Girlfriend: Wikis


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A young man with a possible romantic girlfriend.
A woman and her possible romantic girlfriend.

Girlfriend (About this sound pronunciation ) is a term that can refer to either a female partner in a non-marital romantic relationship or a female non-intimate friend that is closer than other friends.[1]

This term is often used loosely, and there is some debate over what exactly constitutes a girlfriend. In western society, it is generally agreed that "girlfriend" status begins when two people agree to date. Getting a girl to agree to such an arrangement is considered a milestone for young males, and is often seen as a sign of status, based on the perception of the girl amongst the male's peers.


Differing terms used

Although nuanced, for some there is a significant difference between "girlfriend" (one word) and "girl friend" (two words), or "boyfriend" (one word) and "boy friend" (two words).[citation needed]. In a strictly grammatical sense, a "girlfriend" or "boyfriend" is an individual with whom one shares a romantic relationship. A "girl friend" or "boy friend", however, is simply a friend identified on the basis of gender. This is sometimes also contravened by simply stating "ladyfriend" or "guyfriend". The terms "friend girl" (and "friend boy") are also sometimes used to indicate a platonic friendship. The transition between the two is a significant aspect of adolescent development.[2]

Despite this, both forms of "girlfriend" and "girl friend" are used by different people to mean different things. For example, when the term "girlfriend" is used by a girl or woman about another female in a non-sexual, non-romantic context, the two-word form "girl friend" is sometimes used to avoid confusion with the sexual or romantic meaning, however:- this is not a rule. In this sense of its usage, "Girlfriend" is used in terms of very close friends and has no sexual connotations, unless it is in the case of lesbian, bisexual, or pansexual women. The term "girlfriend" is also used in LGBT communities and can refer to people of any gender or sexuality.[1][3]

The term "girlfriend" does not necessarily imply a sexual relationship, but is often used to refer to a woman who is dating a man she is not engaged to without implying that she is having sex with him. With differing expectations of sexual mores, the term dating (when used of an activity involving a man and a woman) can imply romantic activity whereas simply using "friend" would likely avoid implying such intimacy. It is essentially equivalent to the term "sweetheart", which has also been used as a term of endearment.[citation needed]


  • A female engaged in an extramarital relationship with a married person is frequently considered a "mistress".
  • Some terms of endearment directed to females, a romantic relationship is not required, are "darling", "sweetheart", "love", "babe", etc.
  • Users of Internet slang and SMS slang often shorten girlfriend to the initialism gf.[4]
  • Additionally, gender-indiscriminate terms also apply (e.g., lover, heartthrob, paramour, squeeze, sweetheart, true love, wooer, date, escort, steady or suitor, admirer, companion).
  • Partners in a non-marital relationship are sometimes described instead as a significant other, partner, or life partner, especially if the two partners are living together. At times, since "girlfriend" and "partner" mean different things to different people, the distinctions between the terms are subjective, and which term is used in a relationship will ultimately be determined by personal preference.

Distinction from "lady friend"

Girls who are friends.

A similar, but not equivalent, concept is the more ambiguous "lady friend" – a companion of the female gender who is possibly less than a girlfriend but potentially more than a friend. That is to say, the relationship is not necessarily platonic, nor on the other hand, is it necessarily an exclusive, serious, committed, or long-term relationship. Yet, the term also avoids the overt sexual implications that come with referring a woman as someone's "mistress" or "lover". In that sense, it can often be a euphemism. Yet, this is not always the case; it is also sometimes employed when someone simply does not know the exact status of a woman that a man has been associating with. For instance, tabloid headlines often note that a celebrity has been seen with a new "lady friend".[5][6] "Lady friend" may also be used to signify a romantic relationship with an older woman, when the term "girl" as in "girlfriend" may be deemed age-inappropriate.

See also


  1. ^ a b Lowe, Janet; Beverly Guy-Sheftall (2001). "Oprah Winfrey Speaks: Insights from the World's Most Influential Voice". John Wiley and Sons, ISBN 0471399949. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  2. ^ RL Grover, DW Nangle, A Serwik, KR Zeff (2007). "Girl friend, boy friend, girlfriend, boyfriend: Broadening our understanding of heterosocial competence". Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology 36, No. 4: 491–502. 
  3. ^ Salamensky, Shelley I.; Beverly Guy-Sheftall (2001). "Talk Talk Talk: The Cultural Life of Everyday Conversation". Routledge, ISBN 0415921708. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  4. ^ What does gf stand for?, Retrieved on 2008-01-30.
  5. ^ Sir Paul McCartney photographed with married Hamptons lady friend
  6. ^


Simple English

with his girlfriend.]]

A girlfriend is a term that can mean either a female partner in a non-marital relationship, or just a female friend. Girlfriends are not single girls. Girlfriends can also mean a group of females who are close friends.

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