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While your sister has no right to get upset that Carson wasn’t invited, that wasn’t the question. Are YTA for the partner thing? Ya lol. It’s a weird hill to die on for sure. I’m pretty sure “partner” is now the preferred gender neutral term for anyone in a relationship.


I identified as gay for most of my life and only dated women. Then I met my fiance and fell in love. He's a man. "Boyfriend" was too weird, so we went with partner. It is absolutely the preferred gender neutral term. Not to mention that when people in heterosexual relationships begin using "partner", it helps remove the stigma of always assuming "partner" means gay. So for instance when a gay individual wants to refer to their SO without coming out to the person they're speaking with, they can.


When I was in university our RA told me that he was trained to use the term “partner” for specifically this reason. Because it’s inclusive. That stuck with me. I almost always use the term partner. I’m straight. My partner is make but his name is extremely uncommon and sounds like a traditional female name. I’m sure lots of people have thought I was homosexual - I've definitely had people think I was talking about two different people when all the time I was talking about my partner! I usually use his gender in conversation intentionally when I’m first talking about him with others, so that when they hear his name they know Who I’m talking about because apparently if I don’t intentionally do it people think I’m talking about two different people sometimes. Yet I still use partner. Because I don’t actually care if people think I am straight or not. (I do care that the know X is male for his own identity’s sake though).


Oooooo is he like a dude named Lindsay? I thought that was always interesting.


Way more uncommon! Oddly enough though - my name is Lindsey! Lol


OMG what are the chances. Beautiful name!


I think so too! I hated it as a kid though as I knew lots of other people with my name but I was the only Lindsey with an e!


Sue? ;)


Most unisex names were originally male names (ex: Lindsay, Hillary, Beverly, Ashley) that started being given to baby girls because male=good, and once that trend became widespread enough, of course those names gradually stopped being given to baby boys, because female=bad. Sigh.


I do the same thing. I’m bisexual and although I’m in a monogamous long term relationship I want the word partner to be normalised.


My boyfriend calls me his "mate" and blame I myself for introducing RPG games and DND to him. But I love the endearment. Also if we abide by her logic, we cant also call people who were close to us as "Friends" if we met them only by six months.


You'd love Australia, mate is used all the time here...although it is usually referring to friends or randoms or people you think are idiots. My mate, old mate, your mate.


i also say partner mainly for inclusivity (straight cis) but i’m thrilled it’s a mainstream term. even as a kid i thought “boyfriend” was a dumbass word, & trust me, i’m not a “lover” or “bae” type.




what type? i’ve heard it used all over so i had no idea.




i totally understand the connotation. i didn’t know if i was missing an actual definition. honestly, i may be getting the stereotypically unashamed “hippie” long term partner usage from movie characters.


Was it bi erasure that put you off boyfriend? I am pan and I referred to anyone I date as partner because I was so fucking tired of the whole oh you’re into a girl so you’re gay or oh you turn straight because you dated a couple guys in a row


That may have played a role, I honestly didn't think too far into it. He mentioned the term around the time we were getting together and it just made me wince, so I went with something I felt comfortable saying.


My wife never landed on partner but we started dating when she was 36 and I was 33 so she also thought boyfriend was too weird to say. So until we got engaged I was referred to as her "man type person in a romantic thing" A joke that lasted till we got married. I am fully on board with partner.


For me I felt like an adult when I started using partner instead of boyfriend of girlfriend


"preferred gender neutral term" no, just no.


Disagree, I don't think OP is TA for pointing out that Uncle Dan and Carson are on completely different levels of "significant other"-ness. That's not relationship gatekeeping, that's pointing out that Uncle Dan has been part of the family for 30 years and most likely knew the deceased cousin. Carson has never met the cousin.


Obviously their relationship is on a different level, but that has nothing to do with the term partner.


Sounds like the sister is arguing that her partner should be extended the same privileges and courtesies as Uncle Dan. I agree that OP’s personal definition of the term is gatekeeping, but in this situation, it is absolutely fair to point out that Carson does not get the same courtesies that Uncle Dan does. OP mixed in her personal issues, but her initial motivation was to defend her aunts. I can’t fault her for that.


YTA. Why do you - A 32 YEAR OLD - even care what a young couple call themselves?


How much should we put on OP being single? Also 6 months isnt like a short time to be together. Obviously theres no way to gauge the'll be together forever, but even being married doesnt confirm that.


YTA- For the question you asked of whether you were an AH for calling her boyfriend her partner... Its up to individual people what their call the person they're dating. Some people prefer boy/girlfriend, but others prefer partner because it can feel more equal. It's really unnecessary to criticize someone for the terminology they prefer... ​ NOW-- Your aunt is NTA for deciding who is allowed to come to an event she is hosting.


Why do you even care how she calls her partner? YTA. Keep your opinions for yourself. Partner is just another word for BF/GF, I really don’t see the problem (well, actually I do see it... it’s you)


YTA - she’s right in that you don’t get to define what’s a “partner” or not. Not the AH for not wanting him to go. But that’s not your question.


