It’s common to hear couples use pet names for each other, like babe, baby, honey, sweetheart — the list goes on. They’re cute and can give the couple yet another thing to bond over; a name that only they can use for each other. But what does using pet names mean for a relationship? According to experts, pet names aren’t super important in making a relationship last, but they can make it more fun. So, whether you’re a "babe" couple, or you prefer something spicier, like "daddy" or "sexy," read on to learn what using a pet name for your partner can actually say about your relationship
First of all, know that although pet names are totally normal, they aren’t for everyone. "It’s normal for many couples, but some people just aren’t into them (and that’s OK!)," life coach Nina Rubin tells Elite Daily. "If they’re used or not used, it doesn’t mean your relationship is better or worse than your friend’s." It really just comes down to personal preference, and how comfortable you and your partner feel with pet names, but they can be especially exciting if you use them discreetly.
According to one expert, pet names can serve as little sexy secrets that only you two understand. "Pet names can be a great way for couples to get closer because they are generally used in secret since most other people won’t realize the reference of the pet name," psychologist Denise Limongello tells Elite Daily. "The secrecy of pet names is what gives couples the thrill of having something that is uniquely their own, which can build intimacy and closeness." Basically, a pet name based off a shared experience or an inside joke can bring you closer, because it’s something that only you two understand.
But according to Rubin, using pet names doesn’t really have to mean much for your relationship. While they can show closeness in some couples, that doesn’t mean couples who don’t use pet names are any worse off. "Using them means you’ve found names that are cute for each other and it means nothing more," Rubin explains. "It doesn’t mean the relationship is stronger, will last longer, or will help you get closer."
Of course, that isn’t to say that there aren’t benefits to using pet names. As Limongello said, if you and your partner are super into pet names, there might be a closeness there that couples who don’t use pet names can’t totally relate to. In fact, a study of just over 1,000 adults performed by Superdrug Online Doctor discovered some positive side effects of using pet names. The study found that 90% of Americans who use sweet and simple nicknames (think "honey" or "beautiful") were perfectly content in their relationships, compared with just 56% of couples who said they were content, but didn’t use pet names.
Ultimately, using pet names doesn’t have to mean anything for your relationship, but in some cases, they can bring you closer and make your relationship a little more fun. It just depends on what you and your partner prefer, as the experts say, and what works best for you. If you want to call your partner by their first name, that doesn’t mean your relationship is weaker than those who call their partner "muffin." It really just comes down to taste, so don’t stress about it too much, babe.
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