You are looking at a photo of my teenage daughter with a teenage boy. They’ve known each other for years, go to the same school, been in the same musicals, and belong to the same a cappella group. Last month, during that choir’s trip to Italy, the two of them decided to make things a bit more official. But what were the words used for this teenage romance?
“Did he ask you out?” I asked my daughter. “No,” she replied. “It’s not ‘going out.’”
“But are you going steady?” I tried again. “Nobody says that, no,” she answered.
“Is he your boyfriend?” I finally asked. “Are you married, engaged, living together, is he your baby daddy, just, what?!”
It seems the language of love has become a more complicated playing field than the one of my childhood, which included first base through home run in an easy to understand matrix of escalating making out.
Recently I conducted an exhaustive survey of teen love parlance, which means I texted my daughter and son a few times. This is what I learned about teen romance words.
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