Mike Bloomberg And His Longtime Love, Diana Taylor, Reject Marriage
By not being defined as a “wife,” Taylor can be seen for who she is — a successful, independent woman who also lives with her man
Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg didn’t have a stellar first debate, but many still see the billionaire as the best person to defeat Donald Trump. If he wins the presidency, here’s something that will be new to the White House — he’ll move in with his longtime romantic partner.
Bloomberg, 77, and Diana Taylor, 65, a former Wall Street executive and former New York State superintendent of banks, have lived together for nearly 20 years and have no plans to wed — now or ever.
When Bloomberg was mayor of New York City, Taylor acted as the de facto first lady during his three terms. Should he win the election, he says, she’ll do the same in the White House.
Like some of the remaining Democratic presidential hopefuls, Bloomberg, who has two daughters from his marriage, which ended two years before he met Taylor, doesn’t have a “traditional” family and — no surprise — that makes him look more like the rest of Americans (although, granted, most of us are not worth nearly $64 billion).
Although Bloomberg and Taylor, also divorced and childfree by choice, don’t feel a need to wed, clearly, they’re committed to each other. You don’t live with someone for 20 years if you’re not.
Which begs the question, if you love each other and want to be together, do you even need to be married, especially if you don’t really need to the perks and protections marriage offers.
Many conservatives dismiss cohabitation as being “less than” marriage, but they’re missing an essential part of what makes long-term cohabiting relationships work. Couples who stay together without a marriage license do so because they want to be together, not because they feel they have to.
Unlike married couples, who may no longer love each other or may treat each other poorly but won’t get a divorce for financial, custody or religious reasons, long-term cohabiting couples like Bloomberg and Taylor and others seem to have a much more loving and present partnership. Nothing is forcing them to stay together — they just choose to.
What frustrates Taylor, who says she’s a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republican, is what to call herself in regards to her relationship. She hates being referred to as Bloomberg’s “gal pal” but “girlfriend” isn’t much better, Taylor says, because it “sounds so temporary. It’s very junior high … Nobody’s come up with the language around what we are.”
S.O., life partner, mate, companion, main squeeze — none of those words feel quite right to describe non-married adult couples. I know some long-term cohabiting couples who call each other husband or wife because it’s easier than having to explain their situation.
But that’s not quite honest. Why isn’t there a good term that explains Bloomberg and Taylor’s relationship, especially since so many people are living together?
According to linguistics professor Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation:
“The language just hasn’t caught up yet. I hear people use entire phrases, like ‘the man I live with’ or ‘the woman I share my life with’ and I’ve heard people use expressions like ‘sweetheart.’ People struggle and they come up with whatever feels right to them. Often it doesn’t feel 100% right.”
But perhaps by not being defined as a wife — a problematic term for many women — Taylor can actually be seen for who she is, an independent, successful woman who also happens to live with her longtime romantic partner.
Right now, that’s in a multimillion-dollar condo in Manhattan. Come the election, it could be in the White House.
But it won’t be with a ring on it. “What’s the point? Right now things seem to be working,” she says. “If he didn’t want to be together, trust me, we would not be together. What he’s thinking or feeling is not very often in much doubt.”
While they may not have a great term to define who and what they are to each other, they are very clear that being together is what they want. And maybe that’s all that matters.
Want to learn how to individualize your marriage? (Of course you do!) Read The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels (Seal Press). You can support your local indie bookstore (please do) or order it on Amazon. And we’re now on Audible.