Calling your mate by a cutesy nickname may annoy other people, but don’t let it bother you. Researchers say it’s a sign that the two of you have a very healthy and strong relationship. Here’s what we read in Women’s Health magazine:

  • Using “pet names” for each other is a great indicator of how happy a couple is. A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that QUANTITY was important: the more “insider language” couples use, the higher their relationship satisfaction tended to be.
  • Also, “coded language” shows how well you know each other. For example, the two of you are at a party and one of you says, “It’s chilly tonight,” the other understands that’s secret code for “Let’s get out of here.” Carol Bruess is the author of a book called What Happy Couples Do, and she says this shows couples are so deeply bonded that they’ve constructed their own “mini-world” with its own language.
  • Here’s another reason why “pet names” are important: they tend to be things like “honey,” “cupcake” or “peaches,” something that we find delicious and attractive about our partners. Body language expert Lillian Glass says when we’ve known each other for a long time, our pet names tend to be even more loving and personal, like “Speed Racer” for your mate’s ability to get you to the airport on time, or “Grizzly” because his beard grows in so quickly.
  • Pet names also create a boundary. That’s according to the book How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. It's a way to identify the relationship as exclusive because when people around you overhear your cutesy conversation, they know you're committed to each other.

One big red flag to watch for is if your partner stops calling you by your pet name. The experts say it's like calling a naughty kid by his full name. It sends the signal 'I'm not being intimate with you anymore.' When that happens, it's time to figure out what in your relationship needs fixing.