Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Name Game

Once upon a time, when a woman got married, she always dropped her surname and adopted her husband's. In 2012, this isn't always the assumption. There are lots of options nowadays. When we got engaged, I started to think about those options.

1. Change my name.
2. Keep my name.
3. Hyphenate.
4. Adam takes my last name.
5. The two of us come up with a new last name and both change our names to that new name.

Option 5 is becoming more popular, but it seems a bit too strange for my taste. Plus, there aren't any combinations that sound good. Lafleck? Flamping? Ew.

Adam immediately dismissed option 4 as "not an option."

I eliminated option 3 for a few reasons. Firstly, I think hyphenated last names are too cumbersome. Secondly, what happens if your child gets married to another person with a hyphenated name? It's not a very sustainable solution.

So that leaves me with keeping my name and changing my name. For me, the best option is to change my name. I like this option for a few reasons.

1. I'm not that attached to my last name. Growing up, I was always closer with my mother's side of the family than my father's, so my family history is more tied up in a family whose name I never shared. I think that if I had my mother's maiden name, my decision might be different.
2. I want a family name. Adam and I will be starting our own family when we get married, and I want a name to reflect that. Furthermore, when we have kids, it's important to both of us to have a name that we all share.
3. It's really important to Adam that I change my name.
4. I always assumed that's what I would do, so I guess I like the traditional aspect of it.

But what happens to my maiden name?

Even though I'm not very attached to it, it still feels strange to lose it completely. When my mom got married, she moved her maiden name to her middle name. I love my middle name, so I don't want to do that. Instead, I'm toying around with the idea of adding my maiden name as a second middle name. So, I would be Molly Marie maidenname newlastname. No hyphen. Several of my married friends have done this, and it seems like a good way to have your cake and eat it, too.

I still have several months, so I haven't made my final decision yet. Any suggestions? It's funny to have the responsibility of naming yourself, but I'm sure that I'll make the right decision in the end.

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