As someone who has her boyfriend's nickname emoji-bookended in her phone's contacts (and vice versa), I—or the more PDA-averse side of me—often worry that referring to each other by our pet names is both too much and incredibly lame.
But, according to a recent survey done by Superdrug Online Doctor, couples who use pet names are generally happier and have stronger relationships than those who don't.
According to the survey, going all in on using pet names increased couples' relationship satisfaction by 16 per cent in the US.
And 90 per cent of those who call their partner "beautiful," "gorgeous," "baby," or "cutie," are happy in their relationship, compared to only 56 per cent of twosomes who don't use pet names. Meanwhile, "daddy" was pretty much universally loathed by everyone… except when used in the bedroom ;).
But beyond the standard terms of endearment, making up unique names for each other can carry a lot of weight too.
Marybeth, 34, who interchangeably uses "Bubs," "Bubbies," "Bubba" and "Bubbula" with her husband, says these happened naturally. "They came out of an evolution from 'baby' that was a slip of the tongue one day, and it just stuck! It reminds me of how long we've been together, how much we've grown, but how we're still those same in love kiddos."
Melanie, 28, can recall exactly how the nicknames in her relationship came to be: "We always ran into each other throughout the years, but one night, I was leaving a bar as he was walking in and I got very excited to see a familiar face and went up to him and squeezed his face! After a few months of dating later, he nicknamed me 'Feeze' for face squeeze, and then I ended up calling him 'Beeze'–butt squeeze. To this day, we still use only these names for each other–it feels weird calling him his actual name now. It makes me feel like we have our own inside world that no one else knows about."
Pet names are indeed a sign of comfort in a relationship, the survey found, because you know each other well enough to develop your own little love language. And these names don't have to be ones you've heard other people use, like "sweetie" or "honey." You can get as weird as your hearts desire! It's your relationship. Call each other whatever you want.