‘Baby’ – that sweet little word which is formally used to refer to a human infant. It is one of the most common pet names used to show romantic affection. The words ‘Hey Baby’ are sweet and heartwarming when they are said by your boyfriend, but isn’t it disturbing when a strange guy calls you baby? Many women admit it is unnerving when these words are used by a guy you don’t know.
Many men use this pet name on their girlfriends. Others just use it as part of a pick-up line. Have you ever wondered what it really means?
I. Why is this word so common?
Before we think about what the word really means, let’s see why the average woman has probably had many men call her baby. Just about all of them have had some sort of experience with this word – from the weird creepy guy you want to run away from to the perfect gentleman you can’t help feeling drawn to.
From experience, men know that the word “baby” is the one pet name which every woman will certainly react to. Yes, some responses may be negative, in that the woman is angered by the reference, but most will be positive. When you are in a relationship with a guy and he calls you baby, you will be flattered. It will make you feel special. You will probably like the fact that he has a cute name for you. But if a stranger calls you the very same pet name, you may get upset and maybe even take a minute or two to tell him how you feel. Either way, the word will elicit a reaction from you. The bottom line is that a woman simply cannot ignore a man who calls her baby.
We can compare a guy’s use of the word baby to a pair of jeans. There are many different kinds of guys out there who all own a pair – or a few pairs – of jeans. The difference is that some guys wear rough, rugged, ill-fitting jeans while other guys will only wear sleek, designer jeans fitted to perfection.
Here is a list of different kinds of guys who will call a girl baby – all with varying thoughts and intentions.
What does it mean when a guy calls you baby?
1. The Genuinely In-Love Guy
When you are in a relationship and your guy calls you baby rather than by your name, it is his way of showing you that he loves you. The fact that he calls you by this pet name, even in public, explains that he adores you and is not ashamed to shout it out for the rest of the world to know. In this situation, you have nothing to worry about and you should be a happy girl indeed!
2. The Self Entertainer
As mentioned earlier, “baby” is the one pet name which never fails to evoke a reaction from a woman. There are some men who call a woman “baby” because they know that this reference, coming from them, will anger her. They do it not with the hope for a positive response but because her angry reaction is entertaining to them. They get a kick out of an outraged response from a woman. This kind of treatment is infuriating for a woman because it makes her feel devalued into some kind of sex object.
No doubt that this would have to be a very immature kind of man but you will be surprised how often this happens. It is always best to ignore the self entertainer guy. Yes, it will take a lot of will power to shut out his voice but it is the best way to deprive him of the one thing he wants to get out of you… a reaction.
3. The Presumptuous Guy
You have a male friend who you have gone out with a couple of times. You text each other often but you are not dating. Suddenly he is calling you baby in conversations and using the word in text messages. It is clear that he already considers you his girlfriend.
This can be a fairly sticky situation for a girl, especially if she doesn’t want to hurt his feelings. More so if she was happy with the friendship and would like to keep it.
Brace yourself and have a candid conversation so that you are both on the same page. You may just find that it is you who are mistaken and that he calls all his female friends baby – you are merely one of them.
4. The Genuinely- Attracted Guy
Your dear male friend suddenly starts calling you baby. This may be his way of saying he is attracted to you and would like to be more than friends. Crossing the line from being a friend to a boyfriend is a risky move which should be taken with caution. Keep in mind that crossing this line may very well mean the end of the friendship as it is. You may never be able to be close friends again if the relationship doesn’t work.
Another scenario is one in which you are walking down the street and you hear a man calling you baby. When you turn towards him, you find that it is an absolute stranger. Yes, this does take an incredibly confident, forward guy but there are lots of those out there. Regardless of whether you respond negatively or positively, he will definitely have made it clear to you that he genuinely finds you attractive.
5. The Forgetful Guy
You go out for drinks with a bunch of your friends and some of them bring other friends along, making you guys into one big group of merrymakers. Then suddenly, one of your newly made acquaintances is calling you baby! You just don’t understand why someone who would have been an absolute stranger yesterday is calling you by this pet name. No, he is not drunk and he seems like a pretty decent guy. Why then would he opt for a pet name over your name?
Relax, lots of guys do this when they want to get a girl’s attention but simply cannot remember her name. They fear that asking her name again (since they were already introduced by their mutual friend) may offend her. It may also ruin their chances of getting her number at the end of the evening. So next time this happens to you, don’t take it personally. He may be an innocent, well-intentioned but forgetful man.
