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Cute Pet Names for Couples & How to Pick Nicknames for Each Other

When you are a couple, cute pet names are a must. Not sure how to pick one for you and your partner? Read on and find out.

cute pet names for couples

Cute couple pet names are one of the next steps in any relationship, isn’t it?

While some people might cringe if they hear cheesy pet names like “Lovey Boo” or “Schnookums,” others find it to be very cute and intimate. It doesn’t matter if it is cuddly-dums or loving-pumps, it’s all cute in love.

Calling your partner names like that can bring fun into the relationship. It also gives you something to bond over as a couple. So, even if you might not like it, a cute pet name for your partner might be very beneficial to your relationship.

For example, there you are, just cuddling with each other one evening. Then your lover babbles out a very funny, barely pronounceable word, most probably based on your antics or body parts. There’s one moment of silence, followed by a chortle of laughter or a grin of embarrassment.

And the whole story unfolds with that little word, and in that quiet moment of cuddly awkward love, you are officially given a pet name.

[Read: 30 biggest relationship rules you must know for successful love]

The world of cute pet names and the unique part they play

Pet names. They’re so amusing and yet, so cute. You don’t want your friends to know your pet name, so you’re probably going to tell your lover something like, “Just don’t call me ‘Perky Nips’ in front of my friends, okay, Hungo?” [Read: 50 cute and sexy nicknames for your girlfriend to make her blush]

The truth is, When you think about it, pet names have more of a meaning than just lovers’ babble.

It’s all about adding a new level of identity and intimacy to a special someone, to set apart the relationship between two people. It’s a secret name, and a unique one that you and you alone give your partner! [Read: 30 cute nicknames for your boyfriend he’ll actually love hearing]

What science says about cute pet names

Believe it or not, the science of cute pet names has been studied, but not very much. The only evidence and studies that have been done are from some surveys. But even those don’t capture all the people’s feelings about cute pet names.

The general consensus from scientific studies says that pet names for each other can be a very good thing in a relationship, but only if both partners like it.

1. Pet names and conflicts

A director of family studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, approaches studying pet names from an anthropological perspective. According to her research, a relationship is a little “culture” of its own. The terms of endearment, or pet names, are an important factor when it comes to working through conflicts. [Read: 50 super cute things to call your boyfriend that he’ll love to hear]

All romantic relationships will have conflicts at some point in time. So, these pet names allow the partners to use humor and playfulness when things get tense between the two of them. If people can’t laugh at themselves and with each other in a relationship, then it’s less likely that they will sustain that relationship in a positive way over time.  

2. Pet names and marital satisfaction

Another one of her studies looked at the relationship between pet names and marital satisfaction. They concluded that these cute names are sort of like a way to communicate “insider” information to each other that no one else knows. It’s almost like their own little secret together.

The longer that people are together, the more likely the cute pet names are to stick. They become so ingrained in the partners that it becomes a special norm in their relationship. They almost take it for granted. [Read: What do girls like to be called? 27 terms of endearment to make any woman smile]

What is normal for cute pet names?

Dr. Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle, co-authored a book called The Normal Bar. They collected data from almost 100,000 people through an online survey. 

The things they looked at were anything related to relationship happiness, and this also included cute pet names. They surveyed people from all across the world, but they only analyzed the information they got from the United States.

They found that about two-thirds of the couples used cute pet names in their relationships. In addition, if people rated their relationship satisfaction as “very happy,” 76% of those people admitted to using cute pet names. [Read: What does babe mean when it comes from someone you like?]

Dr. Schwartz also argued that she thinks pet names are important for admiration and affection in the relationship.

It’s kind of a “shorthand” for couples. If some couples reported not getting enough affection in the relationship, they said that using cute names made up for the lack of hearing compliments and getting affection from their partner.

Sexologist Ian Kerner agrees with Schwartz’s findings. He says that the use of cute pet names is very healthy in a relationship as long as both partners are comfortable with the names.

Another interesting finding is that in relationships that use cute pet names, they feel like something is wrong when their partner uses their given, legal name. This is because it sounds so cold and impersonal compared to their personal and unique pet name. [Read: How to read the signs you are unofficially dating and really know for sure]

Why not just call your lover by their name?

Many single people ask this question and wonder aloud. But the answer’s pretty simple. When you like something like a soft toy or someone like a lover, you want to cuddle and sink into that person or thing. 

You feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and you’re filled with joy and happiness. Your instincts recreate a scenario where you feel like a blissful baby, lost for words, and feel euphoric and helpless, just like how you babble when you’re drunk!