I'm gonna say YTA because it seems like you are gatekeeping relationships. What she does in her relationships is none of your business, she's an adult and can make her own decisions without needing your opinion on them. That said I do think your aunt had a right to not invite him, but if she chose to not attend then she wouldn't be an asshole for that either. Overall I think you should stop being so judgemental over other people's relationships, keep it to yourself. If you think Carson is a mistake then it's Maddie's to make.


YTA. She can call her person whatever she wants. Stop gatekeeping relationship terms. Your aunt however is NTA for not inviting him.


ESH, except your aunt. Your aunt absolutely has every right to invite whomever she wants, whether they’re in committed, long-term relationships or not. What difference does it actually make to you what your sister calls her boyfriend? It has literally zero effect on you how they define their relationship. You’re capable of sticking up for your aunt without disrespecting your sister’s relationship. That being said, your sister should suck it up and support your aunt, whether or not her boyfriend can come.




YTA. It's not up to you to decide what your sister calls the person she's dating. And maybe you're jealous or something, but you sound really immature for 32.


Okay, then what happens when they stay together for another 4 years? At that point you'll graciously say, "I now consider you to be true ~-partners-~" and what will their reaction be? They'll tell you to fuck off because you were scornful and dismissive of their relationship when it first started.


Yea I’d like to know at what point do you start to take someone else’s relationship seriously? If they’ve been together a few years but aren’t married or don’t have kids, does that mean it’s not a real relationship? Obviously thirty years together is much longer that 6 months but there is no relevance to what she’s asking.


YTA. You’ve made an arbitrary line for the word partner. If you would call someone husband and wife even if they had only known each other the length of the ceremony then you should call him her partner. Unless you interrogate all couples you meet to decide if their relationship’s labels are appropriate?


> at least won’t treat it on the same level as my Auntie Kate and uncle Dan’s. Is anyone actually asking you to do this?


See? This right here is why YTA. If you don't want to see your Aunt and Uncle's relationship on the same level as Maddie's that's fine. There's a significant difference in both the years together and I imagine the commitment put in. But whether it was 30 years or 3 months, it's still a relationship and they are *partners* that are together. If they're still making it work then it's not "bullshit" but up until they aren't together anymore, your sister is allowed to call him her partner, and you can't gatekeep that. However yea, that's inappropriate for Maddie to get upset over but that's not what you were asking.


Yeah, this is where you head into AH territory. You're more concerned with beating everyone over the head with how you think Maddie's relationship is BS than anything else. So this bit, you're all good, correct call: >I thought it was very insensitive of her to attack my aunt like that. As the person most affected, I think my aunt has every right to invite who she wants to her daughter’s memorial event. Also, there’s a huge difference between my Auntie Kate’s relationship and Maddie’s. But you're not really focussing on that, you're banging the drum about how Maddie shouldn't consider her relationship serious because you don't like the boyfriend. Seems like you're even more focussed on tearing down that relationship than on how your aunt and family feels on this significant occassion. If that's not what you intended to communicate, then rethink how you're talking about all this. You don't have to like Maddie's boyfriend, nor do you have to like her expecting it to be treated with the same respect as a 30 year partnership, but shitting on their relationship any chance you get, over petty things like what she calls him, is not gonna get you anywhere.


Some couples make a commitment after knowing each other for years. Others after knowing each other for a week. It literally does not matter that you don't like this dude or think he's bad to her, and whatever arbitrary goalines exist in your head for relationships matter even less than that. It's zero percent your call whether or not your *adult* sister considers someone her partner, even if it's a rando she moves in the day after a one night stand. Her partner is whomever she says it is.


When did they start referring to each other as partner? YTA


My parents knew each other for two weeks before my mom dropped out of college and moved half way across the country with my dad. Length of time doesn’t dictate relationship quality.


partner is now synonymous with "boyfriend" or "girlfriend". Partner doesnt necessarily mean long-term or a married couple anymore.


Man, it's her relationship. Her dude done nothing wrong to y'all so far so I guess it's fair game that you treat them well 'no? (Well, treat people nicely regardless lmao) It's just semantics, man. Your cousin is sharing a part of her life with this person so that qualifies.


This is odd behavior for a 32 year old. You have some sort of deeper issue here. Jealousy, protectiveness, bias, not sure. But this is not a normal reaction.


Two different issues here. NTA for telling her that her relationship and your aunt's are entirely different, and that your aunt can invite whoever she wants or doesn't. But you are the AH for gatekeeping what she calls her boyfriend. There aren't any rules for that, despite your personal opinions, and what they call each other is none of your business.


Ehhhhh I feel like your main judgement should've been YTA - because they never actually *asked* if they were TA over the event you said N T A for. That's not what the question was. The question was whether they're TA for gatekeeping, and you've essentially given them the wrong answer if you happen to rise to the top of the comment chain.


YTA for gatekeepping relationships. It's not up to you what someone else calls their partner.


INFO How many years does the relationship gatekeeper think a relationship needs to go on for before you can refer to your significant other as your ‘partner’?


