There are times I find my husband too gooey and sweet for words. For many years, I always thought that he just wants to flatter me. I won’t bother placing the cute nicknames and code words we give each other in this blog. Our daughters have been brought into it also especially when we use a phrase that makes sense only to the four of us.

They say these sweet-nothings pave the way to a playful, resilient, and satisfying relationship with each other. I thought it was crazy when he deliberately mispronounced my name that I followed suit a few years after we got married. One study on couples’ “insider language” published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships reported that the more goofy nicknames, made-up terms a couple used, the higher their relationship satisfaction tended to be. So all those lovey-dovey words uttered on my ears are healthy for a relationship, huh?

“Using nicknames and made-up language is an easy way to inject positive communication into everyday life,” Jamie Turndorf, Ph.D., a New York City relationship therapist. says. In fact, it’s probably the single easiest thing you can do to keep your romance going strong.

Our secret language remains a secret.

A weekend trip to Kota Kinabalu just before the hostage crisis was an opportunity to be just by ourselves without our adult children admonishing us for PDA. You can really tell your kids are adults when they start to lecture you on proper behavior.

Anyway, thanks to those seat sales, and for only 1,250 pesos for the plane fare , Butch and I spent 3 days and 3 nights in Kota Kinabalu. The sight of lush green cover on the mountains and exotic flowers seemed a wonderful respite from the city jungle. I keep telling Butch that we needed a vacation, just the two of us. August was the preferred month to travel, fearing another Ondoy would strike our home. It is not easy to leave home after Ondoy flooded my home when I left for Singapore . Butch felt the same fear but I said we have to let go because the weather is never predictable. I left word to my daughters to drive the cars to their dad’s office for safety, which is just nearby in case the flood water rose on one side of the street.

So there we were in Kota Kinabalu, just the two of us, our first vacation in a place with no relatives or friends, without the kids tagging along. Just the two of us uttering our pet names and secrets codes that build a connection between us.

Do you use cute nicknames and code words to your significant other?

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