Difference Between Boyfriend/Girlfriend & Fiance(e)

Quite often, in my surroundings, I find people referring to others’ boyfriend/girlfriend as fiance(e) and it is improper from my perspective. When it comes to the usage of words, I am picky. A cat is not a kitten. In french, being “jolie” is not being “belle”. They may be grouped as synonyms or may be very close in meaning but there is always a nuance and that’s where the whole subtlety lies. Going back to my initial topic….a boyfriend/girlfriend is NOT a fiance(e)!


A boyfriend/girlfriend is someone you are dating, someone you are getting to know with the eventual intention of marrying him/her, someone you have an officious relationship with. In the run, you may end up breaking up or tying the knot with him/her. A boyfriendship/girlfriendship – as I call it-is more of a trial period for the two people involved.

A fiance(e) is someone you are committed to marry, to spend your forever with soon, you are engaged too.  A fianceeship-my invention again- is a confirmed relationship.  It is just a  question of time  before the two people involved become legally tied.

Although from a legal perspective, there is not a difference between a bf/gf and a fiancee (at least in my country), from an emotional/social standpoint, they are different.

People misuse these titles to give an official and respectable status to a relationship but it doesn’t work like that. If two people are not making concrete plans for marriage, have not chosen a wedding date, have not proposed or bought a ring (when applicable) then they’re definitely not fiances. The liberal use of the “fiance” term questions the value of the “girlfriend” one. Adding to that, it derives the true nature of a boyfriendship/girlfriendship.

In short, there is a difference between a girlfriend/boyfriend and a fiance(e). Bear it in mind and act accordingly.


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