Where you going, darling?

Question: At what age do women begin using terms of endearment to totally unfamiliar strangers?

I’m 22. I don’t know of any girls in my age group who add “my love/ lovey/ my dear” or similar, to the end of a sentence except those on an acting course, and they’re drama students, it would be weird if they didn’t.

I’m not complaining. In a way I like it. It’s a friendly mannerism in a world that usually treats strangers stand-offishly. I’m just wondering at what point it all starts…

It’s definitely a female thing. There are few men that aren’t perverts or, to poach a Peter Kay phrase, uncle nobheads that would do something similar. It could be that men simply aren’t that nice, or it could be that they lack confidence. It could even be that they just don’t want to be labelled perverts or uncle nobheads. Or just nobheads.

Maybe your perception changes as you grow older. Perhaps I’ll reach an age one day when I’ll wake up and see young people differently. Somehow they will all appear charming and sweet and I’ll be inclined to stop at the side of the road to pick up a girl hitchhiker and I’ll wind down the window, remove my shades and say: Where you going, darling?

No. That would still be weird.