By Abigail Van Buren
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I are middle-aged. We have been together for 2 1/2 years. I love him, and I’m grateful for such a wonderful man at this point in my life.
My problem is, he calls me “Sweet Baby” every single time he addresses me. (“Sweet Baby, what do you need help with?” “Sweet Baby, I am on my way.” “What did you say, Sweet Baby?”) Even when it comes to trying to be affectionate, he’ll say, “You’re my sweet baby, aren’t you?” He asks this over and over and over, and then says, “You’re my sweet baby.” Abby, I could probably take it occasionally, but his continuous use of it now makes me cringe. I hate it! I have told him how much I’d prefer for him to use my name, but he won’t. He continues with the “Sweet Baby” in texts, calls, in person — constantly. I’m starting to wonder if he’s doing it deliberately.
He, in turn, likes being called “Big Daddy,” but I won’t do it. He’s not my daddy, and I don’t care for pet names. How can one little thing like that be so annoying, to the point that I’m beginning to avoid him and visit him less? It breaks my heart because we can have such a good time together, but he is ruining it. I’m trying not to end a wonderful relationship. I feel that by ignoring my request, he is being rude. Your advice? — CRINGING IN THE SOUTH