For me, the darling one seems something a dirty working class man would say on a building site, every time a piece of skirt walked past him and his lads as they each ogled at The Sun during theit lunchbreak.
However, if I am familiar with someone, I always say "alright, babe?". Some of my friends call me babe too. It doesn't have to mean that you're dating.
Or should it be first name terms at all times unless you're being sexually intimate?
I use their name, and if I don't know it I'll avoid calling them anything and probably just say "excuse me...". Calling people babe, hun, pal, bledrin is something I'm never going to do. "Mate" is probably the only thing I can manage.
Neither, because my uncle calls me both since it's so ingrained in his vocabulary. I'll make my him a cup of tea and his automatic response is 'cheers babe' or when he sees me he'll say: "You alright darling?"
He's the only person I don't mind saying it because I'm used to it from him.
Neither, really - I'd rather just be called by my name. Fair enough if you do like being called either but it makes me cringe. In the early stages of our relationship my boyfriend called me "babe" once and I immediately told him never to do that again