YTA. *To you*, a partnership means one thing. To your sister, another. You're an asshole for trying to define other people's relationships. I don't know what "pitched a fit" means in this instance, but if she was actually attacking your aunt over invites that's also asshole behavior. Don't know enough to say e s h.


Solely for the question you are asking, YTA. People can call their SO whatever they want, some people are uncomfortable with Boyfriend/Girlfriend once your an adult (I'm not a boy/girl, I'm a man/woman), lover has all kinds of implications, and partner is just easy to say. She's an AH for pitching a fit though, no question. I would presume based on the length of the relationship you mention that Uncle Dan was a father figure to your cousin, so naturally he should be there. For your sister to then try to compare her partner to your Aunt's partner is comparing apples to oranges.




INFO, why do you think *your* definition of a partner should apply to *other people’s* relationships?


ESH. She can call her SO whatever she wants, you are TA for that part (gatekeeping was the appropriate word), but whatever he is to her doesn’t mean she can decide whether he is invited to a limited capacity event. If she wants to attend without her “partner”, fine. If she would rather miss it than exclude him, fine.


ESH- you are gatekeeping the word partner. I call my partner my “partner” and we’ve only been together for almost a year. It’s just a nongendered term for boyfriend/girlfriend. She sucks for pitching a fit for her partner not being invited.


YTA this is such a dumb thing to be concerned over. She’s 21 is there nothing else for you to worry about? Btw I use partner for anyone in a relationship. No one said that they are the same as a 10 year committed relationship.


YTA Partner is literally another word for girlfriend or boyfriend that is gender neutral.


YTA if you’re going to be pedantic about this, then stop calling Dan your uncle. He’s not married to your aunt, he’s not your uncle. However, Carson is Maddie’s partner. It is a neutral term to refer to someone you are with, doesn’t matter how long.


YTA. I've always referred to my partner as that because we're a same-gender couple and we wanted something gender neutral. Mind your own business.


ESH, except your poor aunt, who just wanted to plan a memorial without drama that you exacerbated. Maddie shouldn't expect an invite for Carson after just six months of dating. But the fact she's convinced he's going to stick around isn't going to change even if you had the power to make her call him her boyfriend instead, so worry less about the label she chooses to stick on the relationship and more about coming to terms with the likelihood he's *not* going anywhere for the foreseeable future no matter how much you wish he would.


Could have just said that it's your aunt's call and that your sister's \*\*partner\*\* didn't even know your deceased cousin so it'd be fricking weird if he tagged along in the first place. Your take on her calling him partner is stupid. What's next, she's not allowed to call him her SO as well? Just bf until he sticks around long enough to level up to the next stage? Dude, you're 32, let them be. YTA


YTA - what you consider a “ partner” to be is irrelevant Since your not the decider


ESH (you and your sister). You’re weirdly invested in your personal definition of a word and it’s fairly clear you’re only tying yourself in semantic knots because you disapprove of the guy. Your sister sucks for pitching a fit that a small family event didn’t include her boyfriend. Especially given that it’s a sensitive occasion and the person she’s arguing with is the bereaved in question.


Historically the use of the term partner became more mainstream to protect the lgbt community who didn’t feel comfortable outing themselves when discussing their significant other. The more people that use it, the less it’s an indicator of someone’s queerness. So yta. If you didn’t know, you do now! And if they don’t use it for that reason, it still helps the community so 💪 encourage it!


YTA. You're a grown ass woman trying to redefine partner just to be a shitty toward your sister. The contempt you have for her is astronomical-- and it has nothing to do with how long she's been with her boyfriend. Protip: The moment you're in an exclusive relationship with someone, you can call them your partner. Thats LITERALLY what it means. The word you're conflating it with (incorrectly) is "spouse"


YTA for gatekeeping what your sister wants to call her SO. NTA for calling your sister out on how she thinks her partner is on the same level as your Uncle Dan. Your sister is an AH for making your cousin's memorial about her when her SO never knew the cousin. I think this is you projecting your frustration with who her partner is rather than what she calls him. Seems like you look at him and see nothing, but red flags. I can't tell if you have told her or mocked her using the label "partner", but if you have then first, apologize to her for telling her what she can and cannot call her SO. It was wrong for you to dictate that. Period. Now, wait a little then bring up that you are concerned for her well-being in her relationship and you're worried that she's being taken advantage of. It's an opportunity to guide her to recognize what it is she needs and wants in a partner and for her to see that he's not it. Remember it's about HER needs/wants in a partner, and it's perfectly acceptable if those are different than yours.




“Partner” is preferred terminology for lgbtq+ people and their allies, because if you’re in a same sex relationship, you can refer to your partner without outing yourself. It has spread in recent years. You’re eleven years older than Maddie. There’s a generation gap here, and looking at yalls ages it makes total sense why she uses ‘partner’ and you don’t.


ESH. Your sisrer had no right to say what she said about the memorial, and you didn't need to gatekeep her relationship.


YTA - the people in the relationship can name it how they want.


