Has the meaning of "fiancee" changed?

@worldwise1 (14887)
United States
June 8, 2008 11:44am CST
I've noticed in recent years that the term "fiancee" is constantly being used when people discuss their relationships. This has led me to wonder if it has just become a loose term for anyone that a person happens to be with. In the past it was used to signify a promise to marry, but I often hear people refer to their fiancee of several years, etc. Do you think, as I do, that people often use the term nowadays when they, in fact, have no intention of marrying? I believe this to be the case in many instances. I would like your opinion, please.
5 people like this
18 responses
@ambkeb (782)
• United States
8 Jun 08
hmm...I dont guess I've noticed. I cant say that Ive ever heard anyone call their boyfriend or girlfriend a fiance unless there is going to be a wedding. I was engaged to my husband for over a year before we got married. But that was mostly because of me. I hated the idea of an actual wedding, just wanted to do a quickie somewhere. He on the other hand was the one that wanted an actual weddings since this was his second wedding and his first was a quickie thing at a place that he regreted and he was worried that I would regret doing it that way. SO FINALLY he and my family talked me in to going with the flow and my mother and grandmother and aunts planned the wedding and everything. All this took almost 2 years before we finally said the I do's.
2 people like this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I would think, ambkeb, that anyone who comes into contact with many people on a daily basis would be aware of the overuse of the word fiancee.
1 person likes this
@ambkeb (782)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Hmm...maybe worldwide perhaps. But I live in a super small community, and I have honostly never heard it just thrown around as you have described it. Maybe in the bigger areas. I have heard of people getting engaged only to break up at a later date. But the intention of the wedding was there so that is still considered as a fiance/fiancee.
• United States
9 Jun 08
Whenever I hear finacee I assume that they will marry the person. But I can see being asked but waiting years to marry.If you don't have the money for the wedding of your dreams so you save for it.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
You are entitled to your opinion, sarah, but life is too short to wait for years to be married to someone you really love.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jun 08
I am not marrying anyone. I would rather skip the wedding and go straight to the honeymoon.
@mummymo (23707)
8 Jun 08
I am one of those people who have been engaged for a long time - 20 years in fact and I have no intention of getting married until my daughter is old enough to sign the marriage certificate as a witness so it will be at least another 10 years! I very rarely use the word fiancee as I think of it as a short term thing too! lol xxx
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
That's a very long time to be engaged, mummymo, and I wish you the best.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
9 Jun 08
I had been with my ex for a while but we were only engaged a matter of weeks! This time around I feel as though there is much more commitment even without the wedding ring! xxx
• United States
8 Jun 08
Yes, fiance and fiancee are two more words with no real meaning anymore. I've noticed that a lot of women call their boyfriends their fiance, but they are not engaged to be married. Maybe they think that it sounds better than "boyfriend." I've noticed that as there are more "fiances", there are less "boyfriends." lol
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
Well, CherylsPearls, I am totally against the idea of devaluing words just to suit an individual's mood. There's far too much of it happening these days.
• United States
9 Jun 08
I totally agree!
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
8 Jun 08
I think people like to say they are engaged or have a fiance just because it sounds better than living with a boyfriend. When people my age hear fiance, we assume marriage is in the future. Many people never mary, become engaged, live together, have kids but don't always grow old together. Sometimes it has to do with the financial situation(s) with older people who don't want to marry. Don't want to change their social security status.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I agree with you, carolbee, but I guess I just dislike "borrowing" one word when you should be using an entirely different one.
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
9 Jun 08
Exactly! Times change and so do people. Having a fiancee when I was younger meant eventual marriage.
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I only used the term fiancee when I got engaged. While we were dating and living together he was my boyfriend. I thought it was only used because marriage was in the near future.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
Unfortunately, maddysmommy, there are many people who don't look at it the same way any longer.
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I haven't really noticed that. Here when I hear fiancee I still assume that they are getting married. Now there is a trend for students to get engaged and be engaged for several years while one or both of them are in college, grad school or medical school. I can tell you that I didn't call my boyfriend now husband my finacee until we were engaged.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
That's exactly what I was referring to, Aurone. The term denotes an intent to marry and not simply "We are in a relationship."
