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The Name Game

You take the ring, you take the name. This is the one sentence response I got when I asked an ex-boyfriend how he felt about me not changing my name if we married. I am a Daddy’s girl and he has no sons, so I used to believe that I owed it to Pops to keep the name. The Ex was not warming up to that idea, at all!

I received an email from a reader said that she has noticed the name game among her married friends lately: “Either their names have pretty much stayed the same or the hypenation has been in full-effect!”  She said that it was “surprising to her because so many ladies grew up doodling (and still sneak-a-doodle) the last name of our beloved crush after our first, just to see how it looks.”

She wrote, “I somehow doubt men give this much thought in their formative years, if at all.  Maybe it’s the mindset of the dreaded “Independent Woman” or those who have just gotten so used to solely identifying themselves by maiden name, they can’t go all in with totally disconnecting from it.  How did the married women who chose to keep or hyphenate their maiden names broach the topic?

How did the married men whose mates favored this option react?  Do single, marriage minded men perceive women who would want to do so in a negative way? Do single, marriage minded women perceive guys as insecure if they express discomfort with the idea?

For those married folks who went the traditional route, what influenced your decision?  And for those who are dating with kids, would you feel obligated to change your children’s last names to your husband’s if you should marry?”

Thanks to the reader for asking these great questions! What do you guys think? Are we still playing the name game in 2009?

460 comments Add your comment

Wise Diva

May 7th, 2009
8:26 am

Good morning, Happy Thursday!

LIONESS- Trees are Dangerous!

May 7th, 2009
8:35 am

Good Morning All :)

Will comment once I get to work

I - 85

May 7th, 2009
8:36 am

Name change is just like prenup, if you don’t feel comfortable changing the name then we just might as well not get married.

If you want to sign a prenup then lets just not get married, KISS – Keep It Simple & Stupid.

Raqi

May 7th, 2009
8:44 am

Good Morning.

No influence, just tradition. It’s not that big of deal with me.“You take the ring. You take the name.”

Some do say that once you have established yourself in the mainstream as who you are, it is wise to keep the name that has become well know. I beg to differ in my opinion. And as it stands so does Monica Kaufman Pearson. For years she was Monica Kaufman on Channel 2. She got married and became Monica Pearson and has yet to skip a beat. I guess she figured if America still recognized her despite her many, many hair dos, she will get not less recognition by taking her new hubby’s name.

Had I desired to keep my former name, I could see where my husband would have a problem. As a woman who carried the name of a previous husband no man that I can think of would be okay with his new wife hanging on the old instead on taking on the new.

From what we read here there are many that are divorced and if you carry the name of the first it is only fair to take the name of the next and do away with past.

As far as kids are concerned the only way their last names would be changed is if their father was a missing in action deadbeat and wanted nothing to do with their kid. As it stands with me and my fam, my oldest has my previous last name because he was born while his father and I were married. My second was born with that same last name, but I gave in to his father and let him have his name.

I plan to never, ever take on another husband should something happen to the one I have now, so all this craziness ends right here.

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
8:46 am

My father also has no sons to carry on his name. I love my Dad, but that is not my problem. His wife (my mom) took his name. I will take my husbands name.

Both of my sisters are married, and I was a little surprised at how quickly they dropped their maiden names. It’s weird being the only “Red” left.

When I marry, my maiden name will become my middle name (my mom did this too) and I will take my husband’s name. He will be my family now, and our children (if we have them) will have the same name of both of their parents.

I’m a traditionalist, so that’s just how it goes.

Atltwen

May 7th, 2009
8:46 am

And for those who are dating with kids, would you feel obligated to change your children’s last names to your husband’s if you should marry?”

Absolutely NOT! A child’s last name should not be changed because of marriage or re-marriage.

That child has a father who is legally, financially, ethically, spiritually, morally, and emotionally obligated to him/her. How dare a woman take that from man! It is one most of selfish and “I want drama” decisions a single mother can make when she get married.

My nieces mother had us (my family) and her family d#mn near tag-team WWF in downtown Decatur’s courtroom last year over this b*ll-it!!!!

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
8:49 am

there is no way i’m keeping my last name when i marry. i want to respect my husband and this is a great way to show him that i’m all in.

^5 I-85!

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
8:49 am

Oh, and good morning everyone. Make it a great one. :D

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
8:53 am

i will show respect to the father of my child by having my child keep his last name. it was my decision to name him jr. *a surprise and a gift all wrapped in one*

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
8:55 am

I had a client whose last name was “Slutsky”… I might keep my maiden name in that instance. :lol:

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
8:55 am

there’s usually business behind a woman keeping her last name or using the hyphen.

