Another name change issue — I wish I wanted to keep my last name!

posted 2 weeks ago in Traditions
  • poll: What should I do with my last name?
    Keep maiden name : (0 votes)
    Change last name to his : (29 votes)
    91 %
    Hyphenate to MyLastName-HisLastName : (0 votes)
    Other (write in comments) : (3 votes)
    9 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    4288 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    I want to keep my name, I don’t particularly love my surname, it isn’t an objectively nice or interesting name and I wouldn’t be keeping it to make a feminist stance either. I don’t feel a strong connection to my name, I don’t love it, it doesn’t define me but it is just me.  My only reason is that I have been Zarr NAME all my life and I couldn’t imagine waking up one morning and having a different name.   To me it is the exact same as changing my first name to something totally random, it is weird and uncomfortable. 

     Everyone has their own reasons for keeping or changing theirs and if you want to have the same name as your husband and are happy to take his then you shouldn’t feel any less liberal. 

    Post # 3
    Member
    1154 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    I changed my name and don’t feel any less feminist about it. In fact, my husband still feels super weird about the fact that I did- although he’s probably even more of a feminist than I am, haha! One of the reasons I changed was similar to yours- he’s got a completely unique last name and while my maiden name wasn’t quite as popular as yours I knew there were two others in the US with my exact first and last name. I also dropped my middle name and moved my maiden to my middle for some continuity which I definitely recommend! This was helpful to me when I was in the middle of doing my legal name change and had things under both names since I was able to show that my maiden was on both documents. 

    One thing to think about is that you don’t have to go all-or-nothing. You can keep your maiden name legally (because changing it is definitely a pain!) and go by his name socially. Or even just try that out for awhile and if it feels weird you can go back. I think I’ve heard of a couple states where you have to decide when you’re picking up the marriage license whether you’re changing your name, but mine isn’t one of them- so you might even be able to put off that choice for awhile! I’m currently pregnant and I’ve seen more than one article about women who put off changing their names after marriage until there’s a baby on the horizon. 

    I don’t know if that will be helpful or not because everyone has different reasons for or against keeping their name! My main thing was wanting us all as a family to have the same name. 

    Post # 4
    Member
    19 posts
    Newbee

    I understand how you feel. I am getting married soon and have a similar problem with being indecisive. I have always been 100% sure that i will keep my own name for similar reasons.. ive had it for so long. I’ve achieved so much with it and everyone knows me by this name, my masters diploma and all my other diplomas have that name… this list goes on and on. Yet here i am with a few weeks until my wedding and suddenly my mind does a 180 and now i’m trying to convince myself NOT to change my name just as you are. 

    After years of being “convinced” thay i’d never change my name, this feeling of WANTING to take my future husband’s name is new to me.

    I think no matter what you do, you should do it because you WANT to do it, not because you think that this is what you SHOULD WANT. Being a woman unfortunately means having to doubt your decisions at times. It wont make you any less of a feminist or medical professional if you change your name.

    I think what you should ask yourself is why are you so worried about other people finding you liberal, progressive, independent, and abitious? Surely your achievements speak for themselves. And just because one decision you make may not be percieved as “liberal” by a few people, does this really matter to you? I don’t think you want to live your life that way.. and make major life decisions based on what others may think of you. You do want to be seen as independent after all, right?

    Ultimately the decision is up to you. I dont think you should fight what you want so hard.. just for the sake of sending a message to people who dont matter. All that matters is you and your husband and your future family. They are more important than your colleagues and randos on the street.

    This message is to you AND to myself. I dont think we should be scared to make a conventional choice. Good luck and congrats on your upcomong wedding!

    Post # 5
    Member
    96 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2019

    I put other, because it’s possible to take two surnames with no hyphen. You have to use both on legal forms, but can pick and choose otherwise because they aren’t bound by the hyphen. I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to do that, or make my last name into a middle name. It might not seem like a huge distinction (middle vs. last), but to me, it is. Two last names seems like a markedly more feminist choice (which is important to me), but I worry about the potential hassle it may cause. 

     

    Anyhow, not much to add other than “solidarity”. I’m a top-10 namer marrying someone with a super cool name that doesn’t care what I do (and, in some ways, would probably advise me not to change it if I pushed him). In a way, I’m envious of people who never have a solitairy doubt about changing their name and don’t feel any angst. I feel all of the angst!

    Post # 6
    Member
    2515 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    It’s ok to change your name. It’s ok to not change your name. As long as it is your choice, it’s the feminist choice. 

