I've been together with my boyfriend for around 9 years now. There are times when I want to communicate that I am referring to someone who plays a major role in my life, like that of a husband, and "boyfriend" does not seem adequate.
To me, "boyfriend" seems to signify a newer relationship, one that is still in the experimental phase.
I've tried out a couple of other words, but they don't seem to carry the meaning I want.
"Partner" seems too detached, and makes me think of business partners.
"Companion" makes me think of a dog.
"Lover" seems too casual and is not really something I'd want to use in the workplace or when I'm trying to appear professional.
"Significant other" is what I would like to say, but I dislike using the term because there are so many syllables and it seems so wordy.
Is there a shorter term to use to describe a long term boyfriend/girlfriend that fills the role of a husband/wife?