A person’s name is the most important word in the world to them. It connects you to your identity. You could be in a chaotic crowd, but if someone were to say your name, even from a distance, you would turn your head toward the familiar sound – even if they weren’t talking to you!
A name also holds great significance. Maybe you’ve looked up the origin of your name and its meaning. (My full name is Chaya Sara. Chaya is Hebrew for life, and Sara is Hebrew for princess!) Maybe your parents have a great anecdote for why they chose that particular name for you. Or maybe you just feel as if you embody your name and no other name would be quite as fitting.
That’s why it’s so important for our partner to say our name and to say it often. When you’ve been involved in a long-term marriage or relationship, it’s easy to forget to say someone’s name. We tend to address each other simply by talking directly to our partner, or saying a lazy, “Hey,” to get their attention. But while this can be convenient, something is lost when you don’t hear your name regularly.
Everyone likes to hear their own name, but it can also be an intimate and affectionate gesture. When your partner calls out your name in an endearing way (not when he or she is angry!), it can move you. It can make you feel special and loved and as if your partner really knows you. My wonderful husband endears me when he calls me “Chayale,” a unique twist he added to how I’m called that’s exclusive to him. When I hear him calling me like this, it is always music to my ears. It makes me feel special and loved.
Pet names and endearments such as “honey,” “baby,” “sweetie,” “pookie,” or whatever nicknames you and your partner use can be endearing, too. But oftentimes, they simply sound like filler words. They lack the uniqueness and individuality that your own name possesses, which makes it that much dearer.
During intimacy, for example, a common pet name that everyone uses can diminish your intimate connection. It’s not personal. It’s not really you. But saying your partner’s name? That’s seductive!
For this very reason, I encourage couples either to use unique, endearing nicknames – something special and personal for the two of you – or simply call each other by name in a loving, intimate way. It will strengthen your bond and brings the two of you closer together.
We currently live in a world where everything is duplicable, unoriginal, and lacking in personal touch. So in this often insincere world, let’s remember the simple value of one’s name.
Tonight, I challenge you to take my marriage advice, go home, and call your spouse by name – tenderly, fondly, and passionately. You will immediately notice the intimacy and love it results in. So give it a try!
Rooting for you!