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

As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure for full info.

When a guy calls you dear, what does it actually mean? Does he respect you? Is he teasing you?

Does he think you’re too sweet and incent for “Sexy” or “Babe”? Or, perhaps the guy in question simply lacks the courage to call you something more provocative?

Read on below and explore 15 of the top meanings of what it means when a guy calls you dear!

What Does It Mean When a Guy Calls You Dear?

When a man calls you dear, he usually has a reason for it. Whether he is sincerely being respectful to you, doesn’t know your name, or he’s just messing with you depends on the guy, your relationship with him, and more.

That said, here are some of the most common reasons men call women dear:

1. He Likes You

Guy flirting

One of the top meanings behind a guy calling you dear is that he likes you. Such words as “dear” may sound a bit old-fashioned, but don’t let that fool you.

If he’s calling you dear, there’s a good chance that he actually likes you as more than a friend. Look for fidgeting body language like lack of eye contact, a red race, shifting weight from one leg to another, and fidgeting.

The more romantic his feelings are, the more often he may call you little nicknames like dear. Eventually, his words may evolve into “babe” or “sexy.”

2. He Respects You

It’s true that a lot of the time when guys call you dear it’s because they secretly “like” you, but it is also a term that is often used out of respect.

When a guy respects you, whether as a friend or as more than a friend, he’s likely to address you as dear.

Further, if you hear him using the word dear with other women, it’s likely that he is simply paying respect to them.

3. He Calls All Female Friends Dear

Guy flirting

Some guys are known to call all of their female friends dear. These guys obviously see “dear” as a more respectable yet universal nickname than “sweetie”, “sweetheart” or “honey.”

These guys are likely to have been raised by a woman that demanded them to show respect to people, especially elders and women.

4. He Knows You’re Just Friends

If a guy knows that you’re just friends, and he is good with that, he is likely to develop a habit of referring to you as “dear” or “sister” rather than other, more personal-sounding nicknames, if knows you don’t like being called by your real name.

So, if you also don’t prefer the nickname “dear”, you should let him know!

5. He Has Misread Your Body Language

Guy flirting

Guys aren’t always as accurate as CIA field agents when it comes to the ability to correctly interpret your body language.

Sometimes they are seeing what they want to see, not what you are actively actually showing them.

6. He’s Into Other Girls

When a dude is into other girls, there’s a high likelihood that he’ll call you something basic and respectful like dear, or your first name.

At the same time, he calls the girls he likes something more flirty, like”sexy”, “sweetie”, or “babe.”

7. It’s Just a Polite Compliment

Guy flirting

More often than not, when a guy addresses a woman as dear, it’s nothing more than a polite compliment from one human being to another.

If you never talked with the guy before, the likelihood he’s just being polite or attempting to give you an innocent compliment is even higher.

8. He Always Flirts in Text Message

If the guy called you dear from the very first text message you ever shared, he could be a habitual text flirt.

In this case, you have to consider that the person is likely talking to every other girl the same way as he talks to you.

9. He Is Generally Caring and Old Fashioned

Guy flirting

Some guys are simply old-fashioned and generally all-around caring. This type of person calls you dear while you’re alone as well as in front of other men and women.

To him, he is simply living his life and being who he is (and acknowledging his respect/care for you).

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

There are times that a man may use the word dear to test the waters and see how you react to being called something other than your name (or whatever nickname he knows you by).

If you are reactive in a positive manner, he is likely to test a few more pet names like “babe” or “cutie.” A negative reaction may discourage him from further use of the word.

11. He Doesn’t Like “Honey” or “Sweetie”

Guy flirting

When guys aren’t into some of the other mainstream pet names for women, such as “honey” or “sweetie”, he’s apt to use the word dear instead.

“Dear” is respectful, and lacks the sexual undertones that other nicknames carry. So, in his mind, it’s one of the safest options besides your real name.

12. He Wants To Make You Feel Safe

If you know a guy well, and he’s always calling you dear, but it doesn’t seem to be simple respect, he could be trying to make you feel safe.

Because, apparently, for whatever reason (in a lot of men’s minds), simply letting a girl know that you “like” her, or respect her, should make her feel safer.

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

Guy flirting

There’s also the distinct possibility that your guy is building up his energy and momentum to ask you out on a date when he starts calling you dear.

These guys are typically young and shy and lack the confidence that comes with years of dating women.

So, hold on, and give them a chance if you like them because the greatest is yet to come!

14. He Rarely Compliments Women

Speaking of guys who lack experience with women, there are plenty of men out here that rarely compliment women.

That means, in his mind, calling you dear might as well be asking you out on a date or telling you how amazing you look.

15. He Is Just Teasing You

Guy flirting

It’s also possible that your guy is simply teasing you when he calls you dear. In this case, he’s likely to be laughing and smiling about it.

Further, if he knows you don’t like pet names, or that everyone calls you by your name, calling you dear may be his way of teasingly rebelling against the “norm.”

How To Respond To A Guy That Calls You Dear

When a guy calls you dear, there’s a never-ending amount of ways that he can mean it and that you can take it.

Further, before you respond, it’s best to have a clear idea of how the guy may perceive your response. So, take a moment to think about it first.

When you know how you feel about him calling you dear, consider the following reactions:

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

The main reaction guys receive from women they call dear is a smile or thank you, and that is because it is generally seen by women as a polite or respectful comment.

If you fall into this camp of women, smile, thank him (if you please), and consider taking the opportunity to let him know how you feel about him.

Smile, Thank Him, But Keep Your Feelings To Yourself

If you aren’t into him calling you pet names like dear but don’t want to cause a fuss, simply smile at him and go about your business/continue talking to him, but keep your feelings about it to yourself.

Show Him the Body Langauge You Want Him To See

Whether you like it or hate it, when he calls you dear, your body language directly after he utters the word is crucial.

Smiling, nodding, or touching him are great positive affirmations while frowning, crossing your arms, and looking away are negative signs.

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

In the case that you are already taken, or are offended by his forwardness, quickly let him know that you don’t like it and to please not call you dear.

Remind him that you are not his girlfriend, are already dating, or even that you are happily single.


Does Dear Mean Love?

Dear does not mean love, by any means. That said, depending on who is calling you dear, the word dear may sometimes come from a place of love and respect indeed.

What Does Calling Someone Dear Mean?

Guy flirting

When a person calls someone “dear” it is typically a sign of respect. But, it may also be used because you are at work, or school, or even as a means to tease you or flirt with you.

What Does Dear Mean In Texting?

Dear doesn’t have an exact definition when used in texting. It may be used out of respect, but it may also be used as a mechanism for opening up the door for further flirting.