The Power of Pet Names
From locking eyes with your partner and intertwining your fingers when holding hands, falling in love can place you in a state of euphoria. And the next thing you know is that you’re suddenly calling them by a special pet name.
Though there’s nothing wrong with coining a special nickname for your significant other, some worry that it can cause others to easily cringe and roll their eyes. Despite this, pet names hold a deep value. While they may seem like just silly things, they actually hold a lot of meaning for a couple. That said, let’s take a closer look behind the power of a pet name.
What Are Pet Names?
In simplest terms, pet names are adoring nicknames that couples use to romantically address one another. However, the roots of this term of endearment might surprise you, as they don’t originate in a classic Shakespearean romance. Rather, pet names can be traced back to the first person you’ve made a connection with — your mother.
As explained by professor Dean Falk of Florida State University, couples who speak to each other endearingly connect to their own experience with their moms when they were babies. This means that pet names are used to foster a strong yet soft dynamic between you and your partner.
What’s In A Pet Name?
More often than not, couples often shy away from using their saccharine nickname for each other. However, this shouldn’t be the case, as a pet name powerfully solidifies your attachment to each other. In fact, Bustle reports that addressing your partner by a pet name can increase your relationship satisfaction by 16%. However, make sure to check in with your partner if they’re comfortable with the pet name, since 73% and 72% of participants didn’t like “papi” and “daddy”, respectively.
While it can be viewed as something cheesy (as most romantic details are), a pet name can help build a strong foundation for your relationship. It’s also a concrete way of affirming your love for the person in your life. And your pet name — no matter how common or unique it may be — is a part of the lexicon that’s only shared between you and your partner. When you call one another by that term of endearment, you transport yourselves into the special world that your love has created.
Are All Pet Names the Same?
Love is universal. So, it’s important to note though pet names take different forms all around the world. For instance, here in the United States, terms like “baby” and “sweetie” are often used as a linguistic device of love. Across the pond, Gala Bingo explain that Brits are fond of terms like “darling” and “honey” for greeting a partner or a friend. Most popular of all is the term “babe”, which was popularized by the British reality show The Only Way is Essex. Meanwhile, the Culture Trip shares that Spaniards add zest to their pet names, as a popular example would be “media naranja”. This translates to half an orange in English, and it’s used to communicate that you and your partner complete one another.
But the interesting terms of endearment don’t just end there, as Japanese men lovingly call their girlfriends or wives “tamago gata no kao” or egg with eyes. It’s used to compliment the beauty of their partners, since an oval-shaped face like an egg is celebrated in Japanese culture. Additionally, Korean women like to refer to their boyfriends as “oppa”, which translates to older brother. In Korean culture relationships where the male is older than the female is favored hence the interesting pet name. No matter what the language, these all go to show how important a pet name is in a relationship because it reminds the person that you appreciate their presence in your life.
Like we said, people often associate pet names as something that’s embarrassing. But endearingly calling your significant other with a special name that you’ve chosen is actually a powerful way of solidifying your commitment to your partner. It’s a sincere way of saying that you value them and the relationship you’ve both built together.