Girls begin doodling their names with their prospective husband’s names long before they actually ever really know a man, usually in elementary school (or was that just me?). I had perfected my loopy cursive signature “Lindsay Morris” (after adorable heartthrob Zach Morris), and covered my Lisa Frank folders with a slew of other intended future names.

When a woman gets married, her last name changes. In order to promote a single family unit, carry on the American tradition, and show allegiance to your husband, women change their names. It’s a very nice sentiment and certainly one I will not criticize- every woman is entitled to her choice. However, since this is the most widely accepted behavior, I will not spend time promoting nor defending this tradition- society and my uber conventional family forcefully advocate this tradition enough.

Why I Kept My Surname After Marriage

When I was getting married, I assumed I would change my last name. My husband has a great last name; it didn’t rhyme with my name nor was it too difficult to pronounce or spell. When our two year engagement was getting down to the wire though, I realized I actually had to make this commitment, which is when I did something really dangerous. Get ready for this, and don’t say I didn’t warn you: I thought about the decision to change my name.

WHAT?! you’re asking? Why would I think about such a silly thing? What is there to think about? I’m so happy you asked. Although I love my husband and even his last name, the fact of the matter is that it is not my name. Changing my name felt like giving up my identity. I did a lot of research on the topic. I listened to lots of people. I have heard it all- you’re not losing your identity, you’re gaining a new part of yourself. If you don’t change your name, you aren’t honoring your husband. If I had a different name than my husband, how would people know we were married? Wouldn’t that be confusing? But the most frequently asked question was, and still is to this day: how does your husband feel about it?

During this whole process, nobody asked how I felt about it. In our society, women change their names, and where I’m from, if you do not change your name, you wear a big, fat, ugly scarlet F on your chest for FEMINIST. When did feminist become a negative word though? Why is a woman supporting women linked to such dirty connotations? I swear the people in my life were one step away from dousing me with holy water to knock some divine sense into me.

After discussing my concerns with my husband, I was not surprised to receive his support. Although I was not “asking his permission” to keep my name, it was important that he understood where I was coming from. Hyphenating my name was also not the right choice for me, as this was still changing my name and my identity.

If we change names to honor our spouse, then who is honoring the woman? If changing your name isn’t a big deal and promotes your new identity, why don’t men change their names?

Historically, women changed their names through marriage because women were viewed as property. So Mary X is her father’s property until John Y comes along, and through the transfer of property, aka Mary, she becomes Mary Y. This male-dominated history of such a valued and beloved tradition did not sit well with me. I was not comfortable with a tradition that viewed me as “property,” ensured I did not have my own identity separate from my husband, and solidified a woman’s submissive position in the marriage.

There is no right solution for any woman; my only goal is to share the idea that changing your name after marriage should be a thoughtful decision.

No matter what your choice, always remember this. Keeping your last name does not make you an unfaithful wife. Keeping your last name does not mean you are a radical woman. Women: you have a CHOICE. You have a BRAIN. You have an IDENTITY. Women, you MATTER.

Oh, and you’re pretty. Did anyone tell you that lately?

PS- Please be mindful when someone does keep her last name to honor her choice. Do not send her mail to “Mrs. John Doe,” for instance, just because you view her choice as wrong.

PPS- Please control your face from contorting into an awful, judgmental grimace when you ask someone why they kept their maiden name. Smile! Be kind- it’s cool.

Everywhere
  • Stephanie Loupakos

    Hi Lindsay! Personally , growing up my dad had always wanted me to hyphen my name when I got married. I just accepted this when he told me but I have been thinking about it more lately! Yes, I do want to respect my husband and take his last name, but I also don’t want to completely lose my original one. I wouldn’t mind on a daily basis if I used my future husband’s last name. However, I think I would like my last name hyphenated for legal purposes and that’s all! Other than that I would use my husband’s last name in every day life ( if that makes sense).

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Stephanie, that’s interesting that your dad wanted you to hyphen your name- I’ve actually never heard of that, but good for him! Does anyone else in your family have a hyphened name?

