What Does It Mean When A Guy Calls You Dear: 15 Meanings

What does it mean when a guy calls you "dear"? Does it show respect or teasing?

Could it be that the guy finds you too sweet for more provocative terms like "sexy" or "babe", or perhaps he lacks the confidence to use them?

Learn about 15 possible meanings when a man calls you "dear".


The reason a man calls you "dear" varies and depends on factors such as the guy, your relationship, etc. It could indicate respect, a lack of knowledge of your name, or playful teasing.

Here are some of the most common reasons for men calling women "dear":

1. He Likes You

A common meaning behind a guy calling you "dear" is a sign of attraction. Though "dear" may sound old-fashioned, it's still a way for him to show interest.

If he's calling you "dear", it's likely that he has romantic feelings for you. Look for body language cues such as avoiding eye contact, blushing, shifting weight, and fidgeting.

The stronger his feelings are, the more often he may use affectionate nicknames like "dear". These may eventually turn into "babe" or "sexy".

2. He Respects You

While "dear" is often a term used by guys who have a secret crush, it can also be a sign of respect.

When a guy respects you, he may address you as "dear" whether you are friends or have a deeper relationship.

If you hear him use the word "dear" with other women, it's likely a sign of respect.

3. He Calls All Female Friends Dear

Some guys call all female friends "dear." They see it as a respectable, universal nickname instead of "sweetie," "sweetheart," or "honey."

These guys were probably raised to show respect to people, particularly women, and elders.

4. He Knows You're Just Friends

If a guy knows you're just friends and is fine with that, he may refer to you as "dear" or "sister" instead of more personal nicknames if you don't like being called by your real name.

If you don't prefer the nickname "dear," let him know.

5. He Has Misread Your Body Language

Guys may not always accurately interpret your body language.

Sometimes they see what they want to see, not what you're actually showing them.

6. He's Into Other Girls

If a guy is interested in other girls, he's likely to address you respectfully, such as with "dear" or your first name.

He may address girls he likes in a more flirty way, such as with "sexy," "sweetie," or "babe."

7. It's Just A Polite Compliment

When a guy addresses a woman as "dear," it's usually just a polite compliment.

If you haven't talked to the guy before, it's likely that he is being polite or giving an innocent compliment.

8. He Always Flirts In Text Messages

If a guy calls you "dear" in the first text message, he may have a habit of flirting through texts.

Consider that the person may address every girl the same way as he does you.

9. He Is Generally Caring And Old Fashioned

Some guys are old-fashioned and show care by calling others "dear," in private or in front of others.

To him, he is just being himself and showing respect/care for you.

10. He Wants To See How You React To The Word Dear

A man may use "dear" to gauge your reaction to being called something other than your name or nickname.

If you react positively, he may try more pet names like "babe" or "cutie," but a negative reaction may discourage him.

11. He Doesn't Like "Honey" Or "Sweetie"

When a guy doesn't use common pet names like "honey" or "sweetie," he may opt for "dear" instead.

"Dear" is respectful and lacks sexual undertones, making it one of the safest options besides using your real name.

12. He Wants To Make You Feel Safe

If a guy you know well always calls you "dear," but it doesn't seem like simple respect, he may be trying to make you feel safe.

Many men believe that telling a girl they "like" or "respect" her should make her feel more secure.

13. He Is Working His Way Up To Asking You Out On A Date

Your guy may be building up the courage to ask you out on a date when he starts calling you "dear".

These men are usually young and shy and don't have the self-assurance gained from dating experience.

So, if you like them, be patient and give them a chance as the best is yet to come.

14. He Rarely Compliments Women

There are also many men who don't compliment women frequently.

Calling you "dear" to him may be equivalent to asking you out on a date or complimenting your appearance.

15. He Is Just Teasing You

It's possible that he's just teasing you when he calls you "dear" and might be laughing about it.

If he knows you don't like pet names or that everyone calls you by your name, calling you "dear" could be his playful way of breaking the norm.


When a guy calls you "dear", the meaning and interpretation could be limitless.

Before reacting, it's best to understand how he might perceive your response, so take a moment to reflect.

Consider the following reactions after deciding how you feel about being called "dear":

Smile, Thank Him, And/or Let Him Know How You Feel

Women generally react to being called "dear" with a smile or a thank you, as it is seen as a polite or respectful comment from men.

If you're in the group of women who find it polite, smile and thank him (if you want to), and take the chance to express your feelings towards him.

Smile, Thank Him, But Keep Your Feelings To Yourself

If you're not fond of pet names like "dear," but don't want to create a problem, simply smile and go about your conversation, keeping your thoughts to yourself.

Show Him The Body Langauge You Want Him To See

Regardless of whether you like or dislike it, your body language after being called "dear" is significant.

Positive affirmations can be shown through smiling, nodding, or touching, while negative signals include frowning, crossing arms, or avoiding eye contact.

Tell Him You're Not His Girlfriend (and Not To Call You Dear)

If you are in a relationship or find his forwardness inappropriate, let him know that you don't like it and ask him not to call you "dear."

Inform him that you're not his girlfriend, in a relationship, or happily single.


Does Dear Mean Love?

"Dear" doesn't mean love. However, depending on the person using the term, it may come from a place of love and respect.

What Does Calling Someone Dear Mean?

Calling someone "dear" is usually a sign of respect, but it can also be used in a work or school setting or to tease or flirt.

What Does Dear Mean In Texting?

The meaning of "dear" in texting is not definite. It can be a sign of respect or a way to start flirting.