He says that using the term of endearment once in a blue moon is no cause for concern, but doing it on the reg could be a sign that the person is subconsciously trying to distance themselves from their partner (coz, commitment issues.)
“If they were truly happy then they wouldn’t have a problem referring to them as their boyfriend/girlfriend/partner etc,” he told The Independent.
On the other hand, it could be a totally different (albeit equally concerning) factor at play.
“If they aren’t ready to put a label on their relationship, they could be trying to control them by keeping them at arm’s length.”
“It’s almost as if they are saying they aren’t together, but nobody else had better come near.”
But as with all matters of the heart, James believes timing is key.
“It could just be that it’s in the early stages and they aren’t sure where they stand,” he explains. “So, to avoid any problems they keep things light to start with.”