Why I'm Not Changing My Last Name, Ever


1. It's my heritage

For as long as I can remember, whenever I've said my full name, I am asked how it is properly pronounced and what the story of my last name is. It gives me a connection to the world I never want to lose. My last name is Northern Dutch. In the Netherlands, my last name is very common. It's like the Dutch Version of "Smith." However if anyone has my last name, I am most definitely related to them in one way or another. My last name has deep roots with Scandinavian history. I have many ancestors, both men and women, who were Viking warriors. Which reflects my DNA, as I am 20% Irish, 20% Scandinavian, and 60% Western European. So you could say I come from a family of strong women.


2. It's been my identity for the last 20 years

My parents spent months coming up with a name and it flows so nicely. Point is, I just never saw myself with any other name. If a guy can't see that my last name is just as important as his, then I'm not marrying him.


3. It's just a custom that I have no interest in

If anyone else wants to change their last name because they are traditionalists or whatever reason, then they can go ahead. Personally, I am not and have never been a traditionalist. Just like how I have no interest in making sure that my wedding dress is white. I would like my wedding dress to be red actually.


4. I want to be a successful operating room nurse and I would not like to rebuild my reputation from scratch

I am currently working as a neurosurg CNA and I plan to be an operating room nurse. The best medical professionals started from the bottom and worked their way up. I think it's a good thing that people know that I started from the bottom, it's definitely very humbling. I got my start in the medical field as a hospital volunteer and now I'm a CNA. Next thing to work my way up to is a nurse apprentice. Plus the hospital feels similarly. The reason they hired me with little experience as a CNA was because they want to be the company that I got my start and the company where I got my "end goal dream job" as an operating room nurse. They love when people have worked there for years and years.


5. I don't want a new last name because I don't need a new beginning

My life doesn't begin or reset when I get married.


6. It doesn't bother me that our names won't match

I don't care if my future husband and I don't have matching last names. I'm not that insecure. Let people talk. I don't care.


7. It's a big hassle

Everything from email, to drivers license, passport, professional name, social security card, reintroducing myself, etc. I plan on having a simple courthouse wedding anyways, so why should changing my last name be the biggest hassle of getting married? I don't want anything fancy, nothing that is a huge hassle, just love.


8. Because it's my decision

If someone does want to change their name, then they are free to do so. They won't get any judgement from me, but whatever they decide it should be their own choice.

9. It has no effect on the marriage

If a relationship is so fragile that it rides on top of whether the woman changes her name or not, it wasn't going to last anyways.

I don't ever plan on having children, so that won't be an issue. I already know people are going to ask, "then why else would you get married if you don't plan on changing your name?" This is going to sound so cheesy but the answer is, love.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • What will your children be named?

    That question, right there, is why SOMEONE should change their name.
    You can trace your way back through history with your last name, why? Because families keep the same name.
    I understand the individual in you is angry at giving up freedom, and yes it sucks to be a part of the gender where its expected to give it up, but lets throw out a few scenarios:

    You keep your name, kids take either the father or mothers name: The children will feel like they are more related to one parent or the other, AKA, there is division in the family unit, not unity. Also, it will be hard for generations after to trace back.

    You hyphon the name, Jane Smith and John Doe have Billy Smith-Doe, and Billy marries Sally Jones-Brown and they have Timmy Smith-Doe-Jones-Brown. Yikes. Timmy's kid will have 8 names. Soon our birth certificates will be birth scrolls to capture all the names.

    Its a lose-lose right?
    Also, lets be clear, no one is going to care, or even be surprised, that a nurse will get married and change her name. The health community is still run by doctors and doctors are still mostly old white men who are used to the conservative old way of life.

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    • I don't want kids.

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    • No, but there has to be a balance. Social security can't be counted on because every other politician wants to gut it. I'm just going to keep myself healthy so I don't prematurely end up in a nursing home.

    • Social Security, by design, is a program where the young workers pay into it so the old workers can withdraw. If you eliminate the young workers paying into it, the old workers (who paid into it their entire life) get no benefits. Its a "pay it forward" system and you are looking forward to the day where no one will pay it forward to you.

Most Helpful Girl

  • It all depends on every culture.
    For instance, in Japan and some other Asian countries, either the man or woman needs to adopt the partner's surname after getting married because that's how the family registration system works - only one name per household.

    In my home country, women can choose whether they adopt the husband's surname or not, except that name will be added to your own. You can never lose your own name.
    Even if you don't add the husband's surname, your children will be given both yours and the father's surnames.

