Online dating euphemisms
In this sense of its usage, "girlfriend" is used in terms of very close friends and has no sexual connotations, unless it is in the case of lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transgender women.The term "girlfriend" is also used in LGBT communities and can refer to people of any sex or sexuality.
Games in this category include seven minutes in heaven and spin the bottle.
In 2005, a study was conducted of 115 people ages 21 to 35 who were either living with or had lived with a romantic partner.
It notes that the lack of proper terms often leads to awkward situations, such as someone becoming upset over not being introduced in social situations to avoid the question.
"Lady friend" may also be used to signify a romantic relationship with an older woman, when the term "girl" as in "girlfriend" may be deemed age-inappropriate.
As of 2007, The New York Times style guide discouraged the use of the term "girlfriend" for an adult romantic partner, stating, "Companion is a suitable term for an unmarried partner of the same or the opposite sex." for referring to Shaha Riza as the "girlfriend" of World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz in one article about the controversy over their relationship.