I never use generic/old-fashioned terms of endearment when talking to ladies I don’t know….actually I really only use them when talking to my neices. Kids.
However, when a lady calls me ‘honey’ or ‘darling’—doing the cheesy polite/flirtatious thing instead of just calling me by name—it really makes me feel good. Even though I know they probably just don’t remember my name at the time, or they are the type to be generally flirtatious…those pet names still fall fondly upon my ears.
So I should probably try incorporating those words into my vocabulary when talking to strangers & acquaintances. Will I feel cheesy? YES. Will I try it enough to see if I get over myself and do it because a certain percentage of the ladies I say it to will have the same pleasant reaction I do? Yes, I think so.
My maternal grandpa was a ladies man, very popular with men and women alike. Always on cue with a good joke (often lewd or sexual), and always a gentleman when it really counted. He always called women pet names like “Sweetie”. I can just think of him and how he was not creepy or cheesy, he was friendly and projected comfort and warmth with those silly names. I can do the same.