Using romantic pet names in relationships isn’t exactly cool. Some would even go as far as calling it downright lame. But even though we’re all very well aware that cute matching nicknames for couples aren’t cool, that doesn’t stop us from using them. Why?
Studies have found that cute matching nicknames for couples are a good indicator of a strong relationship, and a recent survey of over 1,000 respondents found that using pet names increase couples’ relationship satisfaction by 16%!
In the U.S., 90% of couples who use pet names like “pretty”, “beautiful”, and “gorgeous” report that they’re satisfied with their relationship. In contrast, only 56% of couples who don’t use pet names are satisfied with their relationship.
The study also revealed the most hated pet names. “Papi” (73%) and “daddy” (72%) took the cake, proving that most people don’t want to be reminded of their father, especially in bed.
Interestingly, men are more likely to use pet names than women. According to the survey, 85% of men use pet names in relationships, while only 76% of women opt to.
Cute matching nicknames for couples: Why do we use pet names?
1. Because of our parents
According to experts, couples who use pet names do so because their first love (their mother) called them by a pet name as well. “Couples, speaking this way, harken back to their own experience when they were infants and to their first love, their mother,” Professor Dean Falk, a neuroanthropologist from Florida State University, tells Broadly.
2. Because it lets us express ourselves more
Professor Frank Nuessel of the University of Louisville says that baby talk gives adults a way to express themselves outside of normal adult conventions.
“One reason is to initiate a role-playing scenario so that both participants can feel free to express their thoughts and feelings in a comfortable framework,” he tells Broadly. “It allows both people a certain freedom from the normal constraints of adult roles.”
3. Because it’s a way to express playfulness
Adult life can be burdensome and exhausting, and baby talk is one way to separate ourselves from all that and take on a more playful outlook that facilitates bonding.
“If we can’t laugh at ourselves and with each other in the relationship, we’re less likely to sustain that relationship in a positive way over time,” Carol J. Bruess, who co-authored this paper on pet names, says.
4. Because it’s a sign of familiarity
Cute matching nicknames for couples aren’t just a way to show affection. It’s a sign that you’ve grown so comfortable with your partner that you’ve developed your own language. The best part about these pet names is that you don’t have to settle for the usual nicknames other couples use.
It’s your relationship — it’s okay to get weird and cringey, so long as you’re both on the same page. (But before you start calling your partner “daddy” in bed, better check with him first before you inadvertently kill the mood.)