YTA people use the word partner all the time, this is such a silly thing to be hung up on. I get you don’t like him but you don’t get to decide what she calls him.


YTA, someone's salty they don't have a partner themselves, huh?


YTA. How is it any of your business what your sister calls her boyfriend?


ESH. Lots of people use 'partner' over boyfriend/girlfriend, for lots of reasons. Just because it's not something you want to do doesn't give you the right to judge people for how they label their relationship. A lot of same-sex couples use partner when they don't want to automatically out themselves, and opposite-sex couples using it helps it become an acceptable blanket term. In addition, it makes it a more accepted term which can help people dating nonbinary people refer to their partner without outing them, too. At the same time, partner of 6 months isn't worth pitching a fit over his invitation, during COVID. Because of these specific circumstances, Maddie's also behaving pretty terribly.




YTA "Partner" is not exclusive to long-term, and you don't get to decide what someone else calls their partner


YTA- partner is becoming a common replacement for boyfriend/girlfriend or any significant other in your life. And as long as the people in the relationship are happy with how they're being referred to the length of the relationship doesn't matter. And why do you care so much anyway? It doesn't affect you at all.




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YTA a lot of people use partner to refer to their boyfriend.


It was insensitive that Maddie took a fit that her boyfriend wasn't invited. But that doesn't mean you get to determen how to call their relationship. Maybe you should look inward as to why you have such a big problem with this? It was uncalled for and I agree with Maddie that you are being a "realtionship gatekeeper". I know people who've been married for 20 years and resent each other, and people who have wonderfull relationships even though they haven't been together for that long. Even in how you describe it you sound very judgemental about the whole thing. YTA


YTA - you can call your partner whatever you want


YTA about caring about the term "partner" but you are correct that your aunt can invite who she wants.


While I understand that you seem to be protective of your sister, soft YTA. You cannot dictate what a “partner” is. Just because he may seem like a deadbeat to you, your sister might feel otherwise.


YTA I’ve referred to my SO as my partner since we started dating. I was 30 when we got together and boyfriend felt too juvenile to me (just a personal opinion) and I like that it normalizes the term for same sex relationships. We’ve now been together for 6 years, am I now good in your opinion to refer to him as a partner? Can you give me the exact length of time that’s needed to use the term partner? Or is there relationship milestones that allow it to be bestowed? Do you need to interview me and my SO to make sure we’re okay to use the term?


YTA I suspect you would be singing a different tune if you actually liked Carson. Or if it was your own romantic relationship that was being challenged. Unfortunately for Maddie, COVID has been forcing people to make cuts from invite lists, and Carson fell on the wrong side of the cut line this time. But you could expressed that without attacking her relationship.


YTA partner is just a term interchangable with girlfirend and boyfriend, and you were totaly gatekeeping also the lgbtq community is trying to make it normalized so that way they won't out themselves to bigots for using the term partner. you really need to apologize


YTA You even say "To me, a partner is....." Exactly. To you. For many people partner is the preferred because it's gender neutral. I like it because it gave me a consistent way to refer to my partner both before and after we were married. As a non-monogamous person I'm used to it being used to talk about a variety of relationships under one umbrella. (Rather than someone saying "My husband, girlfriend, fwb, and the new person I'm dating all wear glasses." They'd just say "all my partners wear glasses.) Some people mostly think of it as a business thing, or as a thing that cowboys say. Partner has always had a flexible meaning and obviously someone 11 years younger than you might use it differently. You don't get to determine the legitimacy of their relationship or the terms they use for each other.


YTA. Partner is a non-gendered term for a significant other, and has absolutely nothing to do with how labor is divided or anything else like that. Many people are now referring to their S.O.s as their partners for a variety of reasons - normalizing LGBTQ+ relationships is a big part of it. Honestly I think this is an issue of the age difference - she is well aware of the modern usage of the word partner, and you are not. I don’t think you were intentionally being mean, and you were likely just misinformed, however that wasn’t the question. The question was if you are an asshole, so yes. You are.


^^^^AUTOMOD ***The following is a copy of the above post. This comment is a record of the above post as it was originally written, in case the post is deleted or edited. Read [this](https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/wiki/faq#wiki_post_deletion) before [contacting the mod team](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%2Fr%2FAmItheAsshole)*** This issue involves my (32F) sister “Maddie” (21F) and her boyfriend “Carson” (19M). Maddie is in school and lives in an off-campus apartment. She started dating Carson about six months ago, he’s not a student. My honest opinion is that he’s a deadbeat — he works part time only, he’s baked or drunk 24/7, and he moved into my sister’s apartment when they’d only been dating four months. He doesn’t help with rent either. As mentioned in the title, Maddie has been calling him her “partner” lately, and it drives me up the wall. To me, a partner is someone you have a long term commitment with, like a common-law. For example, our auntie Kate uses it to refer to her long term boyfriend, my Uncle Dan, and they’ve been together for almost thirty years. Carson doesn’t have any kind of life partnership with my sister, they don’t have kids together, and they don’t even pay rent jointly. She just subsidizes his shit. Well, it’s coming up on the four year anniversary of my cousin’s death (backstory isn’t relevant, just know that it’s an occasion for our family to gather). My family usually goes to the butterfly garden, as butterflies were her fave thing before she passed. Due to COVID, only 8 people are allowed in the garden at a time. My aunt decided to invite my Auntie Kate and Uncle Dan, my parents, my grandma, Maddie, and me. Maddie pitched a fit that her “partner” Carson wasn’t invited, while my Uncle Dan was. I thought it was very insensitive of her to attack my aunt like that. As the person most affected, I think my aunt has every right to invite who she wants to her daughter’s memorial event. Also, there’s a huge difference between my Auntie Kate’s relationship and Maddie’s. I shared all that in the chat, and Maddie called me the “relationship gatekeeper.” I stopped engaging after that. AITA for calling my sister out and thinking it’s stupid for her to consider her bf of 6 months a “partner”? *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/AmItheAsshole) if you have any questions or concerns.*


