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Significant other

Significant other is a gender-neutral, politically correct term to refer to a personís partner in a romantic relationship without disclosing his or her personal or lifestyle choices or sexual orientation.

The first known occurrence of the term was in 1953 by U.S. psychiatrist, Harry Stack Sullivan[?], a former editor of the journal Psychiatry[?], in his work, The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry.

Its usage in both psychology and sociology is much different than its more common use. In psychology, a significant other is any person who has great importance to an individualís life or well-being. In sociology, it describes a person with a strong influence on an individual's self-evaluation as well as reception of particular social norms. This usage is synonymous with the term "relevant other."

See also: boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, domestic partner, marriage, spouse

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