April 9, 2010

Terms of Endearment

Picture from here
As with all things that start on facebook lately, I was reviewing someone's facebook profile page. It was his birthday and of course I saw the usual birthday greetings and joined the masses in wishing him a happy birthday. Reviewing other messages, I stumbled on one that caught my eye. A lady friend had written: Happy Birthday my love. May God bless you.

I thought this was weird. As all these people are in Nigeria, I thought there might be a cultural difference and so I decided to ask some friends that I had in Nigeria how/when terms of endearments are used. And for the most part people (females) said they would use words like darling, sweetheart and probably use it with someone of the same sex... Everyone was in agreement that 'my love' was not an appropriate term for a friend. 'Dear' seemed to be the most common and acceptable term used across sexes.

I remember in my freshman year of college, I used terms like 'babe' and 'sweetheart' when referring to people. The guy I was dating at the time mentioned it to me. He said he thought those type of names were reserved for him, so he felt special but he later found out otherwise. That cautioned me in my speech. I realized I had to watch the way I was talking to other people, especially of the opposite sex. I didn't want a situation where anyone would misread the intent of my conversations/attention.

So when I saw this message on this guy's facebook page, it took me back to my Freshman year and I wondered about that. Was there more to the relationship that wasn't being said? As a female, would you refer to a guy who was just a friend as 'my' love?... I tried to rationalize it but I just couldn't. It just seemed so weird to me. If someone had noted, 'Happy Birthday love...' I would understand that... but owning the love... by putting 'my', I think that puts a different spin on it. What if the guy had a wife? a significant other? a girlfriend? What would the girlfriend think by seeing that. If you were the girlfriend, and you didn't know who the girl was that wrote the message, would you brush it off as normal or would you scrounge your face and try to figure out what was going on? And if you knew a guy had a girlfriend... or maybe even a fiancee, would you still refer to him as 'my love'?

Personally, I think there is an issue when someone can refer to someone else as 'my' anything other than a friend if you are just a friend. Substituting the word Love with anything else other than 'dear', like honey, sugar, tender lover (LOL - that's a song if you didnt catch that)... I would find it highly inappropriate to refer to a friend who I am not in an intimate relationship with using such terms.

What do you think?



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well, they're all featured in the latest post on the In My Dreams, It Was Simpler blog.

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Let me know your thoughts on the above topic and then
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18 comments:

daylight said...

I know a number of people who use 'dear', 'sweetheart' etc when talking with EVERYBODY. While I reserve such words for a special person or persons, I don't think I would call them inappropriate. Everyone does things differently, you know.

Jaycee said...

LOL. I am rather random when it comes to my use of endearments.

Miss Enigma a.k.a UnderCover07 said...

I use words of endearments when talkn to a gud friend of d opposite sex, but not my love or sweetheart...certain words of endearment are reserved for the boyfie alone.

And if I saw a comment on the boyfie's wall dat seemed inappropriate, I'd let him knw dat dats a no-no in my books, so he better check d babe ASAP.

People dnt knw whr to draw d line nowadays, always getting overly familiar n crossing lines.

doll said...

i agree i think.."my" makes it kinda personal...but people use all those endearments casually these days sha

Writefreak said...

You know my answer already! Heck no! He's not special, then why is he my love?

Fabulo-la said...

But do you know if the girl is indeed his love?
Or maybe his past love??

if its either then...i kinda understand.

personally I hate ANY kind of endearment, whether it is by a significant other or not. It just makes me...ughh....

I just shuddered if you didnt catch that.
LOOOL

DiAmOnD hawk said...

daylight: true, everyone does things differently...

Jaycee: ehen.. okay MY LOVE ;-)

Miss Enigma: I'm totally with you on everything that you wrote

doll: we definitely need to watch it now... it's almost like things that were sacred and becoming less so these days....

Writefreak: Heck no x2 from me too o jare...

Fabulo-la: the guy actually has a girlfriend and it's not the girlfriend that wrote the comment.. which was why I was wondering o... I caught your shudder... but why now? why dont you like endearments?

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

I'm terrible,, I use all of it.. makes sense why there other halves who later came into the picture bit their eye lid at me :).. lol.. meanwhile, I love the fact that you have started bloggng again. Nice to see you back with.. oh and you already know my views on folake.. well done again on the write up..

Anonymous said...

i think this calls for questioning, and a lot of explanation......from both parties, it could be a misplaced use of words.....and come on its the guyz birthday...has there been re-occurrent conversations like this with the persons....Dont be too quick to judge, however, it dosent seem appropriate.

Anonymous said...

I really think its a harmless term of endearment. No need to read meaning into innocuous statements. we really all can not align our statements to generally acceptable standards all the time.

DiAmOnD hawk said...

Life of a stranger: yes o, do use caution when referring to someone of the opposite sex if you use 'my love'... you too wont find it funny if women used it on your man

Anonymous 1: yes... explanations must be given... but whatever the case, it is NOT appropriate

Anonymous 2: who determines if it is harmless or not harmless... you're quite right... as they say... common sense is not always common... so it is true that everyone cannot have the sense to determine what is or not appropriate/generally acceptable

Pink Satin said...

i would say my dear, my love, darling to my friends that are girls but never to a guy sa

downtheaisle said...

I'm used to saying babe or dear to my girl friends but my male friends...nahhh!!! for my husband I use all endearments in the world,depending on my mood.

Sting said...

I hardly ever use terms of endearment with anyone. Maybe that that was his chic.

sosexy said...

I always use the terms of endearments, not dderogatory but because it's something I'm used to saying.. Nice post

BBB said...

wow
i had dis issue with my bf dis weekend
he had issues with me callin people love and hun on twitter
i was bbming him
and i said yes hun
and he was like whos ur hun, hun dat u use for every tom dick and harry
i felt bad
so now am watching myself
i tend to get carried away at times...

UBIUDUE (Nigeria's marketplace) said...

i do use words of endearment all the time. im just so use to it because everyone around me growing up did use them :)

Anoda Phase said...

hmmmm...this reminds me of one time when I was with my boyfriend and another male friend called me on the phone...I answered "hello love"... hei! my bf didn't find it funny @ all...he said even if I was going to address d other guy that way, it shouldn't be in his presence...I thot the fact that I said it in his presence would be proof that it was nothing more than a greeting oh...but apparently not!