  • Justin Copeland

    Growing up I always thought that when I got married my wife would take me name. But I think that’s because I didn’t actually put any thought into the matter. As we closed in on our wedding day, I could see my wife-to-be struggling with this decision. She wanted to support me and show our unity, but she also didn’t want to lose a piece of her past and who she is. When I took the time to think about this, the decision seemed simple to me.
    Would I ever consider taking her name? No.
    Not because I don’t like it or becaues I’m the man. I wouldn’t because I love my name. It’s who I was, who I am and who I’ll always be. Was it really fair for me to expect her to do something that I would not do myself? No.
    Keeping your maiden name or hyphenating the two in no way devalues what a couple has. It does not show any less support or commitment.
    I know what we have. Those who know us know what we have. Anyone who sees our two last names and thinks differently simply doesn’t get it.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      It’s great to get a man’s perspective. I think you put it the best- why wouldn’t you consider changing your name? It’s who you are, same as women. Well put.

  • I love my last name, a lot, so I don’t think I’ll ever change it even if I do get married one day. Funny thing, I saw a conversation about this on a Facebook friend’s post recently, she had not changed her last name either, and some chick commented with “Why even get married if you’re not willing to change your last name? Seems pointless!” Um… Did you only get married so you can change your last name lady? SILLY!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Hi Angie, wow- that Facebook comment you saw is exactly what troubles me. I hope, whether people change their name or not, they put thought into why they’re doing it; more than that, I hope people understand what marriage is! Pretty scary comment…Thanks for reading : )

  • Laura Powell-Corbett

    I agree with you. I was excited to change my last name, I wanted the same name as my kids. And my name was super common and now I’m one of a kind! Plus it was important to my husband whereas it wasn’t a big deal to me. It works for us and that’s what matters xx

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Hi Laura, thanks for reading and for sharing your insight- I think what you said is right- do what’s right for you and your family!

  • I just found your blog from the passion project and I love your design! I actually get frustrated with my last name because it is so hard to pronounce and everyone always messes it up, but I have definitely though of, and may possibly keep it once I get married since I am an only child. I was actually talking to my boyfriend about the history of why women take men’s last names the other day and we both agreed it’s from an archaic tradition. Taking his name is just common practice nowadays, but not a necessity.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for reading Alana! That’s exactly why I wrote this-not because I want to convert all people to my mindset, but to at least start a line of inquiry and get people thinking about why we do the things we do- then you can challenge it if you want!

  • Great insight 🙂 It is definitely a choice. Personally, I want to take my future husband’s last name. But, I love hearing other people’s thought and opinions on the topic!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I completely respect other people’s choices, and I appreciate you having an open mind to read this!

  • Interesting, I took my husbands name, I think it’s just easier if you both have the same sir name.

  • I took my husbands name. I want us to share a name and I want to share a last name with my kiddos someday. It’s becoming far more common for women to keep their last name, I hardly think anyone is surprised by it anymore.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for reading Erin! Where I’m from, it’s still a big deal and bit of a controversy that I kept my name, even after 2 years.

  • Katie

    I took my husbands name and moved my last name to my middle (dropping my middle name). I did that so it was an easier transition with any legal things. However I was a little sad because I loved my last name.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Hi Katie, I’ve heard of women doing that, too as a good compromise option. Did you ever consider keeping your name or you always knew you would change? Thanks for taking the time to read!

  • I love the heart here and completely understand the desire to keep your identity even in the midst of a big change like marriage. I think where it gets tricky is the reality that we do become a completely new person in marriage. For me, taking my husband’s name was a way to show our oneness and a way to show I do believe in the Biblical idea that he is the leader of our family and I’ll submit to him (in the same way that he’ll submit to and serve me). Taking his name felt like a sweet way to show our new family and new identity as one!

    I think this issue is especially big for me because this was a big issue at my brother’s wedding this summer. My brother is the SIXTH son in a row to have his name passed on from his dad (the first was all the way back in Scotland!) but his new wife wanted him to change HIS name to include hers so they’d both have the same hyphenated last name. It was so hard for the family and really upset my dad who felt like passing on the family name was part of the legacy. She did end up changing her name when she realized what a huge issue it was for the family!

    All in all, I think it’s a matter of what works for you and what honors your husband’s wishes and your family’s wishes. If your heart is to love and serve your husband and his is the same, then it really is just a symbol of that and I suppose you could leave it if you needed!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Lauren, thank you for your thoughtful response. I appreciate listening to your perspective and learning more about you and your family. I agree that I am a new person after marriage – well, maybe not new person, but I have a family now that gives me inspiration and reasons to challenge myself and grow, personally, and as a wife and mother. But my family is no less a family than one who shares one name. We have the same love, respect, care, values, and religious views as other families. Our family identity isn’t a result of a single name, but all of the wonderful components and pieces that come together to make our family unit. See where I’m coming from at all? I know it can be challenging to understand this point of view : )

      Wow, you have a huge family! Do you have any sisters? I like your sister-in-law’s idea to both change names; there is a mutual compromise and sacrifice there that makes sense, so it makes me sad for her that she had to give up what she wanted. Women do get overshadowed, and that makes me sad (not just in this scope though).

