I have just started seeing someone new, and I am uncertain as to how to refer to my new significant other with my friends and other people who are curious about our situation. We are not officially dating; he is certainly not my boyfriend, and I want to avoid using that term. I need another term that effectively expresses our minimal commitment, limited but unique affection, and penchant for drunkenly hooking up while still caring about each other enough to acknowledge each other publicly. How do you suggest I effectively convey the extent of our relationship in public?May I suggest referring to him as your “boo”? The term, arguably made quite popular by the hit Nelly song, “Dilemma,” accurately expresses exactly the extent of the relationship you describe. In this song, Nelly mentions that fondness for his boo is by no means limitless or ultimate, and in fact, there is another for whom he has a deeper affection. “Boo,” is such an effective term of endearment because it indicates exactly what you intend to convey – that you are not quite dating, he is not your boyfriend yet, and he most likely never will be, but for some reason, you like him, and you’re going to keep him around, at least for a little while. By using this term, you will convey the fact that he treats you well, and you enjoy being with him, but he knows his place, and he will never attempt to move up to “boyfriend” status, even though you care about him much more than you usually care about those with whom you have occasionally hooked up. “Boo,” is sometimes taken to mean a person for whom you have a special affection, with whom you intend to develop a more lasting commitment, and the seriousness of this use may dissuade you from applying this term to your current situation. If you are confused about this connotation of the term, I suggest you refer to Usher’s song, “My Boo,” which makes reference to a more exclusive type of “boo,” but even in this case, the relationship is based upon mutual respect and fondness and has grown into a lasting dependency, but is not a constant romantic commitment. Although there are varying, sometimes conflicting, applications for this term, it does still effectively emphasize that your new relationship need not be exclusive or limiting in any way, and it will not produce a lasting romantic commitment, even if you have developed an inexplicable, if fleeting, fondness for this person.