The truth is, I never had a partner until very recently.
People always assumed that as someone who writes about relationships for a living, I was an expert. Actually, I was a mess: a 28-year-old writer offering relationship advice in major publications, whose personal dating life was very similar to a carton of eggs… in that I had an eight-week expiration date. I threw words like "love" and "partnerships" around flippantly, not knowing what they really meant.
It wasn't until I found a companion I completely trusted and fit with that having a partner took on a whole new meaning for me.
"Partner" always just seemed like a neutral term
When I started writing pieces about dating and relationships, I used the term “partner” because it’s gender-neutral; a word I first heard of in the LGBT community back when people still referred to their girlfriend or boyfriend as their roommate.
I wanted people who read my work to be able to relate to what I was saying, no matter where they fell on the gender-sexuality spectrum. Outside of that, a partner was no different in my mind from a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or lover.