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
8:58 am

i bet dollars to donuts that the husband will feel hurt behind the wife’s decision to keep her name.

shame on her!

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
8:59 am

i'm swiss

May 7th, 2009
9:02 am

“I had a client whose last name was “Slutsky”… I might keep my maiden name in that instance.”

ARed — I used to work with a guy who took his wife’s last name because his was so goofy. His original last name: Wiggles. :lol: Can’t say that I blame him.

Raqi

May 7th, 2009
9:04 am

WiseDiva does your father feel the same as you do about you wanting to keep his name? Unless you have a child outside of marriage the name still stops at you. And even if you did have a child sans marriage, unless it’s a boy the name still stops at you. Your daughter could get married and take on her husband name. (I know you know this but I just felt like typing it out loud.)

Where my father comes from it is customary to have both the father’s and the mother’s last name, so a woman that marries gets to keep her former name. Any kids born into the union gets the paternal names from each side. It gets confusing IMO after a while.

When I got married this last time I dropped all my other family names and took on my hubby’s.

Raqi

May 7th, 2009
9:06 am

A child’s last name should not be changed because of marriage or re-marriage

Amazon what if new hubby adopts the kids and paternal father is not in the picture?

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
9:07 am

Swiss – Me either!

I think guys like that are probably open to alternatives. :lol:

The Mayor of Los Angeles mixed his last name with his wife’s to become “Villaraigosa.” His was born “Villar,” his wife naturally “Raigosa.” I think that’s kind of cool how they did that!

Atltwen

May 7th, 2009
9:07 am

AmazonRed – Quick off topic question for you.

How would you want a man to approach you – say for instance in the mall or something like that – if he doesn’t know you at all and is acting on impulse because he thinks you are attractive?

What would you want him to say, like to first couple of lines that he spits to you?

You have impressed me with you’re posts’ about dating over the last few months, that why I’m asking you. Yes, its a compliment! Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
9:08 am

@RAQI
it’s funny how we’re —->here<—- this morning. i try not to read comments until after i post so it won’t sway me.

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
9:08 am

A child’s last name should not be changed because of marriage or re-marriage

Raqi – I didn’t say that. I don’t even agree with that.

Raqi

May 7th, 2009
9:13 am

Sorry I meant Atltwen.

Raqi

May 7th, 2009
9:14 am

Beautiful reading someone’s elses opinion or stance should not sway you. Have your own opinion and belief’s.

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
9:16 am

Atltwen Weren’t you out to get me a couple weeks ago cuz you think I said something unsavory to you? :lol:

Well, even still, thank for not holding it against me (cuz I wasn’t after you) and thank you for the compliment. :D

To answer your question…keep it simple. Just say hello and that you saw me and felt compelled to come and speak. Don’t say anything like “you’re a tall drink of water” (heard that on Tuesday) or anything suggestive. You can state the lady is attractive without being too specific (”I like the way you look in dem jeans! = a big no no).

I assume you already know things like this tho.

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
9:16 am

lol. what? i do. that’s why i’m the odd one on here. lol.

Raqi

May 7th, 2009
9:18 am

Beautiful may I ask you a friendly question?

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
9:19 am

no! lol. let’s stay on topic until after lunch.

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
9:20 am

My opinion is that if a mom remarries and the father is an active participant in the kids lives and is interested in adopting them, the discussion should be had. If the bio dad is active and involved, the kids should keep his name. If the bio dad is a dead beat, he probably won’t care anyway except for foolish pride. Tell him he gets his way when he’s all caught up on child support payments and quality time. :lol: (only half joking)

Raqi, would you mind sharing why you gave your 2nd son the last name of a guy who wasn’t biologically his (your first husband)? That’s a new one.

Is the order Whitebread, Nature Guy, Mason?

Grace

May 7th, 2009
9:25 am

When I got married I didn’t take my husband’s last name. Now that I am no longer married and looking forward to getting married again someday I will take my husband’s last name. As for the children, since they are older I wouldn’t feel compelled to changing their last name, unless they were still a minor.

Atltwen

May 7th, 2009
9:27 am

Raqi – what if new hubby adopts the kids and paternal father is not in the picture?

Still NO!! My nieces mother played that “not in the picture” card with my brother who went MIA for 2 years. However, he was totally here for first 12 years of their lives and was back in by the time she filed for legal name change.

