And Now the Producers Want to Talk to My “Boyfriend”

I’m not crazy.  Despite what the editors over at Marie Claire and the producers over at Good Morning America might think.

Plenty of women start planning their wedding’s before they have a groom in mind.  Not only are we essentially programmed, as little girls, to start thinking about our big day (and the dress we’ll wear, the flowers we’ll carry and the handsome Prince Charming we’ll marry) but it’s virtually impossible to escape shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Wedded to Perfection” these days.

Plus, that’s not the real reason that I’m a “Single Bridezilla.”

I’m a “Single Bridezilla” because I think it’s ridiculous to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding when those tens of thousands of dollars could be better spent on a house.  Or a trip.  Or a new business venture.

So I’ve been collecting things slowly but surely over the years: first my grandmother’s wedding dress (which I’ll be modeling for the ABC folks later this afternoon), then an inexpensive and less-restrictive alternative to wear for the reception because it was TWELVE DOLLARS and how can you pass up a wedding dress for TWELVE DOLLARS?

Yes, I have tons of dress patterns and bridal magazines and hairpieces and assorted odds and ends (I was a bit surprised, actually, to see just how much I’ve amassed) but I never paid full price for any of these things.  In fact, most were given to me, or purchased on clearance, with coupons or at flea markets.

So I’m not crazy.

In fact, I’d like to think that I’m the opposite of a “bridezilla.”

Which is exactly what I told The Wedding Date when I called to explain that I’d be doing an interview about wedding planning on national television and that the producers would like to interview him as well.

At first he didn’t believe me but then, once I assured him that I was in fact telling the truth, he said he’d think about it.

“I’ll come for moral support either way,” he said, “but I’m not sure I want to be on TV.”

“I totally understand,” I said.  “No hard feelings.”

A few hours after that initial conversation, I got a follow up email from one of the producers.  “Just as a reminder,” it read, “we’ll want to talk to you, your mother and your boyfriend.”

My boyfriend?

Hold on a minute.

I don’t even call him that.  Aside from the title of yesterday’s blog post (which was really for the sake of convenience more than anything else), I’ve never called The Wedding Date “my boyfriend.”

I’ve published several guest posts on the subject—“the subject” being of the friend-to-boyfriend conversion— one written by friend Siobhan (Of Pandas and Pigeons, or How to Bag a Brit) and one written by my friend Meghan (Crossing the Rubicon), but I’ve said very little on the subject myself, mainly because everyone else seems happy enough to define our relationship for us.

At my friends’ wedding in Boston earlier this month, a relative of the bride introduced herself to us during the cocktail hour.  After congratulating me on the quality of my reading, she asked, “So where are you two from?”

“I’m from Philadelphia,” I replied, “and he’s from Jersey.”

“So you don’t…?”

Her voice trailed off but the implication was obvious: So you don’t live together?

“No,” I replied.

She raised her eyebrows.

“It’s rather recent,” I explained.  As in “It’s only been six months and for five of those six months I was still sort-of seeing someone else.”

The deacon was curious too.

“So he’s just your ‘Plus One’ then?” he asked just as I’d popped a cube of cheese into my mouth.

“No, not quite,” I replied.

“So you’re good friends?”

“Well, we’re more than that.”

Special friends then?  Or perhaps friends with benefits?”

I don’t remember what I said in reply, except that I was getting tired of answering everyone’s questions and couldn’t wait to get dinner over with so that we could start dancing (because when The Wedding Date and I dance together, I think it’s pretty obvious that we’re more than “just friends”).

For the record, I did ask the man in question how he wanted me to be introduced.

“Are you fine with being just ‘The Wedding Date?” I inquired.  “Or would you rather be ‘My boyfriend, The Wedding Date?’  Or ‘My friend, The Wedding Date?’  Or… or whatever?”

“I don’t know,” he replied.  “I haven’t done the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing since high school.”

“Since high school?  Seriously?”

This seemed absolutely ludicrous to me—not because I care what The Wedding Date and I call one another but because it’s always seemed like such a big deal in every other relationship I’ve had or haven’t had.

Of course, to further complicate matters, I’ve started hanging out with a lot of Quakers over the past few years and with Quakers, it’s always “my partner this” and “my partner that.”