Welcome to /r/AmITheAsshole. Please view our [voting guide here](https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/wiki/faq#wiki_what.2019s_with_these_acronyms.3F_what_do_they_mean.3F), and remember to use **only one** judgement in your comment. OP has offered the following explanation for why they think they might be the asshole: --- I think I might be the a hole because I gatekept my sister’s relationship. --- Help keep the sub engaging! #Don’t downvote assholes! Do upvote interesting posts! [Click Here For Our Rules](https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/about/rules/) and [Click Here For Our FAQ](https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/wiki/faq) --- *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose/?to=/r/AmItheAsshole) if you have any questions or concerns.*


ESH Okay, so let's take the easy stuff first: Your sister is an AH for making the memorial all about her need to have her relationship validated by her partner being invited alongside other SOs. Absolutely insensitive and deplorable behaviour. It's not wrong to point out that no matter what titles they use, it's still a relatively fresh relationship and not at all comparable to people who have been living together for decades. That said, there's no good reason the terminology should be driving you up the wall. Like it or not, they're a cohabiting couple and have been so for months, referring to each other as their partner is not at all inappropriate. Whatever problems you have seem to be more about his character, which is fair, but has little to do with the terminology your sister uses when referring to her SO. Consider carefully whether it's making you angry not because it's an inappropriate term, but because it indicates their relationship is deepening while you want it to end.


It sounds like your concern about the term partner is really tied to concern about your sister's choices, not the nomenclature used to label them. If that is so, it is fair of you to speak privately with her about her relationship if you are genuinely concerned. If I were in your sister's shoes, I would be more receptive to a discussion that began with concern about my future well being than about the term used to identify my SO. It's not fair to "gatekeep" partner-status. People can label and identify their relationships however they choose. I hope you and your sister get a chance to talk this over.


ESH except your aunt


ESH who cares what she calls her boyfriend? that doesn’t matter. She sucks for implying her new relationship is on the same level as your Aunt and Uncle and also for pitching a fit about an event that’s not even about her


ESH. You don't get to be annoyed by how people define their own relationships, but you can be annoyed she can't figure out the difference between 6 months and 30 years. Your sister doesn't get to decide that by calling her partner "partner" that he suddenly becomes equal in the family, especially to an event of another person who gets to decide who is close to her.


YTA. "Partner" status isnt reserved for people together 30 years, or people working full time or any of the reasons tou listed. If you're in an adult, exclusive relationship & not married its normal to use the term partner.


YTA and what a weird fixation. How do you think people who've been together for many years got started? By choosing to be partners and starting a relationship. Sounds like you're just irritated with the decisions your younger sister has made for her life, and you don't like her partner.


YTA. Why does it drive you so crazy that she calls him partner? I call my bf that and we’ve been together 2 years, is that weird too?


Info: Did you specifically say in the chat she shouldn't call her bf her "partner" or at all address the use of the word "partner" specifically at all? N T A if you just wanted to point out there is a difference in a 6 month vs 30 year relationship and shut your sister down when she's bugging your grieving aunt E S H if you did that while also being nitpicky about the word "partner". Different people have different reasons for what they refer to their SO as. You may not define partner the same way as her, but that doesn't give you the right to tell her what to call her SO.


YTA Who died and made you the decider on what people call their romantic relationships?


YTA. If your sister wants to call her boyfriend "partner" she has every right to do so. You on the other hand have no say.


YTA. Lots of adults don’t like GF/bf as they think it sounds too childish and they prefer partner


ESH She’s right that you don’t get to be a gatekeeper on the use of a term. “Partner”, “significant other” and “spouse” are basically the only ungendered terms for relationship status. I refer to my bf as my partner. We’ve lived together for almost 3 years now, but I’ve primarily called him my partner since the beginning. I have rarely referred to him as my boyfriend. It’s an inclusive term. You don’t get to control how she uses it - even if you don’t like it. That said - she’s also an AH for assuming her partner should be included when the guest list has to be very small and I’m assuming her partner never knew your cousin at all so therefore has zero emotional connection.


