Please imagine a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship which a very close or even romantic (meaning sexual or non-sexual) relationship exists between them. For me, there is a very common way to describe such a relationship:

"They are going out." or "they go out together."

My question: We use the above-mentioned sentences to explain a relationship between opposite sexes, but what about the same sexes? E.g. two boys or two girls? (Sexually or not sexually.)

I am looking for an equivalent for "going out" (which for me, can be used only when two opposite sexes are involved in a relationship) for same sexes, meaning two men or two women.

Added: what makes me believe that same-sex couples need a different word is the fact that usually/normally in same-sex relationships there is no any romantic sense while normally/usually the opposite-sex couples have a romantic feeling from the beginning. This is the matter.

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    There is no distinction in English between same-sex couples dating or "going out" and opposite-sex couples dating or "going out". All of the definitions I can find for "going out" don't mention gender. What makes you believe that same-sex couples need a different word? – ColleenV parted ways Dec 15 '16 at 12:45
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    Your fundamental premise is flawed. The phrase They are going out is ambiguous; it could mean (a) They have a romantic relationship with each other, or (b) They are going out together somewhere (such as a movie), but are doing so as friends. In fact, I can say, "My daughter went out several times with Jonathan, even though she never went out with Jonathan," and I think most people would understand what I meant: the two chummed around together often, but never had a romantic relationship. – J.R. Dec 15 '16 at 15:14
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    You seem to have a problem... if they are a "same sex couple", they are, by definition, in a romantic relationship. If they are just friends, they're "friends", regardless of the genders of the people involved. Can you please clarify... in this "same sex couple" are you talking about people who are dating or people who are just friends? – Catija Dec 19 '16 at 6:11
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    But "relationship" has the same problem. We don't really say that friends are "in a relationship". That phrase means that they are dating. Similarly, we only use the term "boyfriend/girlfriend" to mean people who are dating each other. You don't call a platonic good male friend your "boyfriend", you save that term for the person you're in a romantic relationship with. – Catija Dec 19 '16 at 6:19
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    Yes. "Going out" is a synonym for "dating". As J.R. says, it's not required but most people would assume that "going out' means "dating". The better option for people in a platonic relationship is "hanging out". This has no implication of romance, only friendship. – Catija Dec 19 '16 at 6:23

For two men there is the term


and for two women there is the term


Both terms can be used for close relationships between people of the same sex.

I have often found it interesting that if a female calls a male her "boyfriend" the connotation is romantic, but if she calls another female a "girlfriend" it may or may not be romantic.

Whereas, if a male calls a female a "girlfriend" the connotation is romantic, and if he calls a male his "boyfriend" it is also considered romantic.

Heterosexual couples will use the term "just friends", which may be interpreted as either romantic or not. Knowing those involved and context (and a possible 'wink') are necessary to decipher its meaning.

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    These terms explicitly mean platonic relationships. The OP seems to want a term for romantic relationships, if I understand correctly. Even so, it should be absolutely clear that these are also neologisms that have a very specific register to them. You would not expect people to use these terms in most situations, and many native speakers may not have heard the terms before. – Paul Dec 15 '16 at 16:38
  • The OP asked for "sexually or not sexually", or am I missing something? – Peter Dec 15 '16 at 18:16

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