I told The Wedding Date (in jest) that I would simply start referring to him as “my lover” and he seemed quite keen on this idea but something tells me this wouldn’t go over so well at weddings or family get-togethers…

Thoughts?  Is the term “boyfriend” outdated or is it simply too soon to adopt the title?

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22 thoughts on “And Now the Producers Want to Talk to My “Boyfriend”

  1. People love labels. They feel most comfortable when they can put others into convenient categories with one-word descriptors. This especially goes for the complex and sensitive area of relationships. I have to wonder, though, is it really necessary? You are you and he is him. You see each other when you can and enjoy one another’s company. Does anything more really need to be said?

  2. My two cents is that you two are essentially bf/gf, just without the title. When and if you decide to officially declare the title is up to you and him. You obviously don’t have to, especially since its new. But eventually, these introduction things will get annoying for you and odd to others… For instance if you end being together for a year a more and still introduce him as a plus one when its pretty obvious that you’re together. Yes the term boyfriend seems rather high school, but unfortunately there isn’t really an alternative term (unless you go with partner, which also works).

  3. Although I agree with Josh above – clearly by my comment – I will add this: when cornered again, just say “we’re dating.” If they need more, tell them you’ll get back to them when you figure it out.

    I had a hard time introducing Ms. D at first, so I just went with my close friend. If someone asked if we were dating or BF/GF, I said yes, just to make things easier on me.

    • Ha, funny, my girlfriend and I came up with a P-cubed, which is totally related to relationships, but more from the negative end: primary pessimistic position, or the thought that “this isn’t going to work out” always beating out “this is great.”

    • I knew we made you Captain for a reason! I like Bouncer best. Maybe I’ll make him a name tag (in our signature Phoenix Rising colors of course).

      PS: Do we HAVE signature PR colors?

  4. You’re seeing each other. You’re dating. You’re enjoying each other’s company and having adventures together. Titles will be applied when and if necessary. Don’t let a GMA shoot (or a deacon) force you into a “box.”

  5. Yeah, the term “single bridezilla” applied to you isn’t really appropriate, because the schadenfreude appeal of Bridezillas (the show) is how the brides become raving lunatics when something doesn’t go their way. You’re more like single “advance planner.” :-) (Doesn’t have the same ring to it).

  6. And the deacon didn’t have more important things to do than quiz you on relationship status? I don’t really know what a deacon is/is for, but I’m betting it’s not that. I’m starting to wonder about him….

  7. I’m w/ Tap Teaser, the bridezilla moniker is just what they need to call you so that it is appealing, but I think just coming from this family, “advance planner” is more apt. We plan EVERYTHING, and because of that are able to be extremely frugal and cost effective ;)

  8. If you can answer yes to both these questions, he is your boyfriend.
    1. Are you seeing him exclusively?
    2. Would you be mad if he had a romantic liason with someone else?
    You Americans make it so compliated.. :) It’s not like ‘boyfriend’ means that you’re going to stroll down the aisle with him in yoru Grandmother’s dress anytime soon, if at all.

    Anyway, those ABC people just want a good story. You’ll be acting it all out anyway.. the only zilla you are is a blogzilla.

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  10. I’m the other “Single Bridezilla,” although I’m also not a Bridezilla at all; just a planner. Thought it was sweet how they called us desperate. Glad we could share the screen together.

    • Nice to “meet” you Sarah– although I was on my way to work when the segment aired so I still haven’t seen it yet! Read the transcript though, and I don’t think either of us is desperate! Just planning ahead :)

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  13. I think that you have to judge for youself how to label someone depending on the situation. For example, when I was still working in retail, I got into the habit of wearing a ring on my left hand and referring to Adam as my fiancee whenever I got hit on.

    Now whenever we are at events where we are meeting people, it seems awkward to refer to him as my boyfriend, we’re in our mid-twenties…and it just sounds so highschool. Plus whenever people find out that we’re not already engaged, the question comes up “Ooo, when are you guys going to get married!?” (a question that I believe should never be asked…come on people, just wait until you see the ring)

    Sometimes I think ’rounding up’ labels just makes life easier for all.

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