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Join the discussion

What Guys Said 52

  • Do whatever you want, but I think that getting married and having a family is not all about maintaining your individual identity. It is about forging a new identity as an integral part of your new family. In marriage, two individuals should surrender their needs for individual recognition for the greater good of establishing an identity as a family.

    Of course you have justifications for your decision. But. . . perhaps you aren't ready for what is required in a successful marriage.

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    • If changing a name is that influential on a marriage, then I want no part in it. If a relationship is that fragile, it wasn't going to last anyways.

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    • @OlderAndWiser I don't want a SO to change their name to mine (but that's just me personally). I was asking the question in a logical sense. I mean, marriage has changed in Western Culture (still has yet to change under Sharia Law, but that's besides the point). Just like American men never wear skirts, but the Scottish men view it as their suit, changing a last name is just a cultural custom. Also, I haven't heard any religion's scriptures that say women must be the only ones to change their name.
      Customs change over time. Once upon a time, a man could not initiate a handshake with a woman. Now it's normal.
      So, here's my question, why can't each couple choose which person's name they wish to go with? Or, why can't couples choose new last names for their new family? Three options are better than only one.

    • @NotJustAName They can do exactly as you suggested. Name change procedures are available in my state and I believe in every other state in the US.

  • That is cool for you, however marriage is two people from two different families becoming one family. That is why it is important to me since it is her and me coming together to make a family. I read you didn't want kids, which is cool for you. Yet, I would keep an open mind about anything really. The business life and individualist lifestyle may not be something that turns out to be in your favor. After all, individualism is the American society. You have to stand out and you are why you succeed and all this, but truth is, you don't need to prove anything to anyone. You can fail.

    If you can't compromise anything then you will be left shorthanded.

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    • You act as though I give a damn if I'm single my whole life. Rather be single than in an unhappy relationship anyways. I physically can't have children, no need to keep an open mind about that.

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    • And in leaving she would, become one with the new family as she left the old. Even today we ask for the father's permission out of courtesy. Also, having the father's blessing is huge! Since of course you are two familes becoming one, instead of leaving the old family and moving away like the past.

    • That is a specific tradition by certain cultures (America being one of those cultures). Times have changed, and so have the realization that women are not cattle. I'm not a feminist but I am an equalist.
      Since you have deemed that I was unlucky enough to NOT be born a man, I "must" change my name if/when I marry and that I cannot be a leader. But my brother, who hates our name and is spineless, is lucky enough to keep the name and become a leader. Funny, I have the strategic brain and the hard work ethic to lead. But because I was unlucky that my genetic cells did not clump together in the womb to form a set of physical balls- I must eunuch my mental balls for the sake of a tradition.
      We must agree to disagree. I hope you find someone who wants your name and are happy with her. But do not force all others to bow to your personal beliefs. Good luck.

  • my wife didn't take my name. i couldn't care in the slightest. it's just an antiquated notion based on a time when women couldn't own land and inherited money from her family on the basis of marriage.

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  • If my girlfriend didn't change her name then I would respect her decision. However, in that case I would insist that she sign a prenuptial agreement.

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  • It is a custom, but it's a custom that actually does have meaning. It's more about becoming part of a tribe/brotherhood/team of sorts. Kind of like how when someone joins a sorority or a frat they become a sigma and so on. It's not about dropping your old identity and becoming a new person. It's about taking on that future as a part of that tribe. Not doing so is kind of like wanting to be on the team, but not be a part of that team if that makes sense. It would be like a guy wanting to join the Marine Corp, but never wanting to be addressed as a Marine because he's "his own person". It's not about that.

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    • Personally, I don't really care about customs and a lot of what's involved with marriage that i'd be very flexible on. But one of the few things I'm actually pretty rigid on would be the last name thing. If the woman I was to marry absolutely wanted nothing to do with having my last name I would take that as an insult. It's just as easily taken as not wanting to be associated as part of my family as it is to argue that you don't want to drop your past, when taking on a new last name doesn't do that anyways.

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    • lol, I hope your day gets better.

    • My day has been great. It's my day off. I watched a good movie, went to the library and got some good books, and went to the bank.

  • When my mother married my step father she had planned on keeping her name until he said "I want to give you something that is very precious to me, my name and heritage." It changed her mind. Remember that there are two people involved in a marriage, and certainly the one you love enough to marry feelings should be taken into account. On the other hand, my wife kept her last name, it didn't bother me at all.

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  • Aye well, it is what it is.. LOL.. It kinda seems like a I want separate bank accounts type thing..

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    • You apparently do since you took the time to comment on this and took the time to find that picture.