      I am on board with your sentiment to do what is right for your family. Thanks again for sharing your story, Lauren.

  • Kate Luburic

    I did pause, very briefly, to think about the possibility of changing my last name. I never considered it as “losing” anything, but there was a melancholy feeling that would follow the thought. I spoke with my then fiance about keeping my name. He was a little hurt. He had a side to all this as well. I won’t speak for him, but his feelings were not of the machismo sort. They were more traditional. He had never thought I’d hesitate to change my name yet here I was asking him to validate the purpose of me taking his. It fizzled, I didn’t have the fight in me, it didn’t really matter that much. I kind of liked the idea of taking his name. It was a short discussion, one I don’t think about often until now. I have been in the working world for some time with my “new” last name but it wasn’t until recently when I began working at a school that my “new” name would ever make me flinch. Mrs Luburic! they would yell, Mrs. Luburic? they ask Mrs. Luburic….who’s Mrs. Luburic? You can all call me Mrs. L, I would say. Call me Kate, wait, no they don’t let you do that here. I had found myself avoiding being called by my “new” last name. I sometimes look at my dad and feel sad. He has one boy and that one boy has one boy. It’s going to end soon, the Kinsella name, MY name. But then I think of my mom, and how she took on the last name Kinsella, and I’m part of her too (some would argue I am exactly like my mother, but I digress). I realize just how much I love the endless stream of Irish names running through our family tree, creating a legacy I’m so proud to be part of.

    It took me exactly 7 years to acclimate to my new last name. I am no longer flinching at the sound of Mrs Luburic. Unless, of course, I’m standing next to my mother-in-law, because there will only be one true Mrs. Luburic, just like there will only and always be one true Kathleen Therese (Kinsella) Luburic.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Kate, thank you for sharing such an honest account of your process of changing your name. I know that melancholy feeling you described because that’s what I felt when I thought of changing mine. It’s also how any of my girlfriends who are married admitted to me that they felt, even if they were excited to assume their new family name. I also connect with you and your husband’s sense of tradition – I come from a very traditional family, and in many ways consider myself traditional, too. I am happy I didn’t assume a tradition I didn’t understand though, just as I’m happy you took on the tradition because it made sense to your family. Working in a school is unique because you hear your title and last named hundreds of times a day! I have a feeling your daughter will be like you just like you are like your mom. There’s a strong female legacy right there.

  • I never thought about keeping my maiden name. In all honestly, I was just excited to get out of the end of the alphabet (maiden name was Whitney). While my identity is precious to me, I feel like changing my name was symbolic of me changing my identity. I was no longer a single woman, dating around and not caring about how my actions affected those around me. By taking my husband’s last name, I was showing that I was changing; that I was committing to a new identity in which I was going to be the best partner in life to him that I could be.It showed that I was becoming my husband’s wife and was no longer my parents’ daughter and that I was willing to change who I went to for advice, counsel and who I was living my life with. And I am okay with that, I don’t want to be so set on “keeping my identity” that I never change or grow. A lot of people say that you marry someone you don’t have to change for, but I think that is such a misconception. I am constantly changing for my husband, constantly trying to better myself and he is constantly changing for me. So, I think that if a woman is so concerned about keeping her identity, then she might not be ready for marriage.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I love that you mention people saying they don’t want to change or shouldn’t have to in a relationship, but that’s not actually true. I agree with you! We should never aim to remain stagnant, whether single or married. We should always look for ways to better ourselves personally and for our partners, as men and women. As I kept my name, I still continue growing every day – as a woman, mom, wife, teacher, sister, friend. Though keeping my name was the only true option that my husband and I felt comfortable with, that didn’t make me any less ready for marriage than someone who changes her name. In fact, I was proud that I took time to challenge a tradition and decide what was right for me, even though I would face criticism from family, friends, strangers, etc. I completely respect your choice and appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences!

    • I agree with everything you said here, Chelsie.

