An acquaintance of mine referred to her mother, aged 95, as having a "boyfriend", aged 104, in their assisted living facility. I find this word in this context inappropriate.
I don't know what age an adult has to be before calling him/her a boy or girl outside their own immediate circle becomes inappropriate, but surely it is before they hit 100.
What is an age-appropriate term for boyfriend (girlfriend) for adults, especially adults of an advanced age?
There must be a word or phrase (borrowed from the French ?) to describe this lady's companion. Cher ami is not found even in the OED, although the feminine form cherie amie is, with the definition "mistress". (Same link.) In any case, cher ami is too obscure for most people.
Companion may be the best word, but I'm hoping that the perfect word or short phrase exists, that conveys the romantic nature of the companionship, without calling an adult a boy.
Companion, according to Merriam Webster is
one that accompanies another : COMRADE, ASSOCIATE traveling companions also : one that keeps company with another his longtime companion
The OED has a definition that encompasses lover or partner, which is, I suppose, a vote for companion. See Definition I.3.a.
Why this is not a Duplicate: @Mitch pointed out that my question may possibly be a duplicate of this question. The two are on the same topic, but approach it from opposite directions. I am looking for an age-appropriate substitute for boyfriend (or girlfriend). The other question wants to validate girlfriend for a woman in her sixties. Another similar question has many answers (along the lines of sweetie, significant other), of which only beau is a candidate IMO, that is, not there yet.