• United States
9 Jun 08
I understand what you're saying but it's not for us to decide if another person will or will not marry their partner. It's that person's job to question their partner on where they stand in their relationship. My husband and I dated three years before we finally got married, and that is how and why I see your point of view in this discussion. I have a friend who is with her boyfriend; she calls him her fiancé though, and they do go waay back. Some people do intend to marry their partner but there's a lot that stands in their way including financial situations, exes, or kids from a previous relationship. Some men don't intend to marry for whatever reason and it isn't right. You shouldn't promise anyone and toy with their feelings if you don't intend to marry them. People have feelings and are easily hurt. I recently read Tyler Perry's book he wrote as Madea, and he said, "When a man has proposed to marry you but hasn't followed through, he's searching for something better." I'm not saying it's true for all men but give it some thought and I think women should be honest with themselves and their men enough to ask them about it.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
On the contrary, Dimples, since I had no intention of judging who should marry whom. I simply stated that from what I know to be true people are now using the term "fiancee" or "fiance" so loosely now when there is no intention to marry. I would never presume to say who anyone should marry, but I do know that I would never marry someone who keeps me dangling on a string with the promise of marriage for years.
@jczvrse (169)
• United States
9 Jun 08
To me a fiance is someone you intend to marry but I agree with you the term is being used to loosely these days. I saw a talk show on the spanish channel one day and the teens were using the term husband for their boyfriend that was just silly seeing 12 year olds calling their bf husbands.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I couldn't agree more, jczvrse.
• United States
9 Jun 08
I haven't heard the term being used so casually as you describe. When I hear it, I assume that the couple is planning to get married and probably has an idea as to when that will happen. Maybe that's not the case anymore?
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
That is why we make a mistake when we assume something, spectrum. In fact, the term has become less than it should mean.
• United States
9 Jun 08
Fiance is d male thats engaged to be married and fiancee is d female invloved. meaning and defination for this are sometimes misused, i have heard a teenager of 16 introducing his girlfriend to someone as his finacee, in this case i will say the young man is in the confused state and probably wishing and hoping. ina case where a husband inttoduced his wife as a fiancee, i think the woman should get a revolver and use it where its neccesary....fiancee aint no where sound like wife... a man should be proud of his wife for a man who finds a wife has found the greatest thing of life...stop preaching Noah!!!!!!!
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
You've got that right, noaholuwo!
@subha12 (18452)
• India
9 Jun 08
yes, i also get it has changed a bit. i have seen so.it seems anyone with another person using this term. after that there is breakup.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
We have become too accepting of most everything, subha.
@borgborg (821)
• Philippines
8 Jun 08
i believe most people still use the word for its meaning, has intentions of marrying. it's just that nowadays, people get committed faster than before. nowadays, a couple can get married as fast as just months right after meeting each other. so i guess it's okay for them to use the words fiance & fiancee on their first month as long as they already have plans of getting married. so i guess it's not the word that lost its meaning. it's just that our lives run faster now. ;)
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
Many people today are not into commitment at all, borgborg, yet they still use the term. If their lives are truly moving so much faster now it would not be necessary to be engaged for a period of years.
@Valenas (1509)
• United States
8 Jun 08
I know of several people that call someone that they just met the previous month their "fiance/fiancee." I wonder how, after knowing the person for such a short time, can they already be engaged? I believe that you are right: people do use the terms too loosely. I think the words are slowly starting to replace the terms boyfriend and girlfriend.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
How true, Valenas! People are taking liberties with most everything now.
@Elixiress (3887)
8 Jun 08
I see the term fiancée as the person that you are engaged to and plan to marry. I believe that someone can be a fiancée for several years as people plan to get married, but don't have the money or whatever, so they put it off for many years. I think that it is still used to refer to someone who someone is engaged to with the intent to marry.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
Yes, Elixiress, that is the assumed meaning.
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
8 Jun 08
I thought it still means someone you intend to marry. Usually I hear it when the couple is officially engaged. I haven't heard it used in another way.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jun 08
Well, bonbon, I believe you have to get out more often.It is being used across the board these days.
@julyteen (13257)
• Davao, Philippines
29 Jun 08
fiancee is what you called to someone you're already engaged to get married with. i don't think it is proper to call someone you are in relationship with, a fiancee, when you have not talk and settled about to get married. it would be improper to use the word. because i believe that a fiancee is already someone you intend to marry and have talk about it, and prepare about for your wedding.
@schulzie (4064)
• United States
9 Jun 08
Fiancee means that you are engaged to be married. Now, I don't know of anyone personally that has ever used this term to mean anything other than that but I guess they might do it so it sounds more socially accepted. I am old fashioned so to me it means and always will mean that marriage will be the eventual outcome from that relationship of being a fiancee.