Marriage is one hell of a ride.
There are numerous things to consider before getting married. Since medieval times, a woman taking her husband’s last name was understandable, no question about it. Luckily for us, those days of patriarchy are over (kinda) and changing your last name is now an independent choice!
And let’s face it, the world has changed. Same-sex marriage is legal now, more women are in the work field making their name their brand/identity, some couples prefer hyphenation, some prefer keeping their surname as their middle name, and some like to change the last name entirely.
All in all, there’s no shame in keeping your last name, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with taking your significant other’s last name.
So the million dollar question: should I take my partner’s last name?
While only YOU know the answer to that question, we’re here to tell you why you should contemplate changing your last name.
1. Us Against The World
Like my four-year-old niece always reminds me, “There’s no “I” in “TEAM.” She doesn’t even know what it means but her mom persists on making her a “team player,” whatever the heck that means.
Some marriages work, some don’t. But if you are married, and you are confident that this person is your soulmate, then taking their last name will make you feel like nothing can get you down. It’s just very different after marriage because this person becomes your go-to for everything! You cry to them, complain to them, cook for them, clean for them, and live for them. Plus, you want the whole world to associate you with them. Marriage is love and love is joining as one against the whole damn world.
2. Out With The Old, In With The New
Think of marriage as a door opening to another world, because really, it is. Your whole world gets turned upside down and everything changes.
You start to pave a path with your partner, and you have to adjust to the new world around you. In a way, you have to leave your “old” life behind and embrace this new adventure with your loved one. Part of that “old” life is your maiden name.
Yes, it could be scary and overwhelming, but it could also be exciting and fun! With a new identity, it feels like you’ve got a second chance to do the things you love with the person you love.
3. Think Of The Children
There’s no doubt that every mother or father wants the same surname as their future children. Having different names than your children causes confusions at schools, hospitals, and airports. If you have teenage children, then you’ll know that even your breathing embarrasses them.
To make things easier for yourself, in the long run, it’s best to take your partner’s last name and save yourself some trouble. When you think family, you don’t think of each parent having a different last name.
4. Judge Judy Eyes
Ok, you’re not going to like this one, but I feel obliged to mention it because I know what it’s like to come from a judgy family. Hey, people are assholes, and that includes family.
When I told my family I wouldn’t be changing my last name after marriage, they were appalled. It’s become so accustomed in our family for a woman to change her maiden name that when someone questioned it, it seemed corrupt. I had an uncle tell me that if I wasn’t going to change my last name to my husband’s, then I shouldn’t get married at all.
Yeah, asshole family but I still love them like crazy.
After a year of marriage, I changed my last name because it felt like the right thing to do and it’s what I wanted to do. There was no pressure from anyone, and my husband never rushed me into it.
My point is, no matter what you decide to do, there will always be people there to judge you. People’s opinion should never have an impact on your decisions. Honestly, what are middle fingers for if not these moments?
5. Stronger Bond
Do you know who makes me the happiest person on the planet? My partner.
While changing your last name may not seem like a big deal to you, for some, it means a lot. Once I got the hang of marriage and realized I married the man of my dreams, I decided to strengthen the bond between us. For people from our cultural background, that meant taking his last name. When I finally did it, I felt like the happiest person on the planet. I swear I am not over exaggerating, you guys.
It just seemed official at last! I was ecstatic, and it felt like one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
If you are considering changing your last name, then HitchSwitch is here to help you through the process. Always speak to your partner before making any final decisions, and in the end, always remember that the choice is up to you.