As many single people will contest, the once-clear category of boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other seems passé. Or maybe these roles were never so clearly defined as I believed growing up. While "marriage" seems to be a pretty concrete concept with some widely agreed upon tenets, what does one call the friend one occasionally sleeps with, the ex-boyfriend or girlfriend with whom one occasionally gets together, or a collection of one-night stands?
I am curious as to why the term "lover" is so seldom used in this country. It sounds affected and strange whenever I hear it. Maybe "lover" needs to make a comeback. If we referred to that guy or girl we picked up at the bar or met online as a lover, would we would inject our behavior with a little more thought and lovingness, in the absence of a more maturely developed love?
Image above: So Besotted -- embroidered adjectives for "beloved." Completed 2008, with some linguistic help from a friend (see scrawled journal entry at right).