I thought about it, it made sense to me from that point of view. A partnership is usually indicative of a business relationship and when used as a label in a romantic relationship, it can make you feel like you aren’t romantically involved, but instead completing daily transactions together.

Then there is the world, “girlfriend” – now this one did throw me for a loop at first because it is probably the most common way to refer to your other half if you aren’t married. But, guess what? Wrong again. Word on these lesbian streets are once you get to the MOVING IN stage of your relationship, you shouldn’t just be referred to as a “girlfriend”, but more looked at as a partner (catch 22 if you hate the word, PARTNER as described above). Apparently, “girlfriend” doesn’t signify the relationship being exclusively serious to some lesbians.

So, herein lies the dilemma.

What the hell are you supposed to call this woman who you wake up to every morning if you are not married just yet if all these terms are offensive for one reason or another?


If there is a discrepancy with regards to the label being used…make up a NEW word that you both agree on. It can be a word or phrase already in existence but now you choose to apply it to your situation like saying, “my love.”

Point is, those other terms are seriously offending a lot of lesbians. So, if you’re in this boat, stop fighting about it and just adopt a new word or phrase. Don’t make this a bigger deal than it has to be.

This is the last thing you should be worried about. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, like who is going to explain to Grandma Joan that NO, neither one of you is “the man in the relationship” and that you are both still women even if one of you is wearing a fitted hat, button down and slacks 70% of the time.

Let’s move beyond labels and titles that are offensive and just grow in love. We deserve that. If your relationship is healthy, you are already way ahead of the game.

Bless Up,

Coach Kerri


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