So I've done about thirty seconds of research into the topic, and none of them were reading sci fi romances where the relationship did not end in marriage by the end of the book. I have a couple, Zan and Miranda, who begin dating in the first novel and are still in the 'dating' phase of their relationship in the second novel. I'm not sure yet if they'll ever get married, given certain...plans that I have for them. But I'm a little confused about how to call them. The terms 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' came into use in the first World War, and therefore sound very modern to my ear; much in the same way I would try to avoid calling something 'cool' or 'pretty' in high fantasy, I'd avoid using those words, too. Still, 'lover' just doesn't sound like quite the same relationship, even though they basically mean the same thing. However, for sci fi, I oddly enough have the same problem. 'Car' and 'boyfriend' both sound too modern for a future society. Now, I know that as an author, whatever I say is normal will be accepted as normal; suspension of disbelief is a wonderful thing. But using 'lover' in a sci fi book seems just as anachronistic as 'boyfriend'. 'Consort' could work, with the right person and relationship dynamic, but having that be my boy/girlfriend stand-in just doesn't work. My question is, how do novels set in the distant future generally handle ongoing non-marital relationships, linguistically speaking? Using modern words seems wrong, but using antique words seems even worse.