Hi, Pookie: Why Women Nickname The Men They Date

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The secret significance of pet names.

The Atlantic Monthly recently ran a very entertaining article on why women give nicknames to the men they date. The author explained that she and her girlfriends often share every little detail about dating, but fail to share the most intimate detail — the man's name. For these women, not revealing the man's real name worked like a hedge against potential heartbreak and the possibility that he might "ghost," as they called it, or disappear quickly. When a guy would stop calling, having not used his name made it easier to laugh off and let go — an interesting strategy to hold off giving your heart away before you know he's a "keeper".

Memories of my own dating journey flooded to mind as I learned that other women do this same thing, but for different reasons than I used to. You see, having dated 30 men in 15 months to find my adorable husband, I started relying on nicknames to more easily communicate details to my friends. Sharing every juicy drop was a huge part of the fun and excitement of my dating escapades to find love, but at times, I juggled several men simultaneously, not knowing who would drop out or who would continue to pursue me. As such, my girlfriends had great difficulty keeping track of my dates — who did what for a living, personality characteristics, where they lived, etc. The game changer was when I started dating three guys all named John! That was why I began creating nicknames for my dates: Nicknames helped me capture a guy's essence to quickly convey whom I was talking about and eliminate confusion in my romance updates.

Now back to the Atlantic. The article's author and her friends, used a variety of methods to create the nicknames, including where they met, family heritage, physical characteristics and personality type. They had some very funny code names like "The Meatball" for a chubby Italian guy, and sometimes more obvious like "The Brit" or "Hot Gym Guy."

Mine were not nearly as creative, focusing more on career. For example, the last two guys I dated were "The Postman" and "Golf Boy," because my now husband worked at a country club/golf course when we met. However, some people use nicknames to show affection. Pet names are terms of endearment demonstrating the loving connection growing between two people. Keep reading ...

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Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan

Dating Coach

The Dating Coach for Women Over 40

Get my free book 7 Dire Dating Mistakes Women Make That Keep You Single here.
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Location: Milford, CT
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