Changing your name is clearly a very personal decision.
I see plenty of good reasons to change my name, and plenty of good reasons to keep the one I was born with. More than anything, I just like my current name. It sounds good together, and in a small way it tells a little story (though I can’t reveal that here since we don’t dish our real names). Its a name that I’ve been attached to, or has been attached to me, for 36 years. Changing it now feels as strange to me as it would to suddenly be raven haired, 6-inches shorter or speaking a new language. An altered parallel-universe version of me. Bizzaro Snapdragon.
I received a long email from a recently married friend who laid out, at length, why it’s important to change your name when you get married. Among her reasons she listed that it shows respect to his family, it cements your status as a “cohesive unit” and positions you for a successful marriage (she claimed that every woman she knows who didn’t change her name ended up divorced). Well. I don’t know about those reasons. In fact, I flat out disagree with a couple of them. For me, the most compelling reason is actually down the road, if/when kids come into our collective picture. I want the same name as my children.
In truth, I go back and forth on the issue. Snapdragon dude, who comes from an uber-traditional family, says it’s up to me….though my guess is deep down he would be hurt if I didn’t make the change. Again, it’s such a personal decision and one I think each person needs to weigh carefully– and take any advice that comes along your path with a grain of salt. What’s right for me, may not be right for you. And I am thankful to live in a society where I am given the freedom to choose.
What I DO know is this: if you are planning to change your name, take a look at this website: MissNowMrs.com. If you have form-a-phobia like me, you will love spending $30 to plop in some details and have the computer spit out all the completed documents you need to register your new name with the various authorities (license, state, creditors, passport, social security, etc.). Awesome!