    FWIW people will always assume something. My husbands surname is hyphenated and I took it when we married. People always ask which name was mine (neither) or assume we’re not married as our kids have the surname. anonbeemd :  

    Post # 7
    Member
    2515 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    Oh and a note on hyphenated names – they are a pain. Most computer things (airlines etc) don’t recognise the hyphen so they just combine the names. Technically it always means our plane tickets don’t match our passports.

    the first name is also a popular gender neutral first name so people always look up bookings under the second name and then say there is no booking etc. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    279 posts
    Helper bee

    anonbeemd : Initially, I thought I would hyphenate because I am so used to and love my last name. BUT I have a middle name and my name would just be so long and unecessarily pretentious sounding. So I most likely will take his name. I actually don’t like his last name much, BUT he’s the person I love, and I want us all, including our future kids, to have the same last name 🙂

    Post # 9
    Member
    288 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    In my opinion you are WAY too over thinking this. If you want to change your name…change your name. You’re putting pressure on this that doesn’t need to be there. You should never do something just because you feel like it will make you look a certain way or because you just tend to not like being tradition or because you think one decision is more “feminist” than the other. 

    It sounds to me like you want to change your name…so do it and be happy. Yes, you went to school and got your education with your maiden name…but changing your name will not take away from the work you put in and your degrees and career are still yours.

    Post # 10
    Member
    181 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2018 - England

    Could you not be Dr Smith at work and Mrs Jones socially? Or something along those lines? 

    Post # 11
    Member
    1757 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: February 2016

    anonbeemd :  like you, I have a very common surname. My mum’s neighbours have the same surname and one of my friends has the same surname (no relation either time). I’ve worked with a woman who had the same first and surname as me – I got sent her emails sometimes and she’d occasionally get mine! My husband has a less common surname and after a google I’d be one of two women on Facebook with my first name and last name combo, as opposed to thousands now. For me, that was a actually a big draw because I like my anonymity. I like that you have to put some serious effort in to link my LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and be able to add me on Facebook without me leading you to my page.

    Honestly, the main reason I didn’t change my name was because I don’t like my husband’s surname name. It’s not the only reason, as I said I like he anonymity my name provides, I do think my name is part of my identity and I didn’t see why I had to get used to a new name and he didn’t (we talked about him taking my surname as a middle name but he didn’t want to and so quite frankly if he doesn’t want to change neither do I). But I mainly didn’t change because I didn’t like his name. 

    I think not taking his is seen as the feminist choice. Although many will argue that it’s usually still your father’s name and so inherently sexist still. But feminism is actually about choice. You have the choice. It’s your choice to make and you can make the choice that is right for you. Only you knows what that choice is. There are many variations that you can choose: keeping your name on everything, keeping yours legally and professionally but not socially, moving your maiden name to your middle name, hyphenating, coming up with a new surname between you or changing your name legally, professionally and socially. It’s only something you can work out but don’t do something because you feel you should. Do what is right for you, you have to live with the name. If anyone gives you crap, tell that feminism is about choice and as a feminist they should respect your choice.

    Post # 12
    Member
    4455 posts
    Honey bee

    Sooo I was ready to have 4 names (First, Middle, Maiden, New) but my husband wanted to take my name. I love my name and ao did he. 

    However, had I wanted to change it, I would have. 

    I wanted to point something out to ease your fem mind. My last name is my fathers.  So presumably yours is too? So really it’s not thasaat out there to keep or change.  

    Now if you have your mothers name then I say which name do you want? Go with that? Or you can have four names (assuming you have a middle) or drop your middle have your maiden your middle and his as your last. 

     

     

    Post # 13
    Member
    96 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2019

    sweatergal007 :  I see the “it’s your father’s name” bit thrown around a lot, and it always makes me pause. Why is it that my father and fiance, who both got their names from their father at birth (same as me) get to “own” their names, but I don’t? When you are given a name at birth, it becomes 100% yours, regardless of your gender. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to change it, but to pretend like women don’t own their names is a bit insulting (and it’s not just you who says this, so I certainly don’t mean it personally). 

    Post # 14
    Member
    4455 posts
    Honey bee

    dianaj17 :  Ah no that’s totally fine and I hadn’t considered that perspective.  Good point. I guess I meant as far as he was born with it and his father,  etc. But you’re right it’s mine/ours now. 

    I think what you decide should be what decision doesnt make you have a twinge of regret. Like changing your name say you skipped it, would you have a bit id regret thinking ahhh I should have? Or if you do change it will you think ahhh I should have kept it? Listen to the gut when no one is around.  It’s how I agreed that me keeping my name was ok. And I was ok not doing the Mrs. thing which I had looked forward to a bit. 

    Post # 15
    Member
    4455 posts
    Honey bee

    dianaj17 :  oops I responded to part like you were the original poster.  Oops! Either way, thanks for keeping me in check.  

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