Mia and I were about to head off on our bikes for a West Marin ride when her cell phone rang.
“Oh, it’s Rex. I’ve gotta take this, sorry.”
“Sure, no rush.”
I wasn’t really listening in, but it’s such a joy to watch a divorced middle-aged girlfriend so happy to find love again that it’s hard not to want to soak in some of that energy.
“Did you just call him pumpkin?”
“So, what does he call you?”
“Amazing you’re both so fit,” I observed.
“Why, don’t you and Sean have pet names?”
I had to think about it. Not really, except I call him Love because — well, must I explain that? But I have had relationships in the past in which one or the other of us was Baby, Sweetie Pie, Honey or Sugar. In private, because pet names should be kept in the same place that you talk to yourself, hang your “unmentionables” to dry and where you’re not totally embarrassed if you pass gas — home. They are not meant for public display.
But, in the home? Schmoopie away! It’s silly, but relationship experts say pet names are just one of the ways couples keep their communication positive, which means they’re more likely to stay happy longer. (Of course, those cutesy-name-calling relationships of mine are long gone, but whatever.)
Plus, calling someone you’re seeing Babe or Sweetie is a safe way to stay out of trouble if you’re cheating or dating several people at one time; certainly don’t want to let the other guy’s name slip at an inopportune time, like in the throes of passion or when you’ve run out of toilet paper and you need him to bring you another roll from the closet. (Just don’t let on that you call all your guys Babe; if you’re doling out a nickname, it should at least be personal, don’t you think?)
Nicknames aside, Sean and I do have a love language of sorts — one-liners and catchphrases that are unique to us. He’s a lot of wonderful things, but he’s no Snookums or Honey-Bunny. And, I’m not either, although my perfect pet name according to the Pet Nickname Generator turns out to be Sweetums Hot-Lush Lips.
Hey, that’s kind of catchy ….
- Do you use pet names?
- Do you use pet names in public?
- Does it bother you if others do?
- What was the best pet name you’ve been called?
- What was the worst?
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