Do You Nickname Your Dates?
First there was Alaska (from Juneau), followed by Crocs (the accountant who doesn’t seem to own any real shoes), followed by Scruffy Ginger (self-explanatory). As online dating sites make it increasingly common to see several men at once, more women are referring to the guys they date by code names when chatting about them with friends.
The Atlantic covered the trend in a recent online article, and author Sara Ashley O’Brien says she thinks women do it to keep men at an emotional arm’s length—so it’s not as painful if the relationship fizzles out (especially when you have to tell your girlfriends that, no, you haven’t heard from Bowling Guy in more than two weeks).
But Ian Kener, PhD, sex and relationship counselor and author of She Comes First, says nicknaming the men you date isn’t necessarily a bad thing—it’s just an emotional shorthand for summing up what resonates with you about a particular guy. Find out how using cute nicknames can help you bond with your man.
More interesting than why women give men monikers? What kind of insight the pseudonym can provide about your potential future with the guy. “It can reveal something you like about him,” Kerner says, “but very often women choose nicknames based on something that got under their skin, something that stood out and that they’re making fun of a little bit.”
If you’re not sure whether to go out on another date with a man, it can be helpful to ask yourself whether the name you’ve bestowed upon him is a term of endearment—a good sign about your gut reaction to him—or a little more insulting. For example, Kerner remembers one woman who called a guy she was dating “The Dutch” because he always wanted to split the check when they went out to dinner. “Clearly this was something that bothered her,” he says.
Does the alias you’ve given your man of the moment fall into the second category? It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker—but ask yourself if you could honestly see yourself getting over the hang-up.
For men who you do decide to continue seeing, keep this in mind: “It’s very natural when you meet somebody to kind of want to simplify them and label them,” Kerner says, “but know that the nickname you give them today will not be the nickname you have for them down the road. People become more complex as you get to know them better.”
TELL US: Do you give the men you date code names? What are some of the more creative one you’ve come up with? Share the details in the comments!
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