The Secret to a Lasting Relationship: Pet Names?

By Liz Abinante

According to some researchers, pet names are one of the many indicators that you're in a strong intimate relationship. Apparently calling your honey "woobie" every time he doesn't something nice for you is more than just vomit inducing: it's healthy.

According to Carol Bruess, the Director of Family Studies at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota,

"You are saying, symbolically, that you care enough about the other person and the relationship to develop your own way of speaking. You've got your own private world, your own mini culture."

Sure, it makes sense. Closely knit siblings make up their own language, best friends have distress signals to use when a creepy guy is hitting on them in bars. It fits. I get it.

But does it always have to be so cheesey?

Another expert claims that yes, it does have to be cheesey. More importantly it has to be sweet. They say that using names for sweet things, such as honey, cupcake, or peaches, always has a positive connotation. When you say "peaches", you don't think of molded, rotten peaches that have fallen from the tree. You think just the opposite.

But there's more to it than having a secret language, code, or private super special nickname. The ability for two people to agree on a cutey-patootie nick name for one another is not going to make a bad relationship last.

I wouldn't jump to conclusions and say that using pet names for each other is going to make that relationship last. After all, there are only so many times he can call you "babycakes" after accidentally ruining your favorite patent leather pumps before you start reconsidering your stance on pet names and your relationship.

So, what embarrassing pet name do you call your significant other when no one is around? What do you wish you could call them? Full disclosure: I have a pet name for my boyfriend. It's "boyfriend". Clever, I know.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 12:30 (GMT+01)
2 Responses

I'm not sure about the 'sweet' element. I'm not opposed to using the cutesy names, they just don't really come naturally because we already have a whole host of pet names for each other that are incredibly ickily sweet to us, but probably not that much to others...

My husband is mainly known as "pootle", but is also variably "footle", "weasel", "mr beale" (that's not his surname and it's not an EastEnders reference!), "stoat", "ferret" and "squeasel".

Then again, I think we might just be nickname people. Official the cats are called Snaffle and Casper, but they're also known as "Mr Johnson" "SC Johnson" "evil kitten" "white kitten" and "Mr J" (Snaffle), "Mr Tumnus" "Gaspare" "Mr C" "Stompson J Cat" and "Captain Stompy" (Casper).

I really wish all this obvious latent creativity was actually, you know, useful, as opposed to sickening and disturbing.

Mon, 06-Apr-2009 12:02 GMT

Haha I love that you really do use "boyfriend"

I think "bear" and "diamond" are juuuuuuuuuust right.

Tue, 07-Apr-2009 15:42 GMT

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