Jerkface, lazybum, fartman. Ever give your husband or boyfriend nicknames that seem mean on the outside but come from a place of love (you swear!)? According to the New York Times, they could be a sign of a strong relationship.
A Times Magazine piece this weekend argued that teasing is a natural part of being human and, towards the end of the piece, it touches on teasing as a part of romantic relationships. For longterm couples, teasing "serves as an antidote to toxic criticism that might otherwise dissolve an intimate bond." Studies have found that couples who have lots of nicknames and silly phrases they use together have more fulfilling and happier unions. Partners who can poke fun at each other during a fight end up feeling closer after the conflict than couples who don't tease during arguments.
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Teasing is different from bullying, which is name-calling that's meant to hurt; so this teasing-is-good-for-you stuff doesn't give you a free pass to tell him he's a terrible chef or that you hate his mother. Next time he serves you pancakes that might as well be corrugated, try giving him a loving nickname: "My darlingest top chef, why don’t you let me make breakfast next time?" And when you're arguing over how long his parents are going to stay with you at Christmastime, insert a little love-tease in there. "You want them to stay for two weeks? Next you're gonna say you want to make me pancakes for breakfast every morning!"
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