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    • Oh really? I thought it was the other way around, I thought I was trolling you. Welp I guess you've won. I'll tell you what though, I'd never have the energy to make a post like this just to troll people, crazy how you did it though. I hope you can sense the amount of sarcasm I'm putting into this.

    • @xlsScummer no, I really do feel this way. I really don't ever plan on changing my name. I just knew it'd bring out certain people who all of a sudden have a degree in marriage counseling and will tell me how this will endanger my future marriage πŸ™„ I have quite a dark sense of humor, so I could sense it.

  • I really don't care. She can choose whatever name she wants. Marriage has issues that are infinitely more important than that... like maturity, compatibility, financial issues, checking past baggage, being on the same page about kids, temperament, etc. I am a believer in premarital counseling... and background checks...

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  • It's simple, you don't have to change it if you don't want to change it.

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  • I personally don't know how I'd feel about this situation. I want my children to have my name... So I don't know, more power to you though, lol it just means you won't have my babies XP

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  • Great Take indeed, very good points πŸ‘

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  • Do what you want but I would be offended if my wife did not take my name. My surname is not that bad, it comes from Wales and is the 7th most common surname in the UK

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  • Nuce Take.

    I've changed my mind on this topic over the last couple of years. I used to be all gung-ho that my wife took my name, but now it wouldn't bother me at all if she kept hers.

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  • Cool, good for you., Don't understand why you have to make a fucking presentation about it.

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  • Do whatever you desire. My wife will take my last name though.

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  • I get most of it except, 4. I want to be a successful operating room nurse and I would not like to rebuild my reputation from scratch. How exactly does changing your last name affect your reputation in your field? I would think that if a job blacklisted you because of a name change then odds are it's not the best place to be.

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    • My first name is already pretty common. I want people to know I'm still the same person without having to reintroduce myself.

    • I get what you're saying but the "why" of it seems kinda flimsy. At least to me. Changing a Name doesn't change a person or their skills. And it would only add two more seconds to say "Yeah, I got married."

  • We kept our own surnames, with the idea that our male children take my surname and our female ones their mother's.

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  • sounds fair
    if I was a girl I wouldn't wanna give it up either...

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  • I just wouldn't marry her if she wouldn't take my last name. Like if you do away with one tradition why bother with the expense and hassle of another espicially as marraige is out of date and of little value as well as dangerous for men. The divorce rate is as high as 50% so if she can't committ to your name dont legally committ to her.

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What Girls Said 29

  • I agree. Some random tradition from a culture that is not mine is not a good reason for me to do something.

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    • What about the fact that you're kids have to have a last name and chances are you'll never be identified as being in the same family as your kids or your husband because you have a different name to them.

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    • I love how you consider marriage a 'legal precaution'. Just like buying insurance. Good luck, you're clearly in it for all the wrong reasons and I could see that right from the start where you were prepared to pick and choose what you wanted from marriage in order to suit your own personal wants.

    • @Kkaos yes, because not wanting to change my name because no one in my culture does makes me in it for the wrong reasons. You didn't like my "because you love each other" answer. You constantly moving the goalposts doesn't make you morally superior.

  • So I suppose he will take your last name then?
    anyways I understand your reasons and I met a couple who did the same thing BUT they went a tad further and gave each of their two daughters a different surname; one from dad and the other daughter took her mom's surname.

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  • Kudos to you OP. I seriously think people underestimate how much of a hassle it is to change your name and be known by multiple names. Who has time for all that?

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  • I love and respect your My Take Here, dear, and your own Decision Here., dear.
    Years ago, I Changed my own Name Legally, not Liking that Name, but No matter What... I am Still the Same.
    Good Luck. xxoo

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  • I used to not care that much, until after the death of my Grandfather. I had the best Grandpa in the world and I'm sorry future husband but I don't want to lose that connection to him as frivilous as that might seem. My name is who I am. Men don't get it because they aren't the ones expected to do it. If it's an issue with the man then he's not the one for me as simple as that.

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    • Same here. I adore my grandfather. He made a lot of mistakes but he always righted his wrongs and he's a very patriotic Dutch man. If any man has an issue with it, he's not the one for me.

  • The only reason a lot women have their last name is cause their mother took their father's last name unless dad took mom's. Taking the last name meant as coming together as one family, not erasing the person as a whole and saying that person no longer exists. Either way is fine, my mom took my dad's last name and gave it too me so I don't have problem with taking my boyfriend's name when we get married.

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    • It doesn't literally erase me, it does that in a symbolic way. This is the name I've always identified with, and if I changed it I would feel that I lost a part of me that can't be replaced by another name

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    • Either way maybe your future husband won't care anyways.

