First Came the Love, Then Came the Marriage, Then Came the Name Change?


What’s in a name?

Identity.  Point, blank and period.  Your name is your avatar for the world.  People who know me don’t say, “That girl” or “That woman,” they say, “Vaneese” or “Ms. Vaneese” if ya nasty.  Just kidding…although it would be cool if someone called me that, but I digress.

My overall point, however, is that names are important.  And because of that, I’ve always felt that even when I got married, I would not change my last name.  I would not change the name my daddy gave me.  I mean, it’s who I’ve been for the last 25 years.  Why fix what ain’t broken, right?

Well, sorta.  When I had my daughter, I didn’t think twice about giving her her dad’s last name.  Although we weren’t married and had no plans to get married, I felt that it was only right for her to have his last name.  He is her father.  While it did dawn on me that she could have my last name, I never seriously took that into consideration.  It was never really an option.  So why had I always made a big deal out of taking my husband’s last name, when I’d put little to no thought into my daughter taking her father’s last name?

Hmm…I believe it had something to do with the way I perceived the situations.

I saw her name, her identity, as a new beginning.  She could be anything she wanted to be with her name.  She would be able to create the person behind the name.   But my *new* name?  It would undoubtedly signal an ending.  The death of the person I knew.  The death of me.

Now, I’m sure I put waaayyy too much thought into this changing of the name thing.  From what I’ve witnessed, it seems that many women are ready and willing to take on their husband’s name.  It just is for them and that’s okay.  For me, though, it’s taken a lot of thought, soul searching and honesty to get to the point where I would actually consider changing my last name.  Hopefully, I’ve found my happy place with the hyphen. 🙂

 Married ladies, did you have any qualms about changing your last name?  Did you choose to change it?  Why or why not?  Unmarried ladies, what are your thoughts on the whole name change thing?    


  1. October 31, 2013 / 1:33 pm

    Ms. Vaneese … lol You’re not alone in your thinking … I have wrestled with the idea of changing my last name when I get married for yeeeeeeeeeeeeears. I’ve had that discussion with my friends; Did you change your last name? A lot of my friends are still in the “process” of changing it, meaning they’ve been married for a while and still have not changed it. There are a handful that have changed it right away and others have added the hyphen. People know that all of these women, regardless of their last names are married. They’re even called Mrs. Husband’s Last Name. I think what it comes down to is how the husband-to-be/husband feel. If they give you a hard time about changing your name …and you don’t want to … a hypen is a compromise. You’re not going to call off your wedding or end your marriage over your name. Right? Or maybe that is a deal breaker for some people. I always thought I’d keep my last name. Now I’m on the fence. If it gets changed at all it will be Hyphenated for sure. But if he doesn’t say anything then maybe … I’ll me Arelis Cintron or Ms. Arelis if you’re nasty LOL

    Can’t wait to hear what other people say about this!

    • Vaneese
      November 1, 2013 / 2:44 pm

      I love it, Arelis!! You are absolutely correct; it comes down to what works for the couple. Marriage is a team effort and both team members need to be in agreement on whatever they decide. It’s funny…I never thought about not taking my husband’s last name, but also never thought that I’d actually give my name up either. I guess I’m one of these selfish folks that want it all. LOL. Thanks for commenting!!

  2. October 31, 2013 / 2:28 pm

    I was honored to change my name when I married. It signified that my husband and I were a united front and also helped alot when the kiddos came along. A hyphen is cool if both are in agreement, but call me old fashion and go all in.

    • Vaneese
      November 1, 2013 / 2:36 pm

      Nothing wrong with going all in, Val. Nothing at all. And I would not consider that old fashioned, as I think that it’s pretty much the norm. Since making the decision to hyphenate, I’ve begun to wonder what thoughts that decision conjures up in people’s heads. Do they think that we are less committed? That we’re not united? That I’m some emasculating, raging feminist? Hmm…I wonder! Thanks for sharing, Val!

  3. October 31, 2013 / 9:11 pm

    I didn’t give my name change too much thought. At the time, I was in an industry where I had built a rep, so I wanted to just add hubby’s last name. He didn’t care AT ALL. He would have changed his last name to mine, as long as we were married! LOL! I’m very happy that I chose to keep both and I do not hyphenate them.

    • Vaneese
      November 1, 2013 / 2:32 pm

      Interesting. My husband WAS NOT having the changing his last name to mine. LOL. I think it’s so cool that your husband was like, “whatever, let’s do it!.” Too funny. Since you do not hyphenate, is your maiden name now considered your middle name? I’ve always been curious about that.

  4. November 1, 2013 / 2:31 am

    Sooo….it took me a ridiculously long time to change my last name after I got married. I felt the complete opposite way you did when I gave birth to my son. His dad and I went through some things over his name and I was always adamant that my child and I would have the same last name. Yeah, state of Texas doesn’t quite feel that same way when it comes to child support…SMH His dad got privy to that and put himself on it so I’d be forced to comply. Well, sort of…my son has a hyphenated last name and can choose when he gets of age or continue to go by both. I say all that to say when I got married, changing my last name signified more than just ending my single life and taking on my husband’s last name. I’d literally battled the legal court system to have my maiden name as part of my son’s name and it was hard to do. My husband and I had a serious disagreement about hyphenating but in the long run I went that route but only go by my married name in day-to-day situations.

    • Vaneese
      November 1, 2013 / 2:29 pm

      Wow! I could totally see the significance in wanting to keep your name after all that you went through for your son. And the State of Texas’ stance on this issue? No comment. If you don’t mind sharing, what were your husband’s reasons for disagreeing with the hyphen?

      • November 4, 2013 / 12:53 am

        Honestly, I think it was a male ego thing. He couldn’t give me any rationale reasons against it. I think he’s accustomed to it now – especially since very few people actually use my hyphenated last name. For me it’s the principle. I didn’t and couldn’t totally cross out the significance of my middle name when my son was involved. It wasn’t dropping my parents’ name it would have been dropping a part of my son’s name, too.

  5. November 3, 2013 / 3:44 pm

    My last name is hyphenated because I didn’t want to let go of my last name. Of course, now, less than 2 months after being married, I dropped my former last name altogether. I am who I am now. Trying to hold on to a name for the sake of…memories? History? I don’t know, now it just doesn’t seem as important to me.

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