So where exactly do I begin with this one? This cliche is connected to my parents, well my mom specifically. She would say things like, “how is your lil’ friend?”, and I would correct her. She would follow by saying “oh you know what i meant.” No! I don’t know what you (or anyone else) that refers to my significant other/my girlfriend/my wife/my lover as “my little friend” means. Because she’s not a friend in the context of how you’re using the word – loosely .
By definition, a ‘friend’ is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. But THIS person I’m in love with. I care about. I share more than just the mutual affection that two friends have. This person is MORE than a friend, she is my girlfriend. Use that word! Acknowledge her title, especially if she’s meeting the family.
Think about your own significant other scenario. You’re are at a family gathering and your parents call your girlfriend or boyfriend your ‘lil friend’. That might make your lover feel hurt, angry, and/or uncomfortable. It might lead to an unnecessary argument. Neither me or my girlfriend feel accepted when you refer to her as my “lil’ friend”. It makes me think that you view my sexuality and relationship as a phase when you don’t accept who I am and who I’m dating. I know my mom doesn’t mean any harm, but at the same time, it is important that she understand and acknowledge my significant other appropriately. I kept correcting her and now she acknowledges her as my girlfriend/wife (not “my lil friend”).
To my LGBT community – It’s okay to correct any person. It’s alright to tell them, “hey, that’s my girlfriend or boyfriend. Not my friend.”
Never ever be afraid to correct anyone. They don’t have to like it, but they have to respect it. Because at the end of the day, your girlfriend/boyfriend not going anywhere. You love that person. That person makes you happy. What makes your relationship different from anyone else’s? Nothing. So correct them, every time, until they get it.