I told boyfriend not to call me ‘sweet baby,’ and he does it any­way

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - DEAR ABBY

DADVICE ear Abby: My boyfriend and I are mid­dle-aged. We have been to­gether for 2oe 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

Dear Cring­ing: Your boyfriend may be fol­low­ing a script he has writ­ten in his head. Has it oc­curred to you that “Sweet Baby” may be what he has called ALL the women in his life — which would make it less a term of en­dear­ment than rote recita­tion?

Af­ter two years of this, you should have made clear to him that “Sweet Baby” is not only not hav­ing the de­sired ef­fect, but it’s mak­ing you cringe. While you are at it, tell him plainly that you have an aver­sion to pet names like “Big Daddy” be­cause one daddy was enough for you, and you nei­ther want nor need another one.

If you can’t com­mu­ni­cate what you re­ally feel, then in­deed this ro­mance isn’t go­ing to last, so you might as well speak up.

Dear Abby: My 14-year-old son and I re­cently went to visit fam­ily a few hours away. We stayed at my mother’s home. My mother overheard him talk­ing to his male friend about en­gag­ing in sex­ual ac­tiv­ity with him. He thought every­one was asleep when she overheard the con­ver­sa­tion.

I never sus­pected that my son might be gay or bi. She told me in pri­vate the next day. Should I say some­thing to him about what she heard? I don’t want to em­bar­rass him, and my mother doesn’t want him know­ing what she heard. Should I keep quiet?

Caught By Sur­prise in Texas

Dear Caught: Your mother may have mis­in­ter­preted what she heard. Your son is at an age when he is try­ing to fig­ure out who he is. I don’t think it would be con­struc­tive to talk to him about what she told you, so bide your time. Let him know you love him and are al­ways avail­able to lis­ten and talk with him about any­thing that might con­cern him. But the topic of his sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion should be raised by him, not you.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and get­ting along with peers and par­ents is in “What Ev­ery Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $8, to: Dear Abby, Teen Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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.

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