My significant other, whom I affectionately call "Mr. Denise," is a bit shy when it comes to me talking about him publicly. So we made a pact, and I seek his approval before such things happen. I respect his wishes, ask and usually get the OK. That's what you do when someone you love isn't quite as enthusiastic about being all "out there" in print as you are.
Mr. Denise and I have been together long enough to have seen our children "graduate" from elementary school, junior high, and high school (almost for my kid). When we met, we were in the same place. We had both been married and divorced, both had a kid that we adored, we'd both spent a lot of time figuring out what went wrong, and we had both worked on refocusing our purpose and direction in our lives. He was finishing up a computer degree when I met him and driving a Lemans with hubcaps that were probably more expensive than his car. I had just finished my bachelor's degree and was a few years into my journalism career. We didn't make a lot of money, but there was (and still is) an undeniable connection between us.
When I got laid off from my job a few years ago, he was understandably skeptical of me going back to grad school, but he realized the value of me doing that and he supported me. He challenged me to do research on what I needed to learn to get a job. I thought that was fair. And after I started school, there were times that I wanted to quit because things were getting difficult, but he didn't tell me the things I wanted to hear. He said (and in the most diplomatic and loving way) that I needed to get my ego out of the equation and figure it out. After pouting for a bit, I realized he was right and I set to the task of seeking more help. And, I ended up getting a 3.6 GPA.
So that's why I call "Mr. Denise" sweetheart, because he gets me. He understands my shortcomings (that I'm horrible a horrible housekeeper), but he doesn't hold it against me... he encourages me, just as I encourage him.
So, I'm interested in why you call your honey sweetheart. Write 100 words or less on why your sweetheart is the bee’s knees and upload the story/photo to this page. We'll pick the top five and have everyone vote on their favorite. If you win, your sweetheart will get serenaded by the Horlick High School Choir and handed a rose on Feb. 14.