Also, its bigger than than father; its his family as a whole. Meaning, my nieces were “Wright’s” not just as it related to there dad, but to me as an uncle and to their first cousin’s, great-aunts, grandmother and grandfather. Its a family system thing.

And most men wouldn’t dare adopt a step-child if the father is alive and working in some capacity! My father said on the witness to my niece’s mother, “If you want to give them your husbands last name so bad, why doesn’t he just adopt them then?” He couldn’t because he already got 4 kids by another woman to take care of, thats why! And he was less than man to let it happen!!

Raqi

May 7th, 2009
9:29 am

Well Imma ask anyway. You can answer after lunch. Why and how is it you are on a blog at 5:30 in the morning?

Don’t get me wrong, do you. But I am just sitting here thinking, I get up around 5:30 every morning, I shower, get dressed and make breakfast for my family. By the time I am done with all of that it is time for my to walk out the door, which is usually around 6:45. I get to work about 7am. I have usually worked about 1-1/2 hours by the time I pull this thing up.

I was wondering how you do it. Lords knows I couldn’t nor wouldn’t…at 5:30, 6:00, 6:30 or 7:00… Not until I have gotten more important things out of the way.

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
9:29 am

i would only agree with women who are famous to keep their last names. their name is their bread and butter.

MELO

May 7th, 2009
9:34 am

And for those who are dating with kids, would you feel obligated to change your children’s last names to your husband’s if you should marry?”

WOW,what a qstion DIVA!! :grin:
Even the Jerry Springer Show would come second to the possible drama.Change the kids last name upon marriage,go on like that for five years and then change back over to previous last name after divorce :lol:

Atltwen

May 7th, 2009
9:38 am

AmazonRed – I assume you already know things like this tho.

Please don’t assume. I’m “choir boy”; and talking to ladies without having any previous interaction with me is scary and makes me very nervous. Really, haven’t done it before.

I saw a female in the mall in yesterday, I was dying to holla at, but I have no game, or one-liners, or confidence when it goes to that particular dating scenario.

Anyways, thanks a mill for the advise!

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
9:41 am

@RAQI
sweetie, i multi-task. for one, i went to bed early and woke up at 3:00a when chewy decided to bark at a car driving by. when i wake up . . . that’s it, i’m up! two, my babies don’t need me in the morning anymore. they set their own alarm clocks, shower, dress and feed themselves every morning. three, trust me when i say that if i had a man here laying next to me, you would never read me before lunch or possibly never. four, i try to get my run in as early as possible. five, i cook dinner before i leave the house.

i love how i get under y’alls skin. (giggle)

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
9:45 am

@GRACE
what changed your mind? why did you decide to take your next husband’s last name?

Randyt (aka Been there, Done that, Got a Closet FULL of t-shirts)

May 7th, 2009
9:46 am

I never have understood the significance in either direction on this issue. Am I proud to be “???”, yes, but could not care less about some kind of hereditary lineage for me or a partner (might be because all of my ancestors were more often horse thieves and bank robbers…am related to the outlaw Jesse James, actually) so no major sentiment.

On a similar note, I’ve been divorced for almost a decade and noticed recently that my ex still uses “Mrs. XXX” and my last name. I thought that was interesting in a clinical way, nothing more, because I wondered if she would eventually take back her maiden name. Truthfully though, I suspect it had more to do with the fact that our children have my name and she wanted to keep that intact. She had an interesting an uncommon maiden name, but they had skeletons in their closet too so it was never an issue at all.

So, WD…do what your heart says. If the guy isn’t man enough to take it, then that says something about him.

abc

May 7th, 2009
9:47 am

A woman who marries abc is Mrs. Abc, it goes with the gig. My first wife insisted that our son have her maiden name as his middle name, which I thought would bother him after he grew up, and it sort of does but not so much. It’s just an unusual middle name. I changed my name voluntarily to that of my stepfather, began using it when I was 12 and changed it legally when I was 21. It does create a rift in the family. My brothers, one of whom stayed with our father, and everyone else in the family no longer consider me part of the family, and since my stepfather was in the military and we moved around all the time, it’s like there’s no home town, either. It’s different from most people’s experience, but it suits me.

As a result, I don’t place a lot of importance on the whole family name thing, but anyone married to me will have to take my last name, which isn’t even my name by birth, but still.

Tazzee - all moved in (sort of)

May 7th, 2009
9:49 am

Morning All!

