Have you ever dated a dude who don’s his last name as his first? You know, the guy who everyone refers to by his last name, minus his parents, siblings and fam memebers. When you start dating – knowing everything you’ve heard about him has been referenced by his last name – you (in that initial moment) have a decision to make. You can a) call him by his first name, in case the ‘whatever it is’ that’s going on between you goes somewhere or, b) you can follow suit and keep calling the boy by his last name, since it seems most natural.
I find many girls who snag a man more so often then not address their partners by their first name. Even their full name (Michael instead of Mike, for example). When we call boys by their given name, we are showing others that we are different then everyone else. We can call him his first name because of our relationship to him. The first name almost projects the illusion of power, of ownership. As if we are part of the ‘close people’ club (alongside his parents as mentioned above) who have the right to call him by his first name. Since everyone else refers to him by his last, we feel almost special every time we utter it.
Some girls who are down with it maintain the last name as a first, which projects an image of comfort, of ease, of ‘one of the boys’. A male, twentysomething friend of mine – for years – has been referred to by a catchy nickname made up from part of his last. Last month, I hosted him and his wife for a dinner party, and nearly chocked on my aperitif when I heard her refer to him by this nickname. I was taken aback because I felt like it was almost too cas. Does she utter “Give it to me _______”, calling him by said nickname in the bedroom? I stopped myself soon after from letting my imagination run wild, but as the night went on and she kept saying ‘____________ (insert nickname) pass me the prosciutto. _______ pass me the risotto,’ and I sorta started to find it cute, endearing and almost more comfortable. It allowed me – when her and I were alone for a moment – to say ‘So how was your and ______’s honeymoon, without having to refer to the boy (whose first name I’ve never used before) by his first name.
The thing with nicknames is, when heard so frequently, they stick. I’ve been in a situation before when I was unaware of whether I wanted to take option a or option b in regards to which name to call the guy by. As I was deciding, I stuck with the all too familiar ‘babe’ nickname to bide myself some decision making time. I had realized over a month in that I had never actually said his name before to him (first or last). It almost got to the point where I felt it was almost too late to start calling him by any name other than babe, because of how long I waited, and how weird it would be. But, when aware that I kept referring to him on the phone to others by his last name, I decided that was what was right for me.
There are no rules, there’s no right or wrong. Just know if you refer to him by his last and you get in an argument (hey, it happens) that when you do try to use his it in a sentence, it won’t be as strong or taken as seriously as would his first, and if you then use his first name just for arguments sake to show that you mean business, it will come off as somewhat parental. Just some food for thought.
– Jenny Jen