  • Lauren @bPatty

    I never thought twice about giving my old last name up. Actually, I looked forward to it. It felt like a way to say loud and clear to all those around me that I belong to him. If anything, I did think twice about allowing my husband to give me a ring (I have one and love it, but only because it is from him), to me names are powerful and they mean a lot. Giving and taking names are something that someone years from now can trace through records, they don’t go away easily and they just help build your story. Great post though and great topic, very enjoyable read.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I love hearing different points of view and that people with completely opposite views as I hold take the time to read and comment. It promotes great discourse, don’t you think? I like the idea of men and women belonging to each other, not just the woman belonging to the man, so that’s where I’m coming from. You brought up an interesting point that I haven’t heard before about feeling hesitant about taking the ring. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with me!

  • Wow, I definitely haven’t seen the negative connotations you have around not changing names! Though I personally changed my name, I know plenty of women who chose to keep their maiden name and didn’t receive that kind of feedback. I definitely questioned how I would feel about changing my last name. I sort of felt the identity loss, but it was more about losing the connection to my family. It felt weird that my entire family would have one name and I would have another. Ultimately, I knew I would change it though. First, Dave and I plan to have kids someday. I absolutely want to share a last name with my kids. I also knew it was more important for Dave. I could have gone either way, where he felt very strongly about wanting to share a last name with me. So it just made sense to change it! And I wanted to share a last name with him! He and I are a family now, and I want our name to reflect that.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Hi Erin, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment and for sharing your perspective. I feel like it depends on your community and location; where I live, it is looked down upon to not change your name, while other communities, like yours, it’s not so strange. Maybe I should move near you : ) Haha no, I welcome the opportunity to explain my choice when others scoff at it. I know how you feel about being sad about the family connection, but of course you are still a part of your parents’ family, regardless of the name change.

  • Very interesting post, Lindsay. I took my husband’s name. I don’t think that changing my last name means that I lose my identity. First off, my identity is found in Christ alone so the things of this earth and in the end…meaningless. Before I go any further I will say that I do not claim to be a feminist, because today’s definition of feminism is twisted and distorted into all kinds of awful things like shaming men and thinking women should run the world. Anyway, as a Christian I took my husband’s last name because it shows the unity that we now have and because it is honorable. We are now one within the bonds of marriage. I have left my parents and am now a wife and will one day be a mother to children who share my husband’s and now my last name. I believe in traditional, biblical marriage. I believe that the husband is the leader of the family. I believe in submission and working together to compliment each other as one. God created man first and then created women because God saw that man needed a helper and to not be alone. So naturally, I believe the man goes first and leads. Woah, got kind of off track – sorry, super passionate, ha.
    I respect your decision though!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thank you for taking the time to read something that is contrary to your belief and for your thoughtful response. As I’ve been trying a new kind of guided prayer at nights, what you said about things on earth ultimately are meaningless really rang true with what I’ve been praying on lately. It’s sad that many women run away from the term feminist instead of giving it the good face to what it actually means. Extreme feminists do not represent the positive spirit behind true feminism. That’s like saying Muslims are terrorists. No!!! Some extreme Muslims happen to be terrorists though. I respect your beliefs 100%, I just hold different ones. As a Christian, I do not see the connection between my soul and my name. As you said, names are even meaningless; my soul is my soul – how can I quantify that or even begin to explain its wonder? Certainly not by putting a name on it. I love your notion of working together to compliment one another – that’s truly what a marriage is about. I love that we can hold differing opinions and discuss it!!

      • Yeah. I mean, I don’t see the connection between my soul and my name either. That’s why I think it’s kind of trivial, haha. I knew you were going to go there with the feminist argument. I understand why the term is named “feminism” and not something else…but I just don’t like that. I believe in equality, but don’t think we need to stamp such a name on it.

        • Lindsay Katherine

          : ) Is it the name feminism you have an issue with? What else would you propose to name the ideal of equal gender opportunity and awareness?

          • “Gender equality” haha. I don’t mean that to be a smart ass, I promise! It’s just never sat right with me. But I’m weird – I’m one of those women who defend men because they’re getting ripped to shreds. I believe that women should have the same rights men do – job, pay, etc. But when it comes to rape culture and leadership in the church, I get a little ruffled. Like women rape men to but everything you see that’s raising awareness for rape is against men. Now I understand they’re the bigger statistics, but we should be addressing all stats. So technically you could say my frustration with feminism is because of the extremists, but honestly, I couldn’t live my life defending such a term when I should be focused on delivering the Good News. Like some people (Christians) go over board and forget what really matters. I guess it all stems deeper than I realize!