    • Maybe? He either won't care or we won't be married. Again in a symbolic way

  • Not changing my last name either, dad actually took on my mother's surname. It's a really unique one, and only people related to me has that surname.

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  • IF I were to find another asexual and we wanted to get married, I would not change my name either. I love my name and I would hope to love the other person's name.
    *Also, my career couldn't handle name changes either.

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    • Explain how your career could not handle a name change.

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    • @MysteriousDarkness That's assuming they used stage names. Faith Hill never changed her name. And that's actresses/singers, not technical crew who go on to win best picture Oscars.
      Sorry, MysteriousDarkness, we fundamentally disagree. I hope you find a girl who wants your last name. If I get married to a guy, I hope we're also on the same page.

    • @NotJustAName I have connections in the acting and music worlds. I had con, actions before you were even born. I do know what I am talking about. I also have an amazing girlfriend.

  • Beautiful. I'd love to move to England, and I would never change my name so it's easier to pronounce, because it's my heritage as an Italian citizen, and I would want to make it clear that I didn't move to somewhere else to erase that.

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  • I think it's fine if women don't take their husband's name it should be a choice. Personally, all though I do love my last name, I think I'd want to take the last name of someone I really loved and was going to marry. Plus it makes it easier when giving the kids a last name (I personally want kids one day) and helps identify you as a married couple/family. But I would like to be in a profession where I could use my birth name and maybe I'd even double barrel it- but I would like to take my husband's name, but understand why you wouldn't.

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  • This is something I'm really indecisive about, at times I want to adopt my future husbands name but at the same time I'm identified with my father's name so I'd want to keep that

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  • I just like the way mine looks with my name like I couldn't imagine another name in its place if anything I'll add it on the end lol

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  • In my family's culture, when a woman gets married, her maiden name becomes her middle name and the children all get her maiden name as their middle name. So it's a non-issue for me.

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  • Your name, your choice. I know tons of people who are keeping their last names. Myself included :)

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  • I will change my last name for my future husband. But you do you

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  • I can't wait to change my last name. πŸ˜‚

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  • Good luck on finding someone who agrees with that statement. No offense but ALL of your reasons sound selfish they are for YOUR benefit. Not the benefit of you and your husband. A marriage is compromise. It's people like you that take out the meaning and significance of a wedding and marriage.

    A marriage is meant for two people to become one. You take his name and become joined into his family.

    But live your life!!! Do you boo!!! 😘

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    • It is my life, my name therefore my decision. Is it really me that takes the sanctity of marriage away? Or is it the people who cheat on their spouse after they've been married a year? Or perhaps the infamous Kim K and Nick marriage that was 72 days long? I mean if you let other people have an influence on your marriage, it wasn't going to last anyways *insert condescending "boo"* Who said I'm not willing to compromise on something else?

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    • @NotJustAName Which cultures do that? There's going to always be exceptions, however I'd argue that at least 95% of the time, a man's surname is the prevailing name.

      Obviously changing your first name would be unnecessary. You don't need to change your first name to be seen as a member of the same family by name. So that's irrelevant.

      So look at you personally? What's your last name, your fathers last name? Correct? So your mother allowed you to have your fathers last name and you want to keep that name because you believe your father and your own family to be more important and more of a part of you than your husband and any new family you want to create. That is entirely what it is.

      And if you're going to say it's because you like your name or it sounds better, I'm glad a name is only something superficial to you. In that case you might as well change it right now to a name that sounds even better...

    • @Kkaos Many Hispanic cultures do that. In fact, someone else already mentioned it within the comments of this article.
      I already did change my name to something even better than what my parents gave me. I have no holds to my father or mother. However, and this is IF I marry and I marry a man (I am asexual anyway), I would not view my name as the key that changes us becoming a new family. If I did view it like that, I would suggest we both change our names so that the guy would not feel beholden to his original family either (like his mother).

  • You have some good points, personally I like the idea of having/taking something that belongs to him, I also like the idea of being "owned", it's romantic but I understand why women keep their maiden names.

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  • I don't want to change my last name because no other last name other than the one I already have sounds good with my first name.

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    • Taking the man's name in marriage is not about "how it sounds". It is about the symbolism.

      Then again some people just don't have any respect for traditional family values.

    • @Prof_Don well I'm still young. It's not really a big deal right now. I would love to keep the name my dad gave me because I'm his only child and he can't have anymore.

  • Good for you! My wife will be taking my last name, but that's due to her not liking her last name, as it is very common.

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