Years ago, when the term boo became a popular nickname for one’s significant other, I remember thinking “I am never going to call my man a boo.” It just didn’t make sense to me, probably because my very first pet, a darling golden retriever who mysteriously died while my family was at church, was named Boo. The term boo is also used to scare youngsters when one’s older sibling jumps from around a corner, yelling it loud with their hands outstretched to imitate a boogey-man. Or maybe it was because a boo boo is what little kids say instead of the word injury or scab – such horrible connotations!!!
Fast forward years and years later…
…and my husband is my boo boo.
I’m not sure when it even started. When did I get so wrapped up in love that every positive thought I have about the person I chose to spend the rest of my life with is brought back with just those two words?
Believe it or not, it started with him.
He called me boo boo for the first time, and it has stuck ever since.
I love you boo boo.
I miss my boo boo.
Do you still love me boo boo?
I’ll be home soon boo boo.
Boo boo, what are you doing?
Be careful boo boo.
Just the inclusion of those two words inserts a variety of emotions in whatever text, email, or statement we are sending. The emotions are there in hidden, invisible parentheses that only the two of us recognize. They say you’re my one and only, I need you, I want you, I desire you, I cherish you, I worry for you, you’re beautiful to me.
After 10 years of knowing one another, all we need is those two words to send those underlying messages. We’ve never forgotten them, and they come so easily to us that when they are left out, it sends the signal that something is wrong. I remember on one occasion, my husband sent a text saying:
Hello my love.
I was at work, in the middle of something that I had deemed as important that shouldn’t have been, and I responded bluntly with:
His next message was one of worry:
What’s wrong boo boo?
After texting him back to ask why he thought something was wrong, he stated:
You usually say “hey boo boo.”
I had forgotten how important it was to keep the relationship endearing. My job gets crazy, and it has a way of stealing my joy and attention in small moments. My husband reminded me that he is able to tell when something is wrong, even through a text message, and I need to be aware of how I my messages sound when read. In that moment, I didn’t communicate to him that I loved him and I missed him while away at work. Instead I communicated that he had done something wrong, and I was pissed about it.
Not only do we use boo boo, but we also use love, darling, love muffin, beautiful, and handsome. We keep it playful, cute, flirty, polite, and endearing.
What do your messages say? What do you call your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend? More importantly, what do you call them when you are busy, when you are rushed, when you are down? Do you remember to say thank you and you’re welcome when he/she does something nice? Are you only endearing when you’re being intentionally nice, or have you made those sweet words a constant part of your vocabulary?
Your endearing words are small ways to make your boo boo feel loved.