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Pet names really rather bother me. I'm not talking about what are "traditionally" petnames in the context that they are used between just friends. My friends and I (all female) call each other 'sweetie' and 'dear' --teasingly, and often with a hint of sarcasm--frequently. I'm taking about petnames between spouses, lovers, SO's, boyfriend/girlfriend, whatever term you so choose to put here, etc etc...

I want to say in advance if you are one of the few people who use 'petnames' and *understand* them, I am not talking to or about you. There just seems to be this massive segment of the population that uses petnames *blindly*. This bothers and worries me. a *lot*. Just from my own personal experience, it seems the more "honey"s and "darling"s and "baby doll"s and "sweetie-pie"s a couple uses, the less they actually *mean* anything by it. It seems these people use petnames *because they are AFRAID* to use the innate power in each other's *true and right* names--each other's truename each other's soulname...

There is innate power in names. To call someone their right name is to have some claim on them, on their life and their very soul. To call someone by their truename is to have a deep soul-bond to them.

It seems to me these people who use only petnames--who are *also* 99% of the time the people without deep, true relationships but instead either a feeling they're "supposed" to be in a relationship or those who are play-acting at love--are *afraid* to use their SO's name, their truename

While I sometimes call the man I love with all my heart words other than his proper birth name, every phrase I use--and every phrase he uses to me--are variants of our truenames. they are words that are not being thrown in place as *protection* from truth and meaning, they are truenames because in those names our essences are captured. I know a *few* other couples that also shun societal 'petnames' and use only truename variants. Surprise, these are the happiest, deepest, truest relationships--soulmate relationships. The other couples I know who use petnames in place of truename almost inevitably fail, break up, or they are play-acting love *thinking* they understand what it is... whatever... they are *not* in the place they want to be, relationship-wise, and they *admit* it.  Not in terms of truename of course because in shunning it they fail to understand it, but just in general terms of *being*...

It just bothers me that... people seem to use petnames as *shields* to hide behind, because they are *afraid* of the power and the beauty and the truth of truename...

For the most part, I agree with Wuukiee. However I would like to add a few comments.

The use of pet names by a couple shouldn't be viewed as the shortcut to relationship hell. An over-reliability on pet names is often reflective of a problem that existed in the relationship prior to this name calling. It indicates that one or both partners are either avoiding truenames to avoid the truth of the person they are dating, or are trying to re-create their partner as somebody else.

That being said, I love pet names. Although I am fiercely independent and honest, and don't like being babied or objectified, pet names are a part of role-playing in a relationship.

An important part of any relationship, particularly new ones, is working through various partner roles, whether they are social constructs or private constructs. Role-playing through names can help us discover how we like to be viewed and what type of roles we occasionally have fun falling into. Hell, sometimes it can carry over into the bedroom. I won't pretend I don't enjoy it a little when a boyfriend calls me "baby", as long as it is meant in an affectionate rather than possessive context. It assumes roles for both of us which are fun to enjoy temporarily.

The important part of pet names is to recognize them as such, and not use them as a means to avoid the truth of your partner.

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