I'm looking for a gender neutral word for a person that you are in a romantic relationship with, but not married to. Similar to "partner" in English.

I also want it to be fairly neutral regarding age and to work in formal settings.

Which word can I use?

  • 伴侣,bkrs examples:她是一位可靠的伴侣,终生的伴侣,她渴望成为他的终身伴侣,气味相投的伴侣, "汉语水平考试词典":在一起生活、工作等的关系密切的人(companion;partner):工作~|这位是我的旅行~|夫妇(husband and wife;partner):生活~|两人终于结成终身~。
    – user6065
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 1:52
  • @user6065, well, 伴侣 is used for married normally.
    – dan
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 2:42

3 Answers 3


恋人 perfectly fits your need, its gender and age neutral, and can be used in formal settings.

情人 somehow fits your need, but is not as good, because it could also mean an extramarital lover, which may cause misunderstanding.

爱人 is also gender neutral, but usually refers to partner in marriage.

  • I might get another one, "情侣" for partner (not married).
    – dan
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 3:08

This is another suggestion:

另一半 (literally, another half)


Men like to protect their partner (another half).

More examples...


The term 对象 "partner" is also an option: gender neutral, age neutral, perfectly acceptable in formal settings.

It has also other meanings ("target", "object" of something) but the meaning "partner" is quite common as well.

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