A 'Partner' is very similar to a boyfriend or girlfriend, but is not a boyfriend or girl friend. If you call someone's 'Partner' a 'boyfriend' or a 'girlfriend', you will be corrected ("no, Callum is my 'Partner'").
'Partners' have many of the same characteristics as boyfriends and girlfriends (functioning genitalia, heartbeats, annoying habits, feelings, etc...), but also have very distinctive behaviors and physical features:
*'Partners' live in "spaces", not apartments, homes, houses, pads or places.
*'Partners' sleep and fuck on futons or dirty mattresses on the floor, as opposed to beds.
*'Partners' generally subsist on sustainable diets of Organic vegetables, Free-range meat and fair-trade coffee.
a 'partner' is generally chosen on they're potential to advance one's own status in a given scene. A leader of an activist group, a drummer of a post-rock band or the focus of a peer group is generally considered prime 'partner' material. Having a good 'partner' increases your ability to name-drop, facilitates ladder climbing and makes for a fashionable conversation piece.
*'Partners' frown on dating, as it is an outdated tradition of monogamous courtship. Instead they go on "meetings" at such venues as cheap ethnic restaurants, diners, cultural festivals, downtown parks, wooded areas and they're or they're 'partners' "space".
*'Partners' can be of great importance one day, and a minor annoyance to be ignored, avoided or kicked to the curb the next. This is because people in 'partnerships' generally strive to avoid any commitment or responsibility in a life devoted to the pursue of they're own pleasure, and likely have other 'partners' lined up, if they're not fucking them already.
*Although the term 'partner' suggests equality in a relationship, this is not the case. The power in the relationship rests with the 'partner' that cares less. As one 'Partner' loses interest, they become harder and harder to arrange a 'meeting' with. leaving the other 'partner(s)' confused as to the state of the decaying 'partnership' leading to desperation and insecurity.
*The term 'partner' is not exclusive to those in monogamous relationships. Often, those choosing open relationships refer to each other as 'partners'. hence, it is possible for someone to have multiple 'partners' and 'partnerships'. This helps facilitate the spread of STDs amongst bohemian, activist and alternative circles.
*The term 'Partner' is not exclusive to straight relationships. In fact, the term has been borrowed (co-opted or colonized if you will) from the L.G.B.T. community which used the term to denote a participant in a same-sex relationship. Gay people resent straight people who have bastardized and colonized the term, just as black people resent white people who have co-opted hip-hop music.
Me: "Your what?"
Metrosexual: "My Partne---"
Metrosexual: "Ow! Why are you oppressing me?"
Me: "Girlfriend! SAY IT!"