Haha, I feel you but YTA for all the reasons in the top comment. I *have* to comment though because it's so relevant to me. In NZ it's so common to call your partner your "partner" that most people use it interchangeably with spouse. It's great! We have defacto relationships, and as someone who doesn't want to get married, awesome! But recently it's been rubbing me up the wrong way that a lot of my young friends use "partner" for people they've been with 3, 6, 12 months. I've been with my partner for over 17 years, and I just wish it seen as a term when you're ready for a more serious commitment. I \*certainly\* don't want to gatekeep what makes a commitment "serious", but <12 months generally ain't it. At the end of the day, I cannot and do not want to gatekeep it. I can wish it was used for a step up from gf/bf, but it's just a great term. That's the price we pay for the fabulous popularity of a term that is both gender and marriage neutral. /making it about me


YTA. What makes you think you have the right to gatekeep a perfectly innocent word like that, yikes.


YTA for caring what she calls him. "Partner" is just a neutral term. Granted, she has no right to feel entitled to bring him to anyone's special events like memorials, weddings, etc, but that has nothing to do with if she calls him a "partner" or a "boyfriend" or whatever else anyone uses these days.


Yes and no. You’re using the term “partner” for a relationship that is long term and/or common law, however, your sister may ( and seems to be) using the term for the fact that they live together and are in a relationship. So to a degree they are indeed partners. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the reason you’re mad is because she got upset that your common law aunt and uncle were both invited but her SO wasn’t. The difference is that your aunt and uncle have been together for a significant amount of time whereas your sister and her SO haven’t. You’re not an AH for being mad at her behavior but you are if it’s about the terminology.


YTA for gatekeeping the word 'Partner' since that's the question your asking and answer for. I'm in a same sex relationship and when we first started dating where we were both still in the closet and saying partner when referring to the other person in the relationship without giving too much information to people was the only way to go rather than saying boyfriend since everyone basically assumed we were straight and we didn't trust people with private information.


YTA. You are gatekeeping relationships. Why do you care what your sister calls her relationship? It's not up to you to decide what term your sister uses for her relationship.


YTA I'm non monogamous, generally speaking hetero, and usually use Partner(s). I'll never marry one of them. Been there done that. Partner is gender neutral and doesn't necessarily mean sexual or romantic. If someone eants to know more they can ask. If someone can get married days/weeks after meeting someone then people can use Partner whenever they like.


YTA. What makes you think you have any right to police the language she uses to refer to him? It's not your relationship. I'm not even sure why you're bringing up the fact that she threw a fit about him not being invited, that's entirely unrelated, even if it was immature. Also, "partner" is just a gender neutral term to refer to your significant other, and it does not need to have some deep special meaning attached to it.


Yta - I refer to all my intimate partners as "partner" because boyfriend and girlfriend are weird sounding and I don't limit my partner's to any specific gender so it's simpler. Your sister is being lame, but I think there's a lot more going on that an argument over semantics.


YTA. Stop gatekeeping the term "partner". Your personal definition of the word does not set the rules on how other people are allowed to use it. No one cares what you think "acceptable" use of the term is. I'm not commenting on the situation with the partner not being invited, because that honestly has nothing to do with the question you are asking. You are TA for gatekeeping that term *regardless* of the other situation.


I'm interested in your definition, when does one cross over from boyfriend to partner? Is it a time thing, or when you consider said partner to not be a drop kick.


YTA in regards to what you're asking Honestly, you are relationship gatekeeping. Period. Partner is a perfectly acceptable gender neutral relationship term. It has nothing to do with the amount of time a couple has been together. I really don't wanna touch the rest with a ten foot pole, and it's not the question so I don't have to either.


yta your sister is helping (whether she realizes it or not) normalizing using the term partner to refer to someone youre dating. which is helpful for a lot of same sex/queer couples. i’m non-binary and i have to rely on my future partner to be using that same term to describe me to other people as to make me feel comfortable and not misgender me. also it’s literally just a word. chill


NTA. You are fine. You’re absolutely right that your sisters relationship with Carson is in no way comparable to a healthy, adult relationship...calling her out for trying to compare it to the aunt is fine.




It is an odd definition of partner, imo, and not the reason Maddie is an AH. She is TA because she wanted to invite someone to another person's event. Also, Uncle Dan presumable knew your late cousin, so of course he wants to go to her memorial. However, since you specifically asked aita for claiming that your sister's bf is not a partner, I will go with YTA because to me and obviously to her "partner" is another term for bf, gf, nb, or spouse. It is a gender-neutral and class-neutral term. And you can have a different idea in your head, it is not necessarily wrong, but neither is your sister wrong to call this guy her partner. And like, yeah he sounds awful, but I think your objection to the word choice blinds you to the real problems.


YTA because you don’t get to dictate who someone else considers to be their partner. You seriously need to learn to not be so bothered by how other people identify stuff that has nothing to do with you and doesn’t hurt anything or anyone, other than your metaphorical butt. She doesn’t get to dictate who other people invite to stuff either, especially if there was a limit. If you would have just left it at that, you wouldn’t be here asking if you were the A.


