Linguistic Oddities: Part Vijf

Okay, this is also a poly post.  Two in one.

The term OSO (in poly lingo), bothers me some times. There are two accepted terms that can be abbreviated to this: Other Significant Other and Other’s Significant Other. The first is the most commonly used and the one that bugs me the most. It seems to to imply a mono sense of things or a hierarchy, that there is one main person and everyone else is “other”, which goes against my personal beliefs. Everyone is a person to me, no one is an “other”. The second one doesn’t bother me as much, as it is simply an easier way of saying “the other significant other of my significant other”, or metamour.

However, the whole term SO bugs me for another reason. The term seems to imply that there are, in fact, insignificant others, which I disagree with. There may be people in the world that I do not really care too much about them, as I do not know them or anything about their lives, but I would never say that they were “insignificant” per se. I can use this term as long as I can remember that it can also mean that these people play a significant part in my life and also that other simply means someone who is not myself.

I would like to propose a new term, which has become relevant for me as of late: SSO, which stands for “shared significant other”. I am in a triad and a couple vees that share points with the triad. In my triad, I have a boyfriend (CE) and a girlfriend (KE), and they are that to each other (and have been for longer than I have known them). To KE I would refer to CE as “our SSO”, rather than using the term “our boyfriend”. With CE I would refer to KE as “our SSO”, rather than using the term “our girlfriend”. My other boyfriend could, in conversation with either CE or KE, refer to me as “our SSO”. And so on and so forth

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