If I get married, I’m taking my husband’s last name. My father didn’t have any boys – as a matter of fact, neither did any of his siblings…all girls. But I have no loyalties to that last name. I wish my grandmother would have changed my last name to hers when she got legal guardianship of us, but she didn’t – if she had, I might take that name as my middle name….but I digress.

If I get married my name will change from Tazzee Mae Jenkins to Tazzee Mae Smith. Unfortunately the guy I’m dating now has the same last name as me…. So if we get married, I’ll remain Tazzee Mae Jenkins.

Raqi

May 7th, 2009
9:51 am

Amazon because that was my last name at the time.

Mo (aka Moeisha- looking for a new haircut)

May 7th, 2009
9:55 am

Morning All!!

When I got married I dropped my maiden name altogether and just took hubby’s name. When I divorced I dropped his name and went back to my maiden name. Should I get married again, I am keeping my maiden name as my middle name or hyphenating it. My lil one keeps his father’s last name….no questions asked! Lil Mo has my maiden name as a middle name so we’re good! I am all for taking hubby’s name unless you are an only child or there are no brothers to carry the name or for business purposes.

Now I’ve been asked about a tattoo I have of my initals….the ones I was born with. I have had some dudes ask “what will you do when you get married, what if hubby as a problem” and my response is “he’ll get over it, my tattoo was there before him anyway”

Raqi

May 7th, 2009
9:58 am

lurker

May 7th, 2009
9:59 am

morning….I’m a traditionalist

lurker

May 7th, 2009
10:00 am

We have the potential for a crazy day

Randyt (aka Been there, Done that, Got a Closet FULL of t-shirts)

May 7th, 2009
10:01 am

Side note…when one dates a lady who has had multiple marriages and has taken (or shaken off) the last names of her husbands, it can be a bit confusing. One finds oneself trying to remember what the lady’s maiden name is, what her current last name is, what her past last names were, why her children have different last names? Can get very confusing.

On another side note, many (most) Anglo-Saxon surnames were often derived from the profession of some long dead ancestor, like “Smith” from “Blacksmith”, etc. Certainly all of us have heard some strange, and often made fun of, last names. The one that has always fascinated me was a guy in college. His name was Bruce Pancake. Now how the hellz do you get a last name of Pancake? Did some ancestor sell pancakes for a living? Was there a town somewhere like Pancake, England? How do you get a name like Pancake?

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
10:01 am

Amazon because that was my last name at the time

Doh! Duh! :lol: Thanks Raqi.

Atltwen, no problem. Good luck to you. Lines really don’t impress women anymore. Every once in a while, a good one comes along, but for the most part lines are lame. So just be yourself. :)

you're my AIR . . . i don't want to be your FRIEND anymore

May 7th, 2009
10:02 am

@MO
you brought up something very important. tats! what do you do when you divorce and have a tat of his name on your body?

Leggs

May 7th, 2009
10:02 am

Good morning everyone! I’m of the belief that if you marry, you take the husband’s name. Some traditions don’t need to change. I have no problem with those that hypenate. I never really liked my last name (Irish/German), but when I took my husband’s name I immediately missed it. When I got it back, I absolutely loved seeing it, writing it, hearing it. Go figure! My daughter’s friends still call me Mrs. XXX, and I don’t bother to correct them. It’s no biggie!

And for those who are dating with kids, would you feel obligated to change your children’s last names to your husband’s if you should marry?” NO!

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
10:03 am

i love how i get under y’alls skin.

Yeah, I hope that crazy isn’t contagious, so I am cautious!

SexyCool

May 7th, 2009
10:03 am

I’m just quirky. Oddly enough, when I got divorced, I kept my ex’s last name. The number one reason was that it’s a common last name. My maiden name is misspelled ALL THE TIME. The number two reason was that I didn’t want to go through the hassle of changing all of my identification BACK to my maiden name. And reason number three is that I really like my signature with THIS last name.

I was just thinking recently that WHEN I remarry that I was going to miss my signature because I like it so much. LOL!

There would be NO way that I could ask my future husband to let me keep my ex husband’s last name. (Although, my mom did it – has been married 15 years and still has her exhusbands last name. Long story.)

Three Words Daily – Smile. Just smile.

AmazonRed™

May 7th, 2009
10:05 am

I get to work about 7am. I have usually worked about 1-1/2 hours by the time I pull this thing up.

Raqi – And that’s why you have seniority in that piece! Cuz I shole am just getting out the bed at 7:30. Wishing for more sleep. :lol: