Thursday, August 7, 2014

Are you a name changer?

I was just thinking about this today that this is the very last year I'll be a "single person." This is the last year I check that "single" box on every form I fill out. This is the last year I file my taxes as a single person. This is the last year I'm known as "Michelle Lim."

Come next year, I will forever be a unit. A "we." An '"us." My name will legally be changed to Michelle Dixon. Isn't that kind of crazy? For 28 years I've lived as Michelle Lim and then boom! just like that, a new name. A new signature. A new title.

It may sound like I'm having a freak-out moment. But I assure you, it's more like a "whoooaaa" moment, to which I am having with the utmost excitement. ;)

I've never hesitated in my decision to want to change my last name when I get married. (Just look at all of my old journals. With ever single crush I've ever had, I can guarantee you I've written my name, an embarrassing amount of times, with their last name to see what it looked like.)

But with that said, I know a lot of women have a strong sense of....what's a good word....independence? individuality? self? and they hold strong to wanting to keep their OWN last name (or maybe their husband's last name is "Buttkiss" and they just really don't want that associated with them?).

And some women like a good hyphen. (Something about 'Michelle Lim-Dixon' just doesn't sound right to me...)


And SOMETIMES, if we're being REAL "extreme" here, women have the husband take their last name.

Saving Silverman, anyone?



"Verner Lim." <------Haaaa. No.

Anyway, even though I personally have no want to keep my current last name and I'm more than happy to take Verner's last name, at the end of the day, I really don't think it matters what name you have. Am I right or am I right? I'm still going to be me. I'm still going to live my life with the same 28 years of experience behind me. I'll just go on with a new last name. One that makes me excited to say. (And yes, even with 11 months to go, I've been practicing what my new signature will look like. Obvi.)

So what about you? Did you change your last name? Was it hard to "give up" your maiden name? Or did you keep your last name? OR hey...can someone please tell me if your husband took your name? That'd be a great story to hear. ;)

Do tell!


xoxo


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31 comments:

  1. It was very weird to give up my last name but I was amazed at how quickly I got used to my new name! A couple months later somebody at work used my maiden name and I thought it sounded strange!

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  2. I got married in June and am starting my name change process now. It is weird and I've delayed it a little, but I am SO excited to have the same surname as my Husband.

    I agree, to each their own. We don't all have to do the same thing.

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  3. I changed my name and, while it was weird at first, 7 years later, I don't even think of myself as the "old" person with the "other" name anymore. It's weird. The whole process.

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  4. I think it's awesome that we have choices and can do whatever we want. I personally probably won't change my name, just because. I like my name as is, and it would sound really stupid with my boyfriend's last name. Sometime in the future, I'll probably have to get used to people sometimes calling me Mrs Whatever instead of Ms. Maiden Name since changing your name is still the default but I can deal. No big thing.

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  5. I definitely agree, to each their own - but I don't think I want to change my name. It's obviously French and like that it hints at my country of origin, very much a part of my identity. But I know my boyfriend likes the idea of our future family sharing a last name, so maybe compromise is in the cards ;)

    One of my college roommates got married last November and her husband took her last name, which I LOVED! She converted to Judaism "for him" (quite willingly) so that was their compromise - to adopt her came-to-America-on-the-Mayflower-from-England last name (vs. his very Jewish last name). Her family also has a very traditional crest, which they changed to include the star of David on their wedding day. It was so sweet and meaningful!

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    1. That's amazing! I love hearing these stories! :)

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  6. My maiden name is super French and hard for anyone who doesn't speak French to pronounce, so I was more than ready to change my last name when I got married. However, a small part of me misses the identity I had to my family heritage. I have an aunt on my dad's side (so the French last name) who did not change her last name, AND gave both her children her (maiden?) last name as their middles, and they have their dads last name. Confusing much?

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  7. I always knew I'd take my husband's name from when I was a little girl. But when the time actually came to make the switch it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. If my husband wasn't so traditional about it, I probably would have kept my name.

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  8. well...I went from a very unique difficult to pronounce Basque last name to a simple and very common last name once I was married. So instead of being the only one, I became one of the many with my new last name. What I decided to do when I changed my name, is make my maiden name my middle name. And so...that's what my license reads and that's how I try to stay unique :)

    In Latin America (and possibly in many other countries) people are recognized by both their father's and mother's last name. However, once a woman marries, it is custom for her to take her husband's last name and keep her father's last name. Although I've learned that the professional women in my family decided to keep their maiden name rather than take on their husband's last name in their work environment.
    This is how we end up being made fun of for having a milieu of names when we intro ourselves, heehee!

    Andie's Traveling Pants

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  9. I always wanted to change my name, I wanted to be the Laines' and have like things in our house with our last name engraved I think that lame stuff is so cool. Plus I'm a teacher it's so confusing when you call a students parent mrs childs last name" and the mom says, oh no it's "blah blah maiden name." was always so awkward I hated it! Haha it felt like much more a unit to me. BUT I have a little advise for you, make sure you have your signature down by Time you go to the dmv because I didn't, I mean I practiced but wasn't for sure this is how I'm gonna write my new name, anddddd when I went to get a new license with my NEW name they said sign your name & I was stumped seriously full on deer in headlights, "how did I want my signature to be?" Moment and I got stuck with a signature that I didn't love 0.0 thankfully I had to renew soon after so I was able to tweek it a little. Congrats again your writing is reminding me how fun it was to be engaged & planning a wedding!

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  10. As my parents are divorced and my mother has a new hubby who came with two new brothers for me, most of my family has another surname than me (I still have the name of my father). So imagine what a big surprise it was when I found out that my boyfriend (and hopefully hubby-to-be) has the same name as most of my family!? Not related, btw. Isn't that great? If we marry, I finally belong to my family. :D So I do not have to give up a name, but take a name that I lived with for the last 20 years. Fun!

    (And: a good friend of mine took the name of his wife. His name was long and complicated as it was of polish origin and hers only has three letters so... easy decision. It is not that uncommon in Germany nowadays)

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  11. I didn't change my name. I didn't feel strongly about either option but we were living abroad and the paperwork required when we were somewhere that didn't even have post was just not feasible. Then, as time went on, I started to like the idea of keeping my own name even more. So, it stayed. I love my maiden name - it feels like me. Now that we have a baby on the way, we're deciding what we want his last name to be. I think we'll hyphenate which Joe isn't super crazy about. I feel like there will be many times I will be traveling alone with the kids so I think it's important to have a common name on our passports. Tricky decisions ;-)

    I do think Michelle Dixon has a nice ring to it though!

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  12. I got super nostalgic about my maiden name, so I decided to dump my old middle name and make my maiden name my middle name. It worked better for me professionally as well, providing a good transition between maiden me and married me. But I agree with you, there is some very odd about dropping your last name and taking your husbands. Not odd in a bad way... but odd.

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  13. Oh girl, I wrote a post ALL about this. I did not take my husband's last name thus the reason our blog is called, the "florkens" -- that's a combination of BOTH of our last names. I love that regardless of your choice, you are completely ok with other people's choices. You're right -- to each their own!

    -Kate
    http://www.theflorkens.com/2013/10/why-i-didnt-take-adams-last-name.html

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  14. I still haven't changed my name but it's more out of procrastination. It's a time consuming process and I've just been putting off making the full legal change.

    Btw, a few male celebrities (including Jack White, John Lennon, & Jay-Z) have taken on their ladies' names! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/celebrity-name-changes_n_2631803.html

    Also, one of my couples this year decided to combine their two last names to make a whole new name. I thought that was a pretty cool idea.

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  15. I mentioned on Instagram I was definitely changing mine (Rob has told me since day 1, that was important to him) but I admit, I'm lagging and haven't fully committed yet. It was a bigger change than I thought it'd be, suddenly not having the same last name as my siblings. Lol I freak out about it occasionally still but I plan to do it ASAP.

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  16. I'm still on the fence about this, but solely because I'm a published writer with my maiden name. On one hand, I saw what it was like when my mom and I had different names..BUT! I don't want people to forget about me as a writer once my last name is different with a whole lot of "WTF?" UGH, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! Thankfully, I have two full weeks to decide.. (eye roll)

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  17. As much as I am a strong, independent, self-supporting woman, I must admit I am old fashioned when it comes to marriage. I took my husband's last name without any hesitation. I think the whole changing your last name has a certain sweetness to it. Really can't explain it.

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  18. I'm not married, but I don't know that I'd want to change my name. At least, I'd want to keep it as part of my name, even unofficially. Angel Marie Miller Something. Sounds good.

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  19. I can't believe I forgot to tell you this yesterday but I just remembered one of my good friends from college took his wife's last name when they got married. And their kid has her last name, too. I know in theory it sounds unconventional or weird but knowing this guy, I wasn't surprised at all when he did that.

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  20. My maiden name was "Seuberling". It took zero convincing on my husband's part to get me to change it. But despite that, it was somewhat of an identity crisis: You spend your entire life identifying by one name, and then all of a sudden, you are no longer that person, and you are this person who seems new and different. It took a few months to get used to, but I'm glad in the end that I took my husband's name. It's like an outward sign that we're a team, and a family.

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  21. I have friends who took both of their last names, combined them, and created an entirely new last name to have together :) Me, when the time comes, I'm not yet sure what my choice would be..?
    www.olivedoesthecity.com

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  22. Yes, I took my husband's last name. But legally kept my maiden name as a second middle