Many studies have shown that using couple nicknames, or “pet names,” in your relationship has significant positive benefits. Couples that use nicknames tend to have healthier relationships, as pet names can increase the attraction between people, and often call upon positive memories we have from childhood.
But, as many discussions around this topic point out, couple nicknames can also be divisive, and to some, disrespectful. Many people would prefer not to be called a cute nickname at all, and if they do, they tend to be particular about it.
So, how can we strike this balance, and strengthen our relationship at the same time? Here are 3 steps to follow to determine the perfect cute nickname for your girlfriend.
Do your research
First things first, you’ll definitely want to ensure that you’re not starting off on the wrong foot with a nickname that’s going to conjure up weird memories for her. If you feel comfortable, ask her what her exes called her, or see if you can get her to casually mention it in conversation. You’ll also definitely want to find out if she has any family nicknames, because, well, calling her those would just be weird!
Often, couples who spend a lot of time together will develop a natural flow of language and create their own system of communication. If you’ve found that your communication is already quite close and comfortable, then you are ready to move on to the next step.
Test a few out
Even if you can’t come up with past examples, it’s definitely a great idea to test out a few nicknames and just see how your partner responds. For example, a safe bet would to simply use one of the most popular pet names in the country, such as “babe” or “baby.”
Research has shown that it’s likely your partner will respond positively. They might even start using nicknames back with you, which will only bring the two of you closer. It should be relatively smooth to take baby steps into this new stage of your relationship, as long as you also follow the most important step, which is number 3!
Listen and be transparent
Finally, it’s incredibly important to take into account how your partner feels about pet names, particularly the ones you choose to use. For example, some women feel that being called “sweetie” or “honey” –even, and perhaps especially, from people who are not their family members or significant other –can be demeaning and make them feel subservient.
Of course, the most important aspect of a relationship is always communication. So, a great way to set yourself up for success in this endeavor is to let your partner know you care about her enough that you’d like to start calling her something special and let the conversation begin there together.
And if all else fails, you can always call her the nickname her zodiac sign would like the most. She’s bound to appreciate the fact that you looked that up at all!