At times like these, you end up saying something out loud. And in most cases, it’s got something to do with your lover’s body parts during afterplay or the way your lover makes you feel. It may be a stupid word, but it’s still filled with all the emotions that you could sum up in that happy moment. [Read: What does love feel like? 33 signs you’ll feel when you’re in love]

Cute pet names and love

Pet names are a lot like general nicknames, but in this case, it’s a lot more personal and special. It’s something that defines your relationship. It may be from a friend, a sibling, or a lover. 

The fact that this person considers you special enough to give you a name that’s personal and has special importance between you both reveals a lot about how special you are to them.

And all these names are a part of the complicated language of love. The language of love is universal, but it comes in several dialects. One couple who finds it cute to call each other “num-nums” may find another couple calling each other “honey-pot” stupid! [Read: 25 cute romantic gestures for everyday life]

Cute pet names and men

A man may feel that pet names are a feminine thing, so even if he was using any special words to call his girl, he may refrain from using them in public. 

Let’s just say, a man feels like he’s wearing frilly pink skirts when he’s caught using pet names in public. That’s usually the case unless the guy has some macho-stud nickname for his woman like ‘girlie’, ‘babe’ or ‘chick,’, which is comfortably used even in front of others. [Read: What does babe mean when it comes from someone you like]

On the other hand, women become real babies when it comes to love and cute pet names. They tend to baby talk a lot more than men. And they don’t mind doing that in public either. Well, that’s in most cases anyway.

There are no sources here, but it seems like women started calling their men by a pet name, and this trend eventually rubbed off on men. After all, women are a lot better connected to their inner child and feelings of love than men. [Read: What do girls like to be called and what words must you definitely avoid?]

Cute pet names and ex-lovers

Men and women apart, pet names themselves to have their problems. And there’s one big rule of pet names you must always remember.

There are a few pet names that are universal, like ‘honey, ‘baby,’ and ‘cutie,’ and there are a few pet names that are non-transferable. 

If you’ve called someone by a particular name earlier, there’s no way you’re ever supposed to use the same pet name with your present partner. Not only would it feel weird, but it’s also like calling out an ex’s name in bed, don’t you think? [Read: Things to talk about in a perfect relationship]

Pet names are personal

It’s always easy to go with widely accepted names like ‘sweetheart’ and ‘honey,’ but you have to remember that a cute pet name is personal and special.

If you still don’t have a pet name for each other, don’t worry about it. Pet names tend to just pop up out of the blue. And when you hear a pet name, you’ll know. Don’t force a pet name out just to fit in. Wait for it to come naturally.

What cute pet names can do for a relationship

Now that we know what the scientists say about cute pet names in a relationship, let’s look at some more specific details about what they can do.

1. They help us feel free

When we are growing up, society tells us how we are supposed to express ourselves. And one of those options is using pet names as adults. It allows us to engage in role-playing with our partners and freely show how we feel about them.

The cute pet names also make the quality of our communication with them better and make us feel closer. As a result, both people feel completely accepted by their partners just the way they are. [Read: Cute relationship – 30 cute signs you both make people go awww]

2. They make us more attracted to our partner

When two partners get closer and share more personal things and moments with each other, they can end up creating their special language, even beyond cute pet names. This could include inside jokes or anything else that is specific to their relationship.

This makes us not only more emotionally bonded, but it also can increase physical attraction to our partner too. It’s a sign that they are emotionally satisfied with the way their relationship is going. They can also be comfortable enough to be playful but relaxed. [Read: 42 cute things to call your girlfriend to make her tingle]

3. A form of baby talk

Some anthropologists think that some people need baby talk in their relationships, and cute pet names are one form of that. The need for this baby talk stems from our childhood. Mothers use it a lot when they talk to their babies, and it helps form connections and trust between parent and child.

So, when adults use pet names, it subconsciously triggers these childhood memories. When this happens, it evokes feelings of love and protection with their partner. 

4. Should show respect to your partner

Even though funny or cute pet names can bond us and make us closer to our partners, you have to be careful with what you call them. The name should be a positive one, and your partner should like being called it. [Read: 16 cute couple things that every couple needs to do]

For example, studies show that women don’t like being called stereotypical pet names like “Babe” or “Baby doll.” Of course, this is unique to each person, but it’s better to talk to your loved one first and ask whether or not they like the name you call them.

Sweet, romantic, and quirky nicknames for your partner

If you’re new to the whole nicknames thing and don’t want to embarrass yourself and your partner by calling them something outrageous, this is for you. Here are a list of cute pet names for couples that you can use with your partner! [Read: 103 heartfelt signs to know if you love someone or are falling in love]

1. Babe

You can never go wrong with “babe.” It’s cute and universal! [Read: What does babe mean when it comes from someone you like?]

2. Baby

Just like “babe,” this one is quite popular. Nothing is cuter than addressing your partner as less than a toddler.

3. (My) Beloved

The term “beloved” or “my beloved” refers to someone you love deeply, passionately, and unconditionally. This one is a classic and makes you feel like you’re the main characters in a Jane Austen novel.

