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Why doesn't my boyfriend call me cutesy nicknames?

Hi Anna,

My friends and some classmates have told me my boyfriend is insecure or isn’t into me because he doesn’t call me nicknames and doesn’t seem to want to be sexual. Is there something I'm doing wrong or what? —Clueless Kitty

Dear CK,

As far as I know, there is zero correlation between insecurity and one’s willingness to refer to a partner as Snookem Pants. Do you want your boyfriend to use cutesy nicknames with you? If so, then ask him to, or start using them yourself. Sometimes our partners need a little encouragement or permission before busting out the silly pet names. I’d start soft (throw a “baby” into your texts or emails) before moving on to more advanced nomenclature (common desserts, the lesser-known fruits, vegetables if he’s really daring and/or French and the most adorable parts of animals—Kitten Chin, Panda Nose, etc.).

The real question I have, since your letter was so short, is this: Do you feel like there’s genuine cause for concern in your relationship, or is this just a case of your friends butting into your bizness? If it’s the latter, give your buds the bird and continue conducting your relationship the way you want. If it’s the former, however, you’re gonna need to bring your boyfriend up to speed and start expressing your desires. If you want him to be more sexual or call you his Little Cauliflower, he’ll never know unless you ask.

Dear Anna,

I went out on a date with a guy and went too far with him. (Four vodka tonics does that!). Is there a way to dial it back now and tell him I don’t usually go so fast? Did I ruin things? Will he call me again? Why did I drink so much??? —Too Much Too Fast

Dear TMTF,

To answer your questions in the reverse order they were asked:

Because dating is awkward, you were probably nervous and I’m assuming it occurred in a bar where there’s lots of access to liquor. Don’t beat yourself up too much.

I don’t know! If he doesn’t, it’s not because you “went too fast,” but because he’s not the guy for you.

You didn’t ruin anything. Sex is supposed to be fun (assuming that is, in fact, what you did. You guys are vague in your letters this week!) Remember that sex isn’t a transaction, regardless of whatever nonsense you might have heard about not buying the cow when you can get the milk at Jewel or whatever. If a guy loses respect for you because you had consenting, adult sex on a date, then he’s not worth dating (and he’s a hypocrite).

If he does call you (or hell, call him. Who’s making these rules?) you can tell him you feel uncomfortable about how things went down, but I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. Unless you feel you compromised your morals in some terrible way (did you take a religious vow or have sex with a cheese sandwich or something?), I would advise you to just accept that it happened, to know that you are worthy of this guy’s respect and to let it go. And also probably to have non-drinky first dates in the future (see this cheap, summer date guide from a few week’s ago).

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