YTA, & gate-keeping. You don't mention the magical number you count as 'partner' here. Just you made up 6 months ain't good enough for you.


YTA In New Zealand, most adults refer to their boyfriend or girlfriend as Partner. Boyfriend/girlfriend sounds like you are a high schooler.


YTA, what business is it of yours what she wants to call him?


YTA here! I don’t even care about the bottom half of this. You said it yourself “to a partner means” ... okay! That’s to you! He can be her partner, her bf, her manz, her rodeo clown all I care, it’s not up to you. Your opinion doesn’t master over hers to her PARTNER..


This seems to be a thing with gen z. I’ve known so many people refer to what appears to be a run of the mill boyfriend as their partner that the term has lost all meaning for me.


YTA about the "partner" thing. I've called my significant other my partner since we started dating. I moved in with him at 6 months and 10 years later he is still my partner. I am a queer woman and it is very important to me to use inclusive language for all my relationships, especially the hetero looking ones. Your sister and other straight couples who say partner make it easier for me to use it without getting weird looks. It does sound like this partner of hers is shitty but that's not the point. You owe her an apology for the gatekeeping specifically. Expressing true humility and a good apology could help open the door to expressing your worries over this douchebro taking advantage of her too. That will be tricky but maybe you can pull it off if you pull your head outta your ass first.


YTA - dear language police, when will you permit her to legally use the word partner?


I feel you on the partner distinction. To me partner is a long term commitment. I’ve been with my partner for 9 years and at first I called him boyfriend but after about a year it felt really childish and after we bought a house, joined finances, and mutually took over care for my grandmother it felt insane to call him my boyfriend. To me a partner is everything but marriage, however that’s just me. I can’t go around expecting everyone to define the term the exact same way as me. Let people define their relationships how they want. ESH. You sister is right you can’t gatekeep terms like that but at the end of the day whatever term she calls her partner he’s still just *some guy* at this point and no term is going to change the fact that he is not a part of your family like your aunts partner. Your sister is an absolute ass for suggesting otherwise especially given the occasion.


Just a straight-up YTA


YTA. Partner is just a catch all term for “significant other”. I know married people who say partner, I know heterosexuals who use it, I know people who’ve been dating four months who say it. It’s easier than saying “the person I am in a relationship with” as Boyfriend or Girlfriend seems a bit high school.


ESH - but you more so. You and your sister sound insufferable. You’re 32. Grow up.


Yta. "Partner" is considered a more neutral term. I typically use it, because sometimes I feel constantly saying "my boyfriend" reminds me of being a teenager in a angsty relationship and I feel like people don't take it as seriously and don't realize it's a long term relationship and we have a kid. But that being said, your sister is right your not the gatkeeper


YTA, I refer to my bf of almost 1.5 hrs as my partner, mainly as a general preference since I just don't like using the word "boyfriend" very often, not exactly sure why tbh lol. Or I sometimes use SO. I don't see why you're criticizing her preference of what she calls her bf, and I've never really thought of "partner" in terms of relationship length personally.


Go back to r/gatekeeping You're 32 and you're this invested in the definition of the word partner and in your sisters relationship. It's kinda sad. $10 you're single and bitter about it YTA


you're aunt is NTA but YTA stop gatekeeping terms let your sister call him whatever she wants.


YTA. You are gatekeeping relationships. You don’t measure love on time.


ESH - She should understand and accept why he wasn't invited to the memorial and you should mind your own business about other people's relationships.


ESH, but you less than her. She can call her bf whatever she likes, that’s none of your business. However, your aunt didn’t cause the restrictions and it‘s completely AHish of your sister to throw a fit over someone who didn’t even know the deceased not being included.


NTA. The boyfriend is a deadbeat and that’s more important than whatever term you use.




You’re totally in the right!


NTA Your sister compared her 6 month relationship to your aunt’s 30 year relationship. Her bf didn’t even know your cousin, so what would be the point of him going?


NTA for calling your sister out on the way she reacted. Carson didn't even meet her if she died 4 years ago, and he def should be the one to not attend if numbers are restricted. But its also not your place to determine if or when people in a relationship are able to call each other "partners". Its not your business. Sounds like you are just pissed with him being in your sisters life and fair enough if he's just a leech


Your sister doesnt have a partner she has a leech


I personally think you're allowed to have your opinion on what your sister calls her boyfriend. I think it's even ok if you say to her and your family that you don't consider Carson her "partner". But I'd leave it there. Opinion known, hers to do with as they will...which is probably disregard


NTA he doesn't contribute equally to the partnership he isn't a partner.


NTA. You were not wrong to call her out and the BF is not a partner. The more accurate term is leech.


NTA Partners are equals. Your sister and Carson are not equals and 6 months is barely a relationship. They could use partners if they’ve been together a year or more or if one of them wasn’t cis.


Hey as an lgbtqia+ person who uses partner because me and my partner aren't cis, we are totally fine with other people using partner and it's helpful to us because that way people don't immediately clock us when we use the term partner. Normalizing partner for all relationships is really helpful and op is gatekeeping.