6. The Lustful Casanova
Here is a little bit of history: the term Casanova actually dates back hundreds of years. It was the name of an Italian adventurer who became famous in his time for his complicated and elaborate affairs with numerous women. Believe it or not, today, a lot of men truly believe that calling a woman “baby” is all it takes to get her into bed. If you find yourself dealing with Mr. Casanova, it is safe to conclude that sex is all he is after when he calls you “baby”. If you are not one of those girls who jumps into bed with the first handsome guy who has a few sweet names to call you, keep your distance.
7. The Egocentric Guy
Every woman has come across one of these: the arrogant guy who is full of himself. He believes that he is “all that and two bags of chips” and expects women to fall all over him. They use the word “baby” to get a girl’s attention but the girl and her feelings couldn’t be further from their minds. Because credit should be given where it is deserved, we must admit that this kind of guy is typically a very attractive man. So, you may be tempted to grant him some attention. But you will soon realize that his good looks are as far as it goes.
A word of advice, ladies, steer clear of this kind of guy no matter how popular he may be. This is not the kind of personality you ever want to get into a relationship with.
8. The Unapologetic Player
He dates several women at a time for sexual and other related benefits. He will do anything to add another woman to his list of “achievements”, calling her baby included. He has no apologies about his lifestyle and may even thump his chest about how many women he has slept with. The player is a smooth talker, calls everyone in a skirt “baby” and all manner of sweet pet names. His sole aim is to get her into bed – to conquer another one. Unfortunately, he succeeds very often because many women just cannot resist his alluring ways.
A well-mannered gentleman who you are meeting for the first time will not call you “baby”. He will introduce himself and politely ask you your name then refer to you by your name. That is the difference between the player and the gentleman. Which one would you consider relationship material?
II. Is it Different When It Comes from a Guy You Like?
We have lots to say about what we can conclude when a man you hardly know calls you “baby”. But what does it mean when the words come from someone you know well, someone you like? This changes the dynamics of what you should or should not understand.
No doubt this is a matter which has more to do with an individual’s instinctive feelings than common sense.
That said, here’s our two cents on what to think when the word “baby” comes out of the mouth of a guy you like.
He is attracted to you
It is somewhat obvious. This is the most likely reason why he would call you “baby”. If he is genuinely attracted to you, the word should slide out naturally. If you are still not certain, pay attention to other signs. Does he hold your hand in public? Does he put his arm around your shoulder? Sometimes it is the little things that tell all.
His heart is bursting with affection
If his insides are bursting with warm fuzzy feelings of love towards you, he will call you “baby” to try and express it all. Body language and tone of voice will tell a lot. It is up to you to read him, read the situation, and make your judgment.
It is a habit
It might sound strange but some guys call every female “babe” or “sweetheart”. The words just come out of his mouth with no selection whatsoever in terms of who he is conversing with. He may even call his mom and sister these pet names too! Strangers or women he hardly knows hear the very same pet name from him. If that is the case with your guy, you better not read anything into it when he uses the same words on you. Try not to take it personally. He probably doesn’t mean to hurt anyone, it is just who he is.
He wants your attention
He knows that you will instantly turn your attention to him when he calls you “baby”. So be careful if he only seems to call you by this pet name when you are talking to another man. It could be that he is using the words to turn your focus to him as well as make it clear to the other man that the two of you are an item.
It is part of a pick-up line
If you are at a bar and a guy calls you “baby”, it is most likely because he is trying to warm you up and hopefully take you home to bed. He has probably been sipping on something a lot stronger than sparkling water all evening so you best not take him too seriously.
He thinks it is cool
Some guys use pet names on girls simply because it is the norm. He may be thinking, “that’s what guys do so I shall do it too”. Many men believe calling a girl baby makes them charming and irresistible.
If you suspect this is why he calls you those pet names, pay close attention to his body language. If he doesn’t seem drawn to you, then he is probably not. Listen to your heart because it will, more often than not, tell you the truth.
His sweet words are a dipstick
No one likes to be rejected, but some men are terrified of it. They would rather test the waters first than put themselves out there for you to accept or reject. Sometimes, a guy who is interested in you will call you baby as a way of gauging if and how much you like him. Your reaction should give him a pretty good about what you think of him. It will tell him if he should continue to pursue you or if he should not bother at all.
He is just flirting
Maybe calling you “baby” is his flirtatious way of getting your attention. It could be how he hopes to loosen you up and get you to be comfortable around him. Listen closely to his tone of voice as he says the words. Does it come out as a random term, a joke or a deep, emotion-filled one? Once again, look out for his body language as he speaks. Does he make eye contact?
When is it Appropriate for Him to Call You Baby?
