I Sort Of Hate The Word Fiance

by Engaged & Confused
Antonis Achilleos / TheKnot.com
photo by Antonis Achilleos

How do you introduce your soon-to-be-spouse? Fiancé is the obvious choice. The definition, according to Merriam-Webster, refers to someone soon to be married. (If you're interested, fiancé refers to a man who's about to be married, and fiancée to a woman who is soon-to-be wed. Who knew?)

But to me, no matter how you spell it, it seems like such a strange word…and I sort of hate it. I'm not the only one — Seinfeld's Elaine addressed it in the episode The Stranded.

Like the woman in the clip, I don't speak French. Every time I say this particular word I feel like I should be wearing a beret and possibly eating a croissant while doing so. It also seems odd to lead an introduction with such personal information (engagement, wedding planning, etc.).

The problem is, when I introduce my soon-to-be-husband as my boyfriend, it doesn't seem to represent the gravitas of the situation we find ourselves in. The worst part is when I introduce him as such, people who know “the truth" take it upon themselves to helpfully say “you mean your fiancé!!" Clearly, I am privy to this information and for whatever reason chose not to broadcast it. I am tempted to reply “Wait, what….? I'm engaged? That's so cool — and certainly explains this diamond ring I seem to be wearing. Thanks!" Sometimes, I try to avoid both terms and go with a simple “This is [my guy's first name]." It's factual, if not utterly romantic.

Since we're getting married in a shorter amount of time (hopefully within six months), I'm viewing this awkward attribution issue as something to be weathered, like the flu…or adolescence. There's an end in sight — one where I'll use the traditional, English, easy-to- say “husband." But definitely not “hubby".

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