Thursday, October 7, 2010

Relationship Post: What's in a Name?


For any of you ladies out there who are married, engaged, or plan on being so at some point or another...what are you going to do about your last name?? Do you plan on taking your spouse's last name? Will you keep your own? What about hyphenating it? Or taking it on as a middle name? So many choices and so many different feelings about your family name come into play for this decision.

Here are some points for each option, very subjective to my own feelings and involved a small survey of just myself.

1. Change your name to his
- This makes it easy to tell that you're a family, think of dealing with insurance or your children's schools
- It's nice to have the same last name as your children
- It's old fashioned, traditional, and a bit romantic (all your name doodling will pay off: Mrs. K. Timberlake, Mr and Mrs Efron)
- Changing all of your information everywhere- banks, insurance, Social Security, tax forms, emails, etc. can definitely be a pain in the tushie
- If you don't like your last name, here's your chance to change it
- Makes monogramming much easier (remember I'm a monogram freak)
- If there's only girls in your family, your family name will die off
- Your name may be better than his or flows better with your first name

2. Keeping your own name
- Woohoo! That was easy, no changes needed
- May hurt your man's feelings or insult his family
- Will be annoyed with questions as to why you chose to keep your family name
- You pay tribute and loyalty to your own family name by carrying it on
- It's part of your identity and you want to keep it
- Career concerns depending on what field you're in and how successful you are
- Is more commonplace now than years past

3. Hyphenating your name
- Best of both worlds, a little compromise on both parts
- Will be a pain to write it all out when signing your name
- Will suck if your name and his name are both long i.e. VanValkenburg-Anderson, but if that's the case, you probably wouldn't hyphenate

4. Taking on your last name as a middle name
- This is best scenario if you like your last name and don't have a middle name
- What are you going to do with your middle name if you have one? Keep it or throw it away?

For myself, I plan on taking the Fiance's last name. I'm a traditionalist and think it's romantic. It's also nice to be a family unit, our own little tribe and take on the family pride of my Fiance's heritage. I do LOVE my last name though and there's only girls in my family so I plan on naming my children with my last name, be it a first or middle name. When my parents divorced, my Mother kept our name because she wanted us all to have the same name and it really meant a lot to me that she did that. I kind of lucked out too that my Fiance's sister has the same first name and middle initial as I do, so hearing my first name paired with their last sounds familiar and isn't completely alien to me. Now if I can only talk her into giving up her email account to me....

So, what's your opinon? There's no right or wrong answer, just what best suits you and your spouse. Maybe you're a feminist and identify yourself with your last name and want to keep it or maybe your last name is hard to pronounce and you can't wait to shed it? What did you do or what do you plan on doing?
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