Nicknames when dating
(If you want to put your own spin on it, you could try the original Middle English version: “swete heorte.”) Other early fans of “sweetheart” included Chaucer (1374’s : “Curtsie sweete hartes, and so the Measure endes.”) “Honey” is another safe option; it can boast both an 800-year history and being good enough for Dunbar. “Babe” is a syllable farther away from children, but it’s still infantilizing; in its first documented use as a romantic term of endearment, Ray Charles alternates “babe” with “kid,” singing, “Oh, ma babe, waltz with me, kid.”“Some people will recoil at terms like ‘babe,’” said Kerner.“There are many women who don’t want to be referred to as ‘babe’ in any context.Bruess and Pearson discovered a strong positive correlation between marital satisfaction and reported number of idioms, though both variables declined as couples aged.“Pet names are a kind of cue to intimacy,” said Kerner, “They speak to the intimacy in a relationship.When couples stop using baby names, it’s often an indication of a lack of intimacy.” Fortunately, “baby” isn’t the only option available to couples wanting to be cutesy.“Sweetheart” is one non-creepy classic: People have been using it as a term of endearment since the thirteenth century.
It doesn’t seem like anyone has made any distinctions between heterosexual and homosexual couples with regard to the use of pet names–perhaps it’s not relevant?
“As a culture, we’ve defined ‘baby’ as an acceptable, loving nickname for a partner,” says Bruess.
“In the context of most relationships, it’s kind of an easy default.”Levkoff is less convinced.
Is it a mark of a healthy relationship, or unhealthy?
Are couples who give each other names, ranging from the generic “Honey” and “Sweetie” to the creative “Loopy Lop,” more likely to stay together?