To me, at least, the words "girl" or "boy" imply some level of youth; I cannot see myself calling a 60 year old woman a "girl". From this, it follows that "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" also sound awkward when applied to people of certain age.
I've never said that the word "partner" was "great"; I just prefer to use it because it is concise, descriptive, and its meaning is typically clear from the context. I fail to see what political correctness has to do with it; to me it is just a matter of language efficiency. I have no problem talking about a "boyfriend" or a "girlfriend" when I know enough about the situation to be able to narrow the language down so, but when speaking in generals, I typically do not.
I am not sure why you are so sensitive about this word. You talk about not being politically correct, yet at the same time you are the one picking on the language some use in this thread. I do not quite understand the logic here. I, for one, have no problem with your choice of words. If you choose to talk about my hypothetical boyfriend, even though I'm fairly straight, I will be totally fine with it: again, a lot of the discussion in this thread is based on hypotheticals, so it's not like a wrong assumption about someone is going to break the argument.
First of all, my real problem with the word is that it annoys me. It is bizarre that I am getting this much backlash just for simply being put off by a word. I personally don't see anything out of the ordinary about two 60 year old's calling each other boyfriend or girlfriend. It is a common word that has been used for God knows how long. You don't reach age 50 or 60 and no longer need to use the term "girlfriend" or "boyfriend." a 70 year old can use the word, if you do or don't feel it is appropriate at that age. If 2 people of any age sex or sexual preference are together romantically they are boyfriend and girlfriend, until they get married, at which point they cannot refer to themselves that way. Partner is not a more appropriate term because it can mean different things.
The word partner is a newer politically correct term. It simply did not exist until recent years. If 2 people play a board game, I can see someone saying, "i need a partner." If you are playing pickup basketball and need another person, i can understand saying, "I need a partner."
Other than a nurse trying not to offend someone by using the term in a doctor's office, it is completely a politically correct term used to not offend people. If no one used the word in that context 40 years ago, it can't be an old common expression. It is an artificial word that again, was not used until recent years.
I am not sensitive about the word, i am sensitive about people attacking and criticizing my annoyance with the word. I am allowed to be annoyed with the word, the same way I am annoyed with the word "mate"
I never "talked about your hypothetical boyfriend" so don't put words in my mouth. I could care less if you are gay or straight, i was making a point about the use of "girlfriend and boyfriend" as opposed to "partner"
Why dont you get off my case, i dont know what you are saying about me not being politically correct. I didn't pick apart the language anyone used. That poster made a comment using a similar word defending the stupid word "partner" and used a similar word "participant" and was picking me apart so I gave it back to them. And don't ever say I implied you had a hypothetical boyfriend, now you are just being paranoid