          • Lindsay Katherine

            No, you can be a smart ass! haha, I love discussing with you. The thing is, feminists do not rip men to shreds; true feminists respect men and their position in society just as they do women. You’re not weird at all. I think when it comes to rape, we shouldn’t devalue women who are raped, or women who are raped and are too scared to come forward, we should raise awareness that this is also an issue for men. So I think we agree there, right? A lot of people have a negative perception of feminists because of the extremists, which is sad to me, and shame on those women who put that out there. I defend feminism because I want people to know what it actually means, just like I defend people who think Muslims are terrorists. I’m curious about the last point you made – what do you mean when you say that sometime people go overboard? (PS- loving your new hair ; ) )

          • Oh yes, I totally agree there! Definitely agree with the awareness for it, but I wish it was done in a more general way – not all of the time, but at least some of the time. In a general sense (speaking more in terms of believers), people will get so caught up in fighting for something that isn’t the Good News or for the Kingdom so much that that’s what they focus their whole life on. For example: some vegans & gluten-free people will defend their diet choice to their death…like that’s a bit excessive, especially if you’re a believer. You should be being missional about the Gospel, not about the animals…like it’s silly. But eh, what do I know? Being an INFP is really hard, haha. But yes, I agree with the standard definition of feminism, but I just can’t bring myself (yet) to label myself as one. It’s tough.

          • Lindsay Katherine

            I totally understand you and feel you on that (getting caught up in causes to a fault). My next blog post: defending veganism hahhahaha nooooo no, not even close : )

          • Basically! And oh my gosh, hahahaha. I did enjoy this conversation though. Love not having to debate hardcore!

          • Lindsay Katherine

            Completely agree. And love having an intelligent conversation with someone with a differing point of view.

  • Hi Lindsay! This is my first time at your blog and I’m loving it so far. Thanks for joining us at Stories and Spirit!

    I love your thoughts on this. Somehow I feel like you’re speaking to a crowd that needs to hear it– a crowd I’m not familiar with. I actually came from a crowd that was surprised that I took my husband’s last name. And truth be told, I took it because it sounded good attached to my last name, and also because I wanted to have the same last name has my children, without having to give them a hyphenated last name. The one name-related request I had at our wedding was not to be introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Rosales. I know it’s still a formality to call a couple by the husband’s first AND last name, but I emphatically resisted that!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m so happy to connect with you, Daisy! As you can see, my perspective is that of the minority in this group, but I think conflict or differing views makes things more interesting, don’t you think? That’s really surprising to hear that people were shocked that you followed tradition- that’s a first for me! I am on board with you regarding Mrs. Aaron Rosales – you are Daisy Rosales, you are Mrs. Rosales, but you are not Mrs. Aaron- that is one formality I cannot get behind. Thanks so much for reading.

  • I LOVE this and you are totally right. Everything about this. I only read through some of your comments but I see that you and I might be the odd balls out, but I’m okay with it. I use both last names. I took my husband’s because we already had two children and I wanted to share their last name. In all honesty I took it for practical reasons, not religious or traditional ones. I also dislike the history of the tradition, and felt a little bit like I’d lost some of my identity when I changed mine. I am not a piece of my husband, nor will I ever be, but we share the bonds of marriage all the same. I think it’s interesting that the word “feminism” makes some women cringe while the word “submission” makes me do the same. Maybe us women are all more alike than we think! Over analyzing words instead of realizing what they truly mean. I have read some wonderful blog posts about a different interpretation of the whole “submission” thing, making the idea seem much less repulsive to me. I think the true concept of feminism gets lost in the same way. I don’t think the name change debate is indicative of your commitment to your marriage regardless of which side of the debate you fall on, nor do I find the decision to be deeply symbolic in nature. As you mentioned, the practice came about for practical legal reasons, not romantic ones. I am proud of you for challenging a tradition with such a profound sway on our culture despite the stigma you knew you would face. I’m proud to call myself a feminist. PS. I don’t hate men. haha!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Oh Amanda, what a refreshing perspective and response! Thank you for reading. This whole week in school I have dedicated my class time to exploring gender issues and breaking down the misconceptions of what it means to be a feminist. You have no idea the proud moment I felt when a student who, at the beginning of this week was stubbornly adamant that there are no gender issues and that he would not back down on that, stood up during the class discussion and said “I’m (insert name) and I’m a feminist!” This sparked other young men and women who, again, previously cringed and rolled their eyes at hearing that word, to stand up and proclaim the same. HALLELUJAH . I feel the same as you about the response that submission elicits and the notion that true feminism is completely overtaken by the extremists. Thank you for your thoughtful response and for sharing your story; I’m proud of you, too! Oh and I don’t hate men either. I can’t wait for class tomorrow; we’re talking about why feminism supports men, why men need feminism, and are starting our own little campaign for this ’cause.’