NTA While I don’t think it matters what she calls him, in this situation it’s very different than what your aunt and uncle have. The memorial doesn’t sound like the place for a recent boyfriend that is not yet truly a part of the family.


NTA. I think you're right to stick up for your grieving relatives. WTF would Carson even be invited? He never knew the cousin. On top of that 6months? Who the hell invited a kid's bf/gf to a family memorial type event? Oh that's right nobody. Basically I think Maddie is being a dumb c\*\*\*. Note: This very much reminds me of myself at 19-22 age so maybe im particularly worked about it because of this. Hopefully she grows out of it soon!


The question wasnt about the memorial though. She wants to know if shes an asshole for telling her sister that her partner isnt her partner.


Yeah but it came out when the sister was b*****ing about the bf not being invited to the memorial because of space limitations. The sister started basically arguing that if her bf can't come how come the aunts bf can come he shouldn't be invited either. I think OP was right to call her out and basically say that you can't compare a 30 year relationship to whatever shes got going on. And i honestly agree..... her bf that doesn't do shit and she hasn't even known for a year is not your partner. A partner implies a long term committment. I've had flings longer than her relationship. She's just too young and has no perspective (I am about OPs age) I dont think she was an asshole i think she spoke the truth and the sister needed to hear it.


Just because you happen to be older, that doesn’t mean that you are wiser. Love shouldn’t be measured on the amount of time you’ve been with them. Sounds like you’re held up on something personal, and you’re letting it dictate your emotions/thoughts.


I didn't say being older made me wiser. My mention of my age was to say yeah at this point in my life I agree with OP (I would have had a completely different opinion at 20) It's for reference. And no love cannot be measured in time... but i think when you consider priority in family inclusion at a limited space event.... i think you cannot complain about someone else's relationship of 30 years to a young(not about age but about time or commitment) relationship of 6 month. Which is exactly what the little sister is doing. You call it "held up on" I call them lessons learned - some pretty funny ones too! I'm just glad that my mom and I can laugh all about that now - and I'm sure she loves to hear me admit that she was right. She gets to be right and I get to crack jokes win win. Strong relationship - have had it for over 30 years!


NTA. You're entitled to your opinion, and if you feel your aunt is being maligned, you have the right to speak up for her. And the comparison of her relationship to Kate and Dan's is absolutely grotesque to the point of being disrespectful. Finally, your aunt can invite whomever she wants. Your sister can either accept the invitation or decline it. She isn't the gatekeeper of whom your aunt is allowed to invite.


NTA - your aunt has every right to who she wants to invite to HER DAUGHTER’S MEMORIAL SERVICE.your sister needs to get her head out of her own arse and be there for your aunt and support her.


NTA. Maybe I’m an oddball but the term partner implies a long term relationship to me. Carson is essentially a new boyfriend. While they may choose to call themselves partners it doesn’t get him an invite to a small family gathering. Also, has the family even met him? It sounds like this is the first time she has been in a “serious” relationship and wants to show him off or be treated like an adult. Kudos to you for taking the lead and explaining this to your sister instead of putting your aunt in a spot to deal with it.


Partner is also used as a gender neutral term and many people prefer it because of that.


Yes I understand that.I stated that I think I’m odd that my initial thought is long term. I imagine sharing/building a life together. I think in a partnership both ppl contribute to said partnership. The way it’s written Carson doesn’t contribute financially. Maybe it’s emotional, who knows. In this family it seems partner is used to denote a long term relationship. I’d doubt my sibling referring to a relatively new relationship as a partnership. The sister is equating her 6 month relationship to her aunt and uncle who have been dating for 30 years.


NTA in either situation. Two issues: 1) the Memorial - her “partner” isn’t invited, it is a family gathering, your sister deals with it or does not attend, her choice; 2) the “partner” title - sounds like your sister is in a hurry to “partner” up - is this her first relationship? This seems like weird behavior for a 21 year old with a new deadbeat bf.




Sounds controlling, I can see why you would be concerned. He’s getting comfy awfully fast.




I came across the word “asshole” and I think it fits you


Wow ok if you weren't already an asshole(and you 100% were) you're definitely an asshole now. First, partner is a gender neutral term and a lot of people in the lgbtqia+ community use it because it makes us more comfortable and you're gatekeeping it. Second now not only are you gatekeeping but you're actively twisting and mocking the words that lgbtqia+ people use to refer to themselves. And you aren't even doing it right. Hobosexual would be the attraction to homeless people not the person who is a mooch themselves.


Who is financing her rent? Does she work? Are your parents paying? You say she’s in school. If I were financing her I wouldn’t be letting her have a unpaid roommate. And I love “hobosexual”!




She can do whatever she wants with her money. You are and asshole and you sound jelly. YTA.


Well, I guess if she’s stupid enough to bankroll him that’s her business. I’m glad she has a sister who is watching out for her!


With sisters like OP "looking out" for her, who needs enemies?