Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dating Questions: When in the relationship is it okay to refer to the person with endearments?

In the dating scene I have thrown myself into...I want to develop a friendship with the guy and learn about him.  I want him to learn about me.  I want to be friends.  I want to connect.  I want to enjoy his company.  I want to go and do things together.  Even if there is attraction, I don't want him to feel that the only reason I am into wanting to hang with him is simply and only because he is cute.  I want him to know he matters.  I want to know he is special in my world.  And not just in an attractive and sexy way.  

So when is it appropriate to move from just calling them by their name to a term of endearment?

Those of you who know me well, know that I deeply love my circle of friends.  You know that I love connection.  You know that I love to engage in conversation.  You know I love to reach out and pray for you, encourage you, support you however I can.  

In doing this, I have my own way of using verbiage.  Like "Hey Friend, how are you?"  or  "Hey dude, whatcha up to?"  or "Hey Chica, what's new?"

I was on a date and a guy told me that he had something we needed to talk about and that he needed to tell me.  He said, please don't call me dude or friend.  When you do, I feel you are sending me a message to tell me that we are just friends and there is no more to the relationship than that, and he held up his hand at full arms length like a stop sign to define the impact of this message and how he felt shoved back when I used this term.

I felt the air get sucked out of me.  I couldn't breath.

For a moment, all I could say was "I am sorry, that is not how I meant it.  Thank You for telling me."

This was the absolute farthest thing from any intention that I had.  I wanted him to know I valued his friendship.  I wanted him to know that I cared about what was going on in his life.  I wanted him to know that I appreciate our relationship. I wanted him to know he was on my mind.  I wanted him to feel a part of my inner circle of friends. I wanted him to know that he was sharing a part of my world.  This is what I had wanted to communicate.

I failed to send that message.  Completely.  What I had sent was the wrong message, the exact one I didn't want to communicate!  This was so frustrating.    

No wonder for a few days he only responded to my texts and didn't initiate any.  He freaking thought I only wanted to be a friend.  This was an obvious difference between men vs woman and terminology...but at the same time, I wondered what terms of endearment can you use that send a message of interest without going all out and saying "Hey Sexy" or "Hey handsome"???  Am I the crazy one that thinks a relationship will have a progression of terms of endearment?  Am I the one that thinks its fun to not always just use someone's name?  Am I the only one who wants a well rounded relationship?  Or am I letting the rules I have been told about men and dating rule my terminology in a dating relationship and not just doing what I want to do?

Oh the dilemmas of dating and communicating with men.  I won't give up.  I will learn from my mistakes.  I pray that patience and understanding is given back to me as I honestly look at these situations that come up.  It is a reality, I am doing this 20 years later than most people and its a tough spot to be in.  I don't and won't do things perfectly, but I am willing to be taught.  I am willing to apologize when I make a mistake and face the fact that I hurt your feelings.  I want to hear what you have to say.

What are your thoughts on terms of endearment?  How did you interact with someone you were getting to know before you knew if you were a boyfriend and girlfriend?  What language do men want at a phase in this game?


  1. You have such a tender heart, Misty! That will go a long long way in any relationship and especially in this time of dating!! Love you, Chica !!!

  2. Misty!!!. I love this article. You mentioned that you may have learned the lesson. I hope that doesn't mean that you will stop using those terms. My advise is that you just found the wrong guy. Clearly you are going to need to be with a guy that is game for some happy connected energy. I personally would not have felt that you were pushing me away but would have really liked those terms. Not all guys are the same. I will agree that there has to be trust built before they can be used... so maybe by the 4th or 5th date? Then you know that there is reason to go on and more of you comes out. Gotta be yourself, Girl. Never doubt that you're the best. Then... He won't either. I dated a girl that called me "Dude". Weird at first but it really grew on me. Found that I liked everything that she was and then things made more sense.

    1. Thanks for the thoughts "dude"! Absolutely LOVE all the input in my life.

    2. When Nathan and I were dating, we used the term "friend" often. It wasn't until we were very serious that he began to call me "sweetheart," etc. I had also spent some time before meeting Nathan with another guy who always just called me "girl," as well as another guy who just used my name. I think this really differs depending on the person, and there is no right or wrong answer.

      It seems like in the dating or "getting to know each other world", there are times when one person is ready to move to the "next step," so to speak, sooner than the other person. This is where there can be a real test of that person's character and sensitivity and care for you. If they can't accept where you are at and what you are comfortable with kindly and graciously, than I personally would feel hesitation. I've found it can help to clarify what you mean or what you're feeling beforehand - "Your really special to me, and when I call you 'friend' I hope you know that," etc. If they CAN accept where you're at but honestly just wanted to share how certain responses feel to them, personally, that can be a good thing. As long as it doesn't lead to conflict, sharing thoughts like "When you say, I feel..." in a non-accusing way can help you grow closer in friendship or a relationship - even though those moments of honesty can be oh-so-uncomfortable. Either way, keep on keepin' on! I know you can do this! The dating world is confusing for ANYONE at ANY age, and there is always so much to figure out.

    3. dude! i use 'dude' with my bff's, or friends i don't have to be 'on' with. if a guy is so hung up on things like that, then it might be a red flag. sense of casual humor is fine in my book. so many minefields in dating. on the other hand, when the guy at the store calls me 'babe' or whatever, then that's kind of bordering on the insincere and over-famiilar. context is everything. until the 'conversation' where you are actually discussing 'are we dating? are we exclusive?' comes along, then casual words are fine in my opinion.