What's in a name?

Life is about change. You expect your height to change, your voice to change and your taste in food to change. But did you ever expect your name to change – multiple times?

When you’re born, your birth certificate states your formal first, middle and last name. As an infant, your name changes from Theodore to Teddykins or from Patricia to Pattycakes. When you grow from a baby into a child, your birth name takes center stage again, especially when being scolded by a parent or teacher. “Theodore, come in the house this instant!”

Through high school and college, your peers get a hold of your name and put yet another spin on it. It’s no longer Theodore, but “Mr. T.” It’s no longer Patricia, but “Tricksy.”

Then you get married. This is when your name goes through a final identity crisis. Somewhere along the line in your relationship, you get assigned a pet name. “Sweetie Pop.” “Stud Muffin." “Pookie Bear.” It’s embarrassing.

As uncomfortable as it might feel, if your mate has crowned you with a pet name, consider yourself lucky. Yes, lucky. This term of endearment is a code word or phrase that sets you apart from everyone else in the world. There’s a pretty good chance your mate isn’t calling the mail carrier “Booboo.” So whether you get called “Rambo,” “Butter Babe” or “Peachy Pie,” embrace your pet name and remember that it’s part of the connective tissue between you and your partner.

Don’t have a pet name for your mate? Visit www.links2love.com and use the pet name generator.

Kathy Dawson is a Cleveland Heights author and relationship coach. To learn more about Dawson, visit www.kathythecoach.com.

Read More on Side by side
Volume 2, Issue 6, Posted 5:25 PM, 05.19.2009