4. Darling

Darling is someone you love more than anything in this entire world. It’s another commonly used cute pet name for your significant other.

5. Love

If you love your partner, this pet name cannot be more obvious.

6. Love Bug

To be called Love Bug is the ultimate expression of affection. It means you’re so full of love.

7. Lover

That’s your lover, and you want the whole world to know it.

8. Hot Stuff

If your partner is the hottest person you’ve ever laid eyes on, let them know by using this pet name. It will either make them blush or put a smile on their face, or both! [Read: How to make a girl blush & feel warm and fuzzy around you]

9. Honey

Your partner is sweet like honey, and this is the perfect nickname for them.

10. Honey Bunny

This pet name was invented by Quentin Tarantino and made famous by the film Pulp Fiction. Your partner would probably appreciate the film reference!

11. Honey Bun

You want to let your partner knows that they’re just as sweet as a honeybun, or maybe they just have a nice ass.

12. Sunshine

Your partner is the sun and brightens up your world with their presence, so there cannot be a better nickname for them than this one.

13. Tesoro (Italian for “Treasure”)

Tesoro means “Treasure” in Italian. Use this nickname to remind your partner that your the most valuable treasure of all time, and you’re very lucky to have them in your life.

14. Bear

Bear is a cute looking animal but they can also be seen as brave and strong. Male or female, this is a lovely nickname for your partner.

15. Lamb Chop

If your partner is small and adorable, Lamb Chop would be a great choice for a pet name.

16. (My) Steady

Your love is going steady and strong, and your partner keeps you grounded, so you use this nickname to want to show your appreciation.

17. Main Squeeze

Main Squeeze is someone you’ll always have strong and intimate feelings for. It’s a nickname for the one who always gives you butterflies and makes you feel whole inside.

18. Pumpkin

A nickname for someone cute and important, whom you just want to keep and protect.

19. Dear

This isn’t just a pet name for your partner, you can use it with almost anyone, even pets or random people if used appropriately.

20. Nugget

This nickname is for someone who’s exceptionally cute and innocent-looking.

21. Boo

If someone calls you their “boo,” it means they really like you and enjoy spending time with you.

22. Beau / Beautiful

What’s a better way to remind your partner how beautiful they are than using these cute pet names for them?

23. Bae

This is an acronym for “before anyone else,” or a shortened version of “Babe” or “Baby.”

24. Sweetheart

Another term that involves sweetness. We also have other options like “Sweetie” or “Sweetie Pie.”

25. Penguin

Penguins mate for life, so if you call someone Penguin, you’re lowkey telling them they’re your partner for life.

26. Muffin

Muffin is an attractive person, usually female. You can never go wrong when calling your girlfriend a type of pastry.

27. Dimples

Are your partner’s dimples one of your favorite things about them? Then this is a lovely nickname to choose.

28. Goat (greatest of all time)

Goat means greatest of all time, so it’s perfect to use with your partner.

29. Snuggle

Whenever you see your partner, you just want to squeeze them and snuggle with them.

30. Papa Bear / Mama Bear

Ready to start a family with your partner? This is your perfect pet name choice!

31. Sugar

Again, you can never go wrong with a little sweetness.

32. Shug

This is an old Scottish nickname for those named Hugh, but recently it’s become a term of endearment.

33. Snookums

This nickname is usually accompanied by a little bit of humor and sarcasm, so if you’re one of those couples who love to have a laugh, go for this one!

34. Pookie

This pet name is a name akin to “babe,” “love bug,” “honey,” “lover,” etc.

35. Cutie

A cutie is a charmingly attractive person, often a young woman.

36. Handsome

Men love being called handsome as much as women love being called beautiful, so why not put a smile on your boyfriend/husband’s face by calling them by this pet name? [Read: 55 romantic text messages for him & ways to make a guy feel loved]

37. (Ma) Jolie

Ma Jolie (my pretty one) is inscribed in the bottom of a Picasso’s painting. It’s also a nickname of Picasso’s girlfriend, Marcelle Humbert.

38. Butt / Lovely Buns / Squish Butt

Are you obsessed with your partner’s butt? These are the cutest pet names you can use to call them and make them giggle.

39. Pudding

Another sugar related name. We’re never tired of these, are we?

40. Chickadee

This is a more creative and refined way of saying “chica.”

41. Any unique shortening for their real name

You don’t even have to wreck your brain trying to think of something different. Just use any unique shortening for their real name.

42. Their middle name

Their middle name can also be used as a nickname, especially if they have a very pretty and unique middle name that not many people know.

43. Cookie Kiss

Let’s be real, who wouldn’t love being called Cookie Kiss?

