When I hear Lucas utter those words at the beginning of Spooks series 9, it always throws me off a bit. He’s undercover, voicing concern for an unknown female, but it’s a very out-of-character thing for him to say. It probably affects me in the positive way it does for exactly that reason, and also for the simple fact that I like terms of endearments.
Some women despise the term Baby, they feel it’s condescending and sexist. I don’t mind it, but the shortened Babe bothers me in much the same way.
Terms of Endearments can be tricky: you shouldn’t think too much before using them- they should just come naturally, or it kind of defeats the purpose. On the other hand, maybe it’s not wise to shut the brain off completely.
I don’t use them much myself, usually only in regards to my children. When they’re in need of comfort, I’ll call them Sweetie. Most other times it’s either Goof or Goober; I’m quite eloquent in my everyday life!
Some women call their men pet names too, but it just doesn’t feel natural for me to do so. The most likely time I would use one would be after a “knight in shining armor” moment, in acknowledgment of a heroic deed. Spider-Killer and Genius IT Guy seem to be lacking a certain romanticism somehow…
I love to hear men use terms of endearments in regards to females they care about. John Porter called both his daughter and his (estranged) wife Love, and when he rescued Katie from captivity he soothingly praised her as being a Brave Girl.
Sweetheart is my favorite, though Love is nice too. I heard My Heart once, I think it was Irish; and I kind of like Poppet, which is British. The French, Mon Petit Chou, sounds nice but is a little odd.
Schnookums, Snuggle Bunny, and the deplorable Sweet Cheeks on the other hand; not so much.
(both perfectly acceptable)