Can You Call a Man “Sweetheart”? (8 Better Nicknames)

Everyone likes to use pet names (or terms of endearment) to refer to their partners. “Sweetheart” is a great one that works well, but most people think it’s best for a girl. This article will explore whether you can call a guy a “sweetheart” and some alternatives to help.

Can You Call a Man “Sweetheart”?

You can use any pet name to refer to either gender. “Sweetheart” can refer to a man if you are using it cutely. It’s entirely dependent on the person using it and the person being called it. Some men don’t like being called “sweetheart,” meaning it’s not good to use.

Can You Call a Man Sweetheart

The same rules apply to almost every pet name. For example, names like “sweetie,” “sweetie pie,” and “honey” are all fairly female-dominant. With that said, there’s no reason why a girl can’t use it to refer to her boyfriend.

The simple fact is that if a guy enjoys being called “sweetheart,” it’s acceptable to use.

There are no gender rules that tell you that “sweetheart” should only be used for women. Anyone who thinks this is the case is often basing their assumption on sexist ideals, which isn’t what you want to do.

Is Sweetheart a Friend Zone Word?

“Sweetheart” doesn’t just get said by girls to their boyfriends. It can be used to friend zone other guys, or it might be used by elderly people to refer to younger people. It doesn’t always mean you’ve been friend-zoned, though it could be a good indicator.

You will usually be able to tell whether you’ve been friend-zoned with “sweetheart” based on the delivery. If someone says it in a seemingly sarcastic or ironic way, it might be a sign that you’ve been friend-zoned:

  • Oh, sweetheart. I wouldn’t worry about that.

“Oh” before “sweetheart” is usually a good indicator that someone might be using it sarcastically.

Is Calling Someone Sweetheart Flirting?

“Sweetheart” is commonly linked with flirting. Most pet names tend to be, as you often have to like the person enough to be able to use an acceptable term of endearment with them. Just because some pet names are flirtatious doesn’t mean they all are, though.

Some people simply use terms of endearment to address everybody. There are people that use words like “babe” or “honey” to everybody, even on their first encounter with them.

Realistically, you shouldn’t look too far into the use of “sweetheart.” Unless you know that someone is romantically interested in you through some other means, you’re only going to cause yourself to overthink if you look too much into it.

8 Better Nicknames Than “Sweetheart” for Guys

The best nicknames to replace “sweetheart” for guys are “handsome,” “teddy bear,” and “stud.” There are plenty of great options, and even “sweetheart” works well in most cases. The three we mentioned are some of the more popular choices for most, though.


“Handsome” is a great one because it allows you to show that you’re attracted to the guy. “Handsome” is a word used to refer to a good-looking man or a man that you’re attracted to because of some kind of personality trait.

The only issue that might come up with using “handsome” is that it’s used by a lot of elderly women. Specifically, most men’s grandmothers would use “handsome” to refer to them.

While this doesn’t mean you are their grandmother, for some men, “handsome” is a trigger word that they only associate with their grandmother being kind to them.

  • Hey, handsome! How are you doing today?
  • Oh, handsome! I didn’t see you there.
  • Hey, handsome! I love you so much.

Teddy Bear

“Teddy bear” is a great pet name for men that plays up to stereotypical male traits. The idea is that they are like bears (large, ferocious animals), but they have the exterior of a teddy (meaning they are soft and easy to get along with).

Most men fit the idea of a teddy bear quite well. They’ll always come across as tough, and they often won’t let people break through their barriers. However, once you’re inside, you’ll realize just how soft and loving they can be.

  • Teddy bear, could you help me out with some of this, please?
  • Hey, teddy bear. I’ve really missed you!
  • Teddy bear’s parents should be coming over later today.


“Stud” is a great way of showing that you like a man. Men like to be called “studs” because it makes them feel a bit more powerful. It also doesn’t directly relate to their attractiveness, which is sometimes good when coming up with new terms of endearment.

To cover all angles, “stud” can be misinterpreted in some cases. A “stud” could also refer to a man who has relations with many women (often without love involved). You shouldn’t use it in this context if you’re trying to be nice with your use of the name.

  • What’s up, stud? I feel like I haven’t seen you in such a long time.
  • Oh, stud! You always know the right things to say to impress me.
  • Hey, stud. I know you’re around here somewhere.


“Babe” is one of the most popular pet names in the world. It’s a gender-neutral name, which allows it to work for both men and women. Girls can call their boyfriends “babe” whenever they want to be cute with them.

Unlike most of the alternatives on this list, “babe” is very commonly used outside of relationships too. You’ll often hear people call their friends “babe.” Some will even go so far as to call new acquaintances “babe” if they’re speaking to them in a friendly way.

While “babe” is a very popular choice, it isn’t always used for relationships. It’s up to you to determine whether you’d rather use “babe” for your boyfriend or just about anybody you’re speaking to.

  • Look, babe, I think we need to talk about a few of these things.
  • It’s okay, babe. I’m happy for you to try out some of these things.
  • Babe! You can’t say something like that in front of my parents.


“Honey” is a great pet name that a lot of people use. It refers to your partner being sweet like honey is, which is a nice way of saying that you enjoy spending time with them or you enjoy their traits.

It’s a very popular name that a lot of people stick with. It’s also gender-neutral, meaning it can refer to either men or women, depending on who you would like to refer to.

Most people think that “honey” is a slightly old-fashioned pet name. It’s commonly used by adults or middle-aged couples as a way to refer to each other. However, there’s no reason why it can’t be used by the younger generation today if you like the sound of it.

  • Oh, honey. I wish you could understand how I feel.
  • Yes, honey. I’ll be downstairs in just a few minutes.
  • It’s okay, honey. You can’t blame yourself.


“Boo” is a standard pet name that is beginning to replace “babe” in most cases. It’s a great one because it allows you to be a bit more endearing with your partner, and people like to use the double “O” sound in the word because it sounds cute and soft.

This term is another gender-neutral one that could be used for either gender. It’s a great way of showing that you find your partner cute.

Typically, “Boo” is only for people in relationships. You won’t often find people using “boo” toward their friends or people they’ve just met.

  • This is my boo. He’s a bit shy, but I’m sure he’ll warm up to you.
  • It’s fine, boo. I’m not mad at you. I’m glad you said something.
  • No, boo. You can’t do something like that without my approval.


“Bubba” is a cutesy alternative for “babe” (or “baby”). You can use “bubba” as a way of replicating child-speak, which some people like to do when coming up with fun or interesting pet names.

This is another name that works only when you’re speaking to someone you fancy, or you’re in a relationship with. We don’t encourage using this one for people you’ve only just met or don’t know very well.

  • Yes, bubba. I’m going to be there later on tonight.
  • Alright, bubba. I’ll see you when I get there. I love you.
  • That’s her bubba. I don’t know why she uses that name, though.

Good Lookin’

“Good lookin'” is a great pet name for a guy. Most guys thrive off compliments related to their looks because it’s not often that they receive them. Therefore, calling a guy “good-looking” is a great way of showing that you’re attracted to them.

The apostrophe replaces the “g” in “good lookin'” when it’s used in this way. It’s a common slang pet name that people use to refer to a male partner or attractive man.

  • What’s cookin’, good lookin’? I feel like we haven’t spoken in ages.
  • Hey, good lookin’! I’m so lucky that I get to call you my man.
  • Yeah, good lookin’! I’ll let you do that tonight with your friends.

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