Honey is not a casual girlfriend/boyfriend term. In other words, it’s another one of those that doesn’t get tossed around by youthful wooers. (If you know of youthful wooers who do toss it around, please tell me of this grand phenomenon.)
Honey is a word of familiarity. It implies a relationship that’s already somewhat solidified. It’s something you use in passing, to someone you love enormously but have gotten so completely used to that it just slips into your sentences as a subconscious way of reminding them you care. If I hear someone say “honey” to their significant other, I imagine they’ve been together for a while. That’s how it arranges itself in my mind. I like it. I like honey as a sweetener, too.
Hollywood doesn’t like honey. When a spouse in film says, “Hey, honey, did you pay the mortgage?” or “Honey, pass me the salt” it’s most likely an indication of a fictional marriage about to go down the drain. It’s like they’re saying, “Look at this couple; so boring and normal. They’re disgustingly used to each other to the point that speaking kind words has become a habit. You don’t want to be like them because if you have a lasting relationship without some crazy passionate fireworks of danger and forbidden love, your life will be stupid. Plus we can’t make a screenplay based on it and become rich off your life story.” I don’t like this. Of course, Hollywood isn’t kind to marriages in general, but you know what I’m saying. That’s all another issue for another post.
Where was I?
Oh yes, honey! It’s good on toast. If you want to read an amazing book in which honey plays an important role, do look up Chalice by Robin McKinley. No one uses it as a term of endearment; it would feel rather out of place in a fantasy novel, but the heroine is a beekeeper and some of her special abilities manifest themselves through the honey she uses. It will make you hungry for honey, though. If you like honey, that is.