In a close and loving relationship, it’s common to adopt all kinds of shows of affection that tell each other exactly how you feel towards your significant other. This could materialize in acts of kindness or generosity, positive and outgoing body language, or by the use of pet names.
Pet names are terms *usually, but not always* restricted to a single word that would be considered over-familiar and/or a bit soppy in a wider context. They tend to reflect affection and love, and because of their rather personal nature, tend to be used behind closed doors.
Some pet names can be quite traditional in manner or quite creative, but whichever is chosen, there is lot more behind them than a simple throwaway sentiment.
The meaning behind pet names
Want to know what your pet name says about your relationship and how your partner views you? Then read on.
#1 “Boo“ or “shorty/shawty.” This one has popped up quite a lot in recent years and seems to be a favorite of the rap and hip-hop musical community. However, the same community is also known for referring to women as b***es and h**s. If this is the kind of impression you’re happy having your other half associate you with, then no issue is to be had.
If, however, you’ve mistakenly thought that this term is a modern, hip, and happening variety of the usual kind of pet name, then I really have to put you in the picture. It indicates a lack of respect for you and your intelligence, shows that they see your relationship as very much a temporary tryst, and they would probably jump into bed with your best friend without a moment’s hesitation. [Read: 10 sneaky techniques guys use to get in your pants]
#2 “Prince/princess.“ For all intents and purposes, this pet name indicates fairly healthy relationship markers. It shows that they hold you in great esteem, have a huge amount of respect for you, and see you as a very precious part of their lives.
However, although the top notes are all there, the bottom notes are somewhat lacking. Sure, they want to cater to your every need and spoil you at every opportunity, but there’s not much in the way of passion in how they view you. If you’re happy being their fluffy bunny, then that’s just great. If, however, you’re expecting sparks, fireworks, and the earth to move, then you’d better think again. [Read: 12 clear signs of true love in a relationship]
#3 “Babe.” This kind of occupies a halfway territory between the first two. It isn’t quite as dismissive a term as “boo,” but it does still betray a certain lack of serious intent and a somewhat casual level of appreciation. It does show that they are attracted to you, but shows that your physical merits are probably more important than anything else you have to offer.
If the term babe is used and you’re not a Brad or Angelina looks-wise, then I’m afraid you’re being referred to with a safe term – one that shows you are more than a friend but that intentionally disguises the degree of commitment. [Read: 25 signs your man really loves you even if he doesn’t say it out loud]
#4 “My love.” Shakespearean is the term that best describes the impression this particular pet name gives. It is both eloquently yet casually romantic – easily dropped into the conversation and always delivers with impact. It shows that your partner has deeply romantic and soulful feelings towards you – a true romantic who believes you are meant to be together for life. In essence, you’ve scored yourself a keeper. [Read: 8 romantic gestures from the olden days all girls miss]
#5 “Honey/darling/dear.” These very traditional terms of endearment are the kind that you’re probably used to hearing your parents and/or grandparents use. They’re exceptional in that they’re so traditional, they can pass into public use without issue, and if only used in public, then there’s nothing to worry about – your other half is probably just grasping at an opportunity to show their love for you in front of others.
However, if used in private also, then there’s a whole different thing going on. In this case, your significant other is showing that they love you very much indeed, but that the honeymoon period is over. Loving someone and being in love with them are two very different things, and if these pet names are consistently used in private, then the latter is unfortunately lacking.
#6 “Sexy.” This one kind of speaks for itself. If used alongside other compliments and terms of endearment, then it fulfills a role in showing that the physical attraction is as much there as the emotional and spiritual. However, if this is the only pet name used, whether in private or public, then you need to question exactly why they’re with you.
Let’s face it, every relationship needs some level of physical attraction, but if that’s all there is, then the future doesn’t look particularly bright. [Read: 11 signs you’re being used for sex or money]
#7 Cutesie pet names. Lots of younger couples, especially younger ladies, love to use cutesie pet names for their other halves. You know the kind of thing: sugar-bunny, shnookums, pumpkin, love puppy, etc. First of all, let me congratulate you on consistently managing to keep your lunch down when you are accosted with such sickly-sweet offerings. Secondly, let me just say that cutesie nicknames aren’t always as positive as they may seem.
Sugar-bunny might seem cute and loving, but in a way, it’s just as dehumanizing as “boo.” It shows they don’t really take you very seriously, and that you’re more tied up with some kind of weird fantasy about what romance is supposed to be, rather than tied into their heart strings. [Read: 36 sweet and cute things to say to your boyfriend]
#8 Nostalgic pet names. This refers to a pet name that hearkens back to an earlier experience or conversation that you had together, and shows that your partner has thought very carefully about your pet name and about you yourself. A strong sign that love is still blossoming.
#9 Varied pet names. A variety of different kinds of pet names, from the traditional to the creative to the cute, shows either one of two things. Most commonly, it can display your partner’s awareness of what a pet name could mean to you and how it’s important to keep you interested and feeling special by alternating them. This is a surefire sign of a keeper – someone who understands the importance of keeping the spark alive.
Less commonly, however, it can be the hallmark of a player, someone who has a strategy in place and that the terms of endearment they choose are part of a game to get you in exactly the position that they want. Definitely one to avoid. [Read: 7 signs you’re dating a player]
#10 None. Hmmmm, this is a sticky issue. If they haven’t got a pet name for you, then you are probably wondering why. Well, at the beginning of a relationship, they may feel that it isn’t appropriate to use one yet, or they don’t know you well enough to choose the right kind of pet name – which actually shows a degree of common sense. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]
If you’re way down the line in the relationship and they still haven’t got a pet name for you, then it may be a sign that their feelings for you aren’t all that deep. Worst of all, however, is if they have had a pet name for you before, but it has fallen out of use. In this example, it is almost certainly the case that love’s flame has been lost, and discussions need to be had about the status of your relationship.
[Read: The right way to find the most appropriate and cute pet name for your lover]
It should now be apparent that your partner’s choice of pet name for you is a whole lot more than just a term of endearment. And if you’re not happy, having found out from the list above what they are really saying about you, then it’s high time to talk it over!
Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.
Get the very best of LovePanky straight to your inbox!