44. Captain

If your partner is like a commander who’s responsible, mature, and takes charge of everything, “Captain” is the right way to call them.

45. Gummy Bear

This nickname is for those with a simple and sweet-natured soul.

46. Prince Charming

Is the man you’re dating someone straight out of a fairytale? Yup, you may not be Cinderella, but he’s indeed your Prince Charming. [Read: 50 sweet, caring ways to make your man feel special, appreciated & loved]

47. Sweetie

If someone is a sweetie, they’re usually younger than you, kind, and nice, and you really enjoy spending time with them.

48. Sugarplum

Sugarplum is a nickname to describe a lover so close that they’re almost like your wife.

49. Honey Pot

Honey Pot is literally a pot full of honey, just like how your special someone is full of sweetness.

50. Amore / Mi Amore

This means (my) love and affection in Italian, the language of romance.

51. Bella

Bella is often short for Isabella, but it also means “beautiful” in Italian.

52. Queen

If your wife or girlfriend is the queen of your heart, use this nickname with her to remind her how important she is in your life.

53. Peach

Peach is often used as a pet name for a pleasing person. It’s also the name of the Nintendo video game character Princess Peach who Mario rescues frequently from the wicked Bowser.

54. Doll

This name is most suitable for those girls who have a doll-like face or beautiful large eyes.

55. Angel

To be called Angel means that you’re sweet, kind, and pure.

56. Star Shine

Star Shine is someone whose eyes shine like stars, who fills you up with light, whom you don’t want to take your eyes off.

57. Angelwing

This is someone who always has your back. If your loved one is your protector and takes care of you, they deserve to be called Angelwing.

58. My Fair Lady

Fair is an archaic word for beautiful. This pet name is often used for someone who’s pretty or peaceful.

59. Sun Beams

To call someone Sun Beams means to view them at the source of light in your life. They keep you warm and happy even on your darkest days.

60. Frostie

Frostie is a great nickname for those born in the winter or those who love snow. It also gives off an attractive and magical vibe. Does it suit your lover perfectly?

61. Pancakes

Pancakes is someone who is adorable, sweet-looking, and has a delicious nature.

Tips for creating unique pet names for loved ones

If you still cannot choose one from the cute pet names listed above, do not panic. You can still come up with your own unique pet names for you and your partner. [Read: 30 sweet & cute nicknames for your boyfriend he’ll actually like hearing]

1. Keep it simple and meaningful

Don’t go over the top or try too hard to be different from the other couples. This is not a competition, but rather something special that you can share with the one you love.

2. Come up with as many nicknames as you can and then shortlist the best ones

If necessary, you can make a list of all the nicknames you like, and then, with the help of your partner, pick out the best ones that you both like.

3. Chalk out what you want to communicate and how you want to associate with the partner

Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when using these pet names. You can’t just pick a pet name you like to call them but they absolutely hate it.

4. Use a metaphor to leave a strong visual impression

If you can be creative, use a metaphor, like “Frostie” for your girl who was born in December, or “Doll” for her big, beautiful eyes.

5. Toy with words from different languages

What’s even better is if one or both of you speak more than one language. Calling someone an endearment in their mother-tongue is undoubtedly the most romantic thing you can do.

6. Gain awareness of cultural differences

By being culturally aware, you can recognize and appreciate your partner’s beliefs and not accidentally offend them by using an inappropriate nickname.

7. Try to make it funny

You can also make the pet names a cute inside joke that only you two understand. It’ll be hilarious when you call them by that name in public and confuse everyone else. [Read: Dry sense of humor: What it is & 20 signs you’re deadpan dry and funny]

8. Combine different words to come up with something interesting

Don’t be afraid to experiment and combine different words. For example, “Cookie Kiss” or “Honey Bunny.”

9. Describe a personality trait or physical attribute through the nickname

Pick one thing that you adore about your partner and make it their cute pet names.

10. Craft a nickname based on the person’s interests and hobbies

If you want to be even more extra, choose cute pet names based on your partner’s interests and hobbies. For example, if your partner loves singing, you may call them “Humming Bird” or “My Melody.”

Cute pet names are not for everyone

For some couples, the pet names just don’t work for them. Nor does the baby talk. The reason for this is, as we mentioned above, sometimes people associate it with their parents. And let’s face it, no one wants a romantic relationship with their parents!

Some experts even argue that cute pet names won’t necessarily kill your sex life, but they could hurt it. Another reason for this is that there could be embarrassment associated with certain names. A name could sound like an infant’s name or could just be absolutely ridiculous sounding.

[Read: 25 cute and flirty ways to say hi in a text message and make them smile]

All said and done, pet names are special and romantic to most people but maybe not to everyone. It’s personal and no lover really cares if others don’t get what the word means. As long as lovers feel special and cared for, cute pet names are here to stay!

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