Is there a good way to describe a social partner without romantic connotations? Especially when referring to dining.

I know date and partner (on its own) generally both generally imply some sort of romantic connotation (feel free to prove me wrong).

Is there anything besides dining partner or friend?


  • 1
    Dinner companion? Or is this a more general term? Aug 23, 2013 at 16:12
  • How close a "partner" are we talking about here? This could range anywhere from "friend" to "life partner", depending on the level of (non-romantic) intimacy. Also, are you looking for a word that means "One with whom I am eating"? Or just any sort of term that denotes a connection with someone socially?
    – Zibbobz
    Aug 23, 2013 at 16:14
  • 1
    I would just use the word friend! If you want a different answer, you should explain why friend doesn't fit.
    – starwed
    Aug 23, 2013 at 18:20
  • 1
    I'd avoid overusing it, but you could say "platonic friend" if you wanted to make sure no one jumped to a wrong conclusion about the nature of the relationship.
    – J.R.
    Aug 23, 2013 at 19:45
  • Especially for a male friend, buddy. Aug 23, 2013 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


I'd hazard that being your company is applicable to most situations, and is sufficiently separate from any romantic connotation which 'companion' might carry. Otherwise, it's largely dependant on the context, and on your specific relationship with the person. You can use vague relationships like 'associate' or 'companion', but these can give false impressions of the relationship, or appear distant/cold.


If you're inviting someone to dine at your own place of living, or even if you're inviting them to dine out with you, you could call them your "dinner guest" (or dining guest, if the occasion is for another meal). This avoids the romantic connotation, but requires that you be the one inviting them.

You could still use it though, or you could say that you are their dinner/dining guest.

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