How Often Do You Say Your Significant Other’s Real Name?

I’ve been single for a long time, but I’m still fascinated by relationships, and I sometimes reminisce about mine. I may have even written about this topic in the past.

In both of my long-term relationships, we had pet names for each other. I’m not sure how or why, but once it started, we never stopped.

It was extremely rare that we actually called each other by our names. When we did, I fully realized how rare it was, because it felt great to hear my own name, especially from someone whom I valued so much. Names are powerful in that way.

So out of sheer curiosity, I thought I’d ask you about this. If you’re currently in a relationship, how often do they say your real name? How often do you say theirs? Do you like it when they do, or do you prefer hearing your pet name?

8 thoughts on “How Often Do You Say Your Significant Other’s Real Name?”

  1. Just coming up to our 30th Wedding Anniversary, and I would say “Sweetheart/Darling/Beautiful/Good Looking/Baby” gets used slightly more than half of the time. I’m not sure if they count as pet names, or just terms of affection.

    We use our real names still pretty frequently. Or maybe I just think we do, because I always use her real name when talking to someone else. Hmm ….

  2. When typing things on FB I often refer to my husband as “Honey”, but when we actually talk I almost always say “Jim”. We’ve been married for 31 years. But if you think about it, most times when you call out your significant other’s name it’s to ask them something, or to ask them to do something for you. Definitely in those cases I say his name. Sometimes when I say “thank you”, I use “Honey” instead. He doesn’t have a pet name for me, so always says my name. (though sometimes on FB he’ll refer to me as “my Bride”.

  3. I’m in a fairly similar boat to esotericfulcrum and dmvp. I interchange things like “honey” and Laura when addressing my wife. Neither is an intentional decision, though.

    I’m intrigued by what your two pet names were. I’d be interested to hear what other inquisitive readers guess as well. Knowing a bit about your previous relationships, I’m going to go with “Kitten” in one relationship and something a little more rough-and-tumble in the other, like “Buster” or “Iron Man”. Did I hit on any of them?

    Side note: I’m picturing one of your previous girlfriends calling out to you, “Hey, Kitten!”, to which you quietly respond, “Meow?”

    • Ha ha…those are good pet names! Caroline’s pet name for me was “most” and Nancy and I called each other “babe”.

  4. Personally I don’t like pet names. My wife doesn’t apparently either. The only time we call each other anything other than our names is when we are talking with the kids and then we refer to each other as Mommy and Daddy.

  5. I’ve been married to my wife for 15 years and I’ve never called her by her real name, not even once. She goes by Bobbie Jo but her birth name is Barbara. Jo is her middle name. When I pick up the mail and see something addressed to Barbara Fersten, it takes me a second to realize that’s my wife as it isn’t the person who I married. : ) Further, several years ago, we started using a pet name for each other: “pie” which is short for sweetie pie.

  6. I’m in a very similar situation as Nik: I always call my wife by her first name and she calls me Charles, other than Mommy/Papa around our daughter. Not exactly sure why though. Maybe it had something something to do with the 4 years of long-distance (while I was in graduate school) before getting married when we were almost exclusively communicating on the phone and very rarely in person? Or maybe we just haven’t found the perfect pet name for each other. 🙂

  7. We have a lot of Persian/Iranian friends and picked up a common pet name from them ‘joonam’, which roughly translates to ‘my dear’, but obviously sounds very different. We’ve been using that for most of our almost 10 years of marriage. I also actively avoided saying my wife’s name in the early years of our marriage because she’s German and I can’t pronounce their ‘r’ sound properly. Her name is Kira. 🙂 Now that we’ve been living in Australia for those almost 10 years of marriage, everyone pronounces it the ‘Aussie’ way, so it’s not so bad.

    That being said, I normally avoid using a person’s name when talking directly to them. For some reason I tend to find it quite awkward, and even don’t like it when people use mine. I think maybe I had a traumatising social encounter in my early years that I’ve forgotten about/repressed…


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