Are you in love or trying to compensate for something?
If your partner calls you "pookie," beware: one book claims that mushy pet names actually indicate relationship problems. In Stop Calling Him Honey and Start Having Sex, authors Maggie Arana and Julienne Davis elaborate on a number of couple habits that ruin relationships by eroding sexual attraction.
Cute nicknames like "honey" sound androgynous and generic, thus stripping the person of erotic appeal and individuality. Other harmful practices include sharing hygiene habits and having sex on the kitchen table to revive an interest in sex itself.
On the one hand, it feels sweet to receive justification for our annoyance at lovey-dovey couples. We get it, you're in love ... or aren't you?
That the book riles against "cute" nicknames seems to add up. It's less annoying to outsiders to hear you calling your husband a playful, original nickname than something saccharine like "sweetie pie." And some gentle, playful teasing and silly nicknames are actually good for a relationship.
Of course, the wrong nickname can spell doom for a relationship, as it did for one couple who found themselves headed for divorce after the wife found out her husband had taken to calling her "Guantanamo."
Yahoo! took the "honey" argument a step further by outlining five more annoying couple habits that can lead to a breakup:
1. Bragging that you never fight: Telling people you don't fight may make you feel superior at handling relationships, but it also suggests that you're not confident enough in your relationship's ability to grow from conflict.
2. Being attached at the hip: Bringing your boyfriend to girls' night out on more than one occasion might indicate that you no longer know how to function as an individual. To avoid getting bored with each other, happy couples make their own friends and hobbies so they can bring separate experiences to the table.
3. Talking about your kids 24/7: Dr. Laurie Puhn, a couples mediator, claims that excessive attention on your kids de-sexualizes the relationship. Eventually, your connection becomes completely dependent on your children. While we can see truth in this argument, we're willing to forgive new parents who are still figuring out how to balance their social lives with child-rearing.
4. Constantly matchmaking your single friends: While it's great to help people find love, becoming a serial matchmaker not only comes across as condescending, but it may suggest that you're trying to live vicariously through someone else's dating life.
5. Excessive PDA: Puhn says that excessive PDA may be overcompensating for areas in your relationship that are lacking. Sexual chemistry is essential, but only verbal communication and an emotional connection will deepen your relationship beyond the point where you publicly surrender to lust.