      • yay! That’s awesome!! Have you been following Emma Watson’s HeForShe campaign?! That’s basically the whole idea behind it!

        • Lindsay Katherine

          Yes!! Emma Watson is an idol of mine.

  • YES YES YES. I am a newlywed and I decided not to change my name legally on the marriage certificate because I wasn’t ready to make that decision yet and I felt pressured (by the document, not my fiance. He is supportive of whatever choice I choose to make). At this point, I am socially going by his last name, but I legally still have my maiden name.

    This is a tricky situation for us, as he has a child already and she shares his last name, so it is tricky for me to have a different last name as the two of them because it is already very easy for stepparents to feel separated from their family members. So for now, it is working for me to go by his last name to make our family unit feel like a true unit – since, of course, we can’t change both of our names or choose a new last name altogether, since we wouldn’t be able to legally change my stepdaughter’s last name and we wouldn’t want to take away HER identity, that’s not fair.

    hahaha That was A LOT, sorry. I hope it makes sense! But the point is, I’m SO glad you wrote this! I feel like when I was really actively looking up this subject I didn’t find much and it made me feel really alone in how emotional an experience it was. Thank you!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m so glad you came across this post today! I completely understand your hesitation and think it’s perfectly acceptable to take your time before legally changing it – the opportunity isn’t going anywhere, so I think it’s very smart to take the time to consider your choice. That way if you do decide to legally change it, you will do it because you know 100% it is the right choice for you. I would hate someone to take another name out of obligation and have uncomfortable feelings about it, as I know a lot of girls do. Congratulations by the way!! I was in the same boat as you were when I was debating my options – I didn’t find any or many articles that really resonated with me, so I’m glad you connected with this on some level : )

  • Where I grew up, and where we live currently, women don’t take their husband’s last name. Name-changing is not legally an option, although some women go by “Mrs. husband’s last name” socially. I did take my husband’s last name, and it was a decision made with thought–I don’t have any strong desire to be tied to my father’s family in name, I really wanted a new name and a fresh start. Plus, I got married while still in college, which means I earned my degree in my married name, so there wasn’t anything about already having an academic or professional history in another name. Plus, it’s kind of hilarious to be a white American and have an obviously non-English last name because people are always surprised when you show up. (Totally silly reason…but it’s a fun thing to talk about with other wives in cross-cultural/cross-language marriages). I did think about it, but it was a pretty easy choice for me. The funny thing is, we’re going on 6 years of marriage, and since we now live in my hometown, I get called/referred to as Rachel S. all the time even though I’ve been Rachel G. since 2010. I was recently asked to look over some documents prepared by my supervisor for a volunteer leadership role I’m in…and no less than 5 times did he call me Rachel S. in the document–my only edit was changing my name all over the place. haha! To me, being called the wrong name isn’t worth getting offended at, and especially since we choose to live in my hometown–I’m sure ever 20 years from now there will still be people here calling me Rachel S.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Oh Rachel, what a great story!! I love that you shared this with me, and it made me smile. I can imagine the confusion people get when they read your last name and it seems like it doesn’t add up with what they may expect from you hahah ; ) : )

  • SierraMott

    I know this post is several months old, but I’m so happy I found it today. I am in a long-term relationship and my boyfriend and I have discussed getting engaged soon. He asked me what my thoughts were on changing my last name and I felt like I was the only one who thought about the things in this post. I love my last name because of my family’s history and I don’t like the thought of losing that part of myself. My last name is indicative of all my family members before me, all they went through, and all they sacrificed to get me to where I am today. The thought of changing my name makes me really sad. Why must i give up my name and identity because tradition dictates I do so because I’m a woman? Why do the children I carry in my body carry on my husband’s name while my identity is lost? Traditions around surnames and surname changes make me feel that I am just a vessel so a man can carry on his family name. I know in reality people don’t see it as that extreme, for today we do it more out of tradition than practicality.
    Changing it for the sake of “honoring my husband” isn’t a good enough reason for me either. Like you said, why won’t men change their names to honor their wives? I can show my love and devotion in more ways than that.
    Thank you for sharing this. After reading this and the comments I feel much less alone.