It doesn’t matter if you are in a steady relationship of many years, you are just starting out, or testing the waters with that special someone, there are some environments in which sweet pet names are just plain inappropriate. Here are a few considerations:
In the workplace
If you both work in the same office, it should be obvious that a professional workspace is not the place for pet names. Take a second and think about that awfully awkward silence which would follow him calling you “honey bunch” in the middle of a meeting while in the presence of work colleagues.
Everyone knows that business and relationships do not mix so keep it as formal and official as possible.
You will probably agree that text messages can be quite bland. You simply cannot read a person’s mood from a simple text message. Throw the word “baby” in there and the entire message suddenly spices up with warmth and affection. Even a single term of endearment makes a message come alive and means a lot more to the receiver.
America is a vast country. Cultures and ways of life in one part of the country could be very different from another part of the same country. When it comes to terms of endearment, studies show that folks from the south don’t take them too seriously. It is perfectly normal for a woman to have a complete stranger call her “baby” and see nothing to it. In another part of the country, the same words would be considered rude and disrespectful to a woman.
Your age and sex
Surprisingly, most women have no problem when a significantly older man calls them “baby”. Even if she may not be entirely comfortable with it, it will not elicit the same harsh reaction she would have if the same words came from a man her age. Perhaps it is because she sees the older man as her father, in which case the pet name would be coming from a place of fatherly love and not sexual attraction. But this is mere speculation. With this one, just follow your gut.
III. How to Steer Clear of the Player
Now you have a clear idea of the kind of guys who would be calling you “baby”. Obviously, any girl would be flattered to find that a man calls her that because he is in love with her or is genuinely attracted to her. On the other hand, no girl wants to find herself entangled with Mr. Casanova, or with the proud player. There are lots of them out there prowling for the next unsuspecting woman. What is the best way to tell if a guy is genuine or not? Are there some tell-tale signs to look out for?
The answer is YES. Here are a few of them.
He has a sad past
It is common for a player to try and gain your affection through sad, heartbreaking stories of their past. They paint a picture of themselves as victims of heartbreak. If you are not familiar with this technique, they will easily earn sympathy points with you. You will instinctively try to comfort them which will then develop into an attachment to them. If they play their cards right, your attachment will gradually grow into a sense of love and trust.
He calls you cute pet names
Just to be clear, sweet pet names are great, only that they should not be used when you barely even know each other. If a guy you met last week is suddenly calling you “baby”, “sweetie pie” or “honey bunch”, you should get suspicious. Players are intelligent, smooth talkers so be careful not to walk right into their trap.
He throws far too many compliments your way
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with compliments. In fact, a man is considered a gentleman if he is able to pick out something nice about a lady and point it out. On top of that, girls love compliments – so compliments are, on the overall, a welcome courtesy in most interactions. However, no one would blame you for being a little bit skeptical if a man compliments you too often. This is a key tactic among players. They know that girls melt in the face of a praise and they take full advantage of that.
He likes you too much too soon
If he seems to like you too much right from the start, you might have something to worry about. He calls you every other hour of the day just to “check up” on you and sends you endless text messages throughout the day. At the end of the day, you find yourself in lengthy conversations about nothing in particular. It is natural for a girl to be flattered by the sudden torrent of attention, but beware! It may be a trap. When you become accustomed to all the attention, he then pulls away so that you feel that something is missing. It is at this point that a girl is likely to give in to any of his requests in an attempt to fill the gap. To make sure you do not find yourself in such a situation, keep your text conversations to a reasonable amount and do not let phone conversations go beyond a half hour or so.
If he tries to push you into it, then it will only confirm that he is not the kind of guy you want to be around so you should happily walk away.
He prefers to keep you a secret
This is a classic tell-tale sign of a dishonest guy. You met him online a few months ago and you have been chatting regularly, sometimes for hours. When you suggest a meeting in person, he quickly declines, telling you that he is just not ready yet or that he is very shy, etc. Well, chances are that he is not shy at all! He is just afraid of bumping into one of his other girls while he is out with you. Same goes for social media. If a man is unwilling to acknowledge you in any way on his Facebook page, you most likely have a player on your hands.
Any guy who genuinely likes you and wants to explore a relationship with you will be eager to meet you and spend time with you in public.
If he is willing to spend time with you in public and perhaps introduce you to a few of his friends, you are definitely on a good path. However, do keep your guard up, eyes open and ears alert.
Our Final Thoughts
It is clear that there are lots of men out there who will call you “baby”. While some are great, genuine, and sincere ones, there are also some not-so-great ones. It is up to you to figure out which category the next sweet-talking guy falls into.
Be smart, but most importantly follow your heart. Listen to your gut and you will figure it out.