I’ve been trying to come up with another name for inner circle big L, life partner committed type lovers. I don’t like “primary”. I don’t like primary for a bunch of reasons.
Life partner is just too damn long and kind googly.
Partner in general doesn’t work because a partner could be any kind of relationship. It doesn’t imply any commitment.
Sweetie or Honey could be someone you’ve dated a week or a lifetime and also doesn’t really replace primary because they can refer to people you have sex and friendship with, or are deeply bonded to. These would be more synonymous with “partners”.
Primary as a term is problematic because it implies the existence of secondaries. Then you have to have discussions about if you can have more than one primary because primary kinda hints at top or first and one and only, even if many believe you can have more than one primary. There’s hierarchy and veto power and the implication that primary means singular or at least better. Primary seems to say “I will hold this person, my primary, my number one, above all others. If I have a primary and you date me, you will always be second to them, whether I call you secondary or not. Primary seems to say that others will be treated less well or some people rank lower. It’s too.. numerical. It’s too.. ranking.
I like the idea that relationships are fluid and that connections aren’t really ranked, but that there are some connections that have weight. There are some special people in life that we commit to or deeply bond with. I’d like to have the good stuff of primaries without the crap. I’d like to give the primary commitment without the primary term price tag.
My husband is and always will be special to me. If we make it, and it looks like we may.. ahhhh.. counseling and working it out. 🙂 If we make it, I’d like to have him always as my primary, in the way that I mean primary. We have a history and a commitment. We have memories and love and shared life, years of experience bonding, time we’ve put in, property, daughters we’ve raised, investments, years of friendship and love. He is an inner circle big LOVE connection. If I date 100 people over the next million years, I’d like to keep it that way. I don’t ever want to replace or get rid of him. If I alone designed our future it would transform from Hubby and SeattlePolyChick against the world to Hubby and SeattlePolyChick and Roller Girl and Great Date and… against the world. I don’t want to be Hubby’s one and only or have him as mine, but I do want us to stay committed, loving, and dedicated and I’d like maybe a few others to be in that inner circle too. I’d also like to continue to date and sexual variety and a variety of connections. I’d like a term that is better than primary to refer to those people I am bonded with and committed to and with whom I spend my life.
I propose the term “mate”. Below are some of the meanings of the term mate according to Freed Dictionary by Princeton. I made ones specific to my use RED.
I know.. I know. Mate means more than one thing. But here’s the deal.. one of those things it means is exactly what I am talking about. Mate can be a friend (British) or a Naval ship member, but it also means the sexual partner or sexual bond of an animal.
To me a primary isn’t someone that I hold above all others necessarily. They do however mean a lot to me. It’s a member of my inner circle of trust. I may or may not marry or live with or have a family with these people, but they are loving dedicated, committed relationships. They are people I’d take care of if they were sick and I’d hope they’d help me. I wouldn’t screw people over for them, but I would invest a lot in them. These are my high investment relationships.
So, this is how I would use the term “mate” as a noun. I like mate because it’s a scientific word for what I’m talking about. I like it because it’s also gender neutral and can be any kind of relationship.. husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend whatever. People can refer to their gender queer homosexual switch they share their life with as their mate just as can someone who is religiously married to someone or somebodies.
It’s slightly problematic because of the alternative meanings of the word to, at the very least, the British people and their surrounding countries and the American sailors. I get that.. and then there is the idea of mating as just sex, which is not really the meaning of primary or primaries, but it would stick in some people’s heads that way.
So.. I love the term mate but am open to other terms that would replace the term primary.
|Noun||1.||mate – the officer below the master on a commercial ship|
|2.||mate – a fellow member of a team; “it was his first start against his former teammates”
associate – a person who joins with others in some activity or endeavor; “he had to consult his associate before continuing”
|3.||mate – the partner of an animal (especially a sexual partner); “he loved the mare and all her mates”; “camels hate leaving their mates”|
|4.||mate – a person’s partner in marriage
better half, married person, spouse, marriage – people who are married to each other; “his second marriage was happier than the first”
consort – the husband or wife of a reigning monarch
domestic partner, significant other, spousal equivalent, spouse equivalent – a person (not necessarily a spouse) with whom you cohabit and share a long-term sexual relationship
|5.||mate – an exact duplicate; “when a match is found an entry is made in the notebook”|
|6.||mate – one of a pair or set; “he lost the mate to his shoe”; “one eye was blue but its fellow was brown”
singleton – a single object (as distinguished from a pair)
|7.||mate – South American holly; leaves used in making a drink like tea
holly – any tree or shrub of the genus Ilex having red berries and shiny evergreen leaves with prickly edges
|8.||mate – informal term for a friend of the same sex
friend – a person you know well and regard with affection and trust; “he was my best friend at the university”
|9.||mate – South American tea-like drink made from leaves of a South American holly called mate|
|10.||mate – a chess move constituting an inescapable and indefensible attack on the opponent’s king|
|Verb||1.||mate – engage in sexual intercourse; “Birds mate in the Spring”
nick – mate successfully; of livestock
bonk, do it, eff, fuck, get it on, get laid, have a go at it, have intercourse, have it away, have it off, have sex, be intimate, lie with, roll in the hay, screw, sleep together, sleep with, make love, hump, jazz, love, bed, bang, make out, know – have sexual intercourse with; “This student sleeps with everyone in her dorm”; “Adam knew Eve”; “Were you ever intimate with this man?”
tread – mate with; “male birds tread the females”
|2.||mate – bring objects, ideas, or people together; “This fact is coupled to the other one”; “Matchmaker, can you match my daughter with a nice young man?”; “The student was paired with a partner for collaboration on the project”|
|3.||mate – place an opponent’s king under an attack from which it cannot escape and thus ending the game; “Kasparov checkmated his opponent after only a few moves”|