Partner? Boyfriend? Mate?

Many of you have asked me about happy letters. As in, where are they? Frankly, I rarely receive happy letters because blissfully happy people don’t often write to advice columnists. But recently, I got one. So here you go.
After bitter divorces on both sides, my honey and I have finally found each other. We are happy as clams, sex is fabulous, love spending time with each other, friends, family - pretty much everything you would want in a relationship. Oh and by the way - we are over 40. Which leads to the big question -- what exactly are we? It sounds extremely childish to say 'he's my boyfriend', too clinical (and to be blunt, gay) to say I'm his “partner,” we're not living together (yet) but even then - roommate? We are committed to each other for as long as we both shall live - but don't want the paperwork of marriage. What do we call ourselves???? -- happy but curious, Stoughton/MA

HBC, good question. You’re right -- “partner” is often used to describe gay relationships. “Roommate” is weird. “Boyfriend” does sound childish. You could go Beastie Boys/”Juno”: “He’s the cheese and I’m the macaroni.” You could go gross: “He’s my lover.” You could go Mary Wells: “He’s my guy.” You could go Bobby Brown: “He’s my tender roni.” I know it sounds childish to say boyfriend, but it sort of works. He’s not a boy. He’s not your friend. But that word has come to mean: “He’s the man I make out with and I’m pretty psyched about it, so keep your hands off.” And that’s pretty much what you want to say. My advice is: Use it. Own it. In some ways, it’s pretty cool to be an over-forty-something with an awesome boyfriend, right? Readers? Other terms? Thoughts? Suggestions? Share here, please. And read about another woman's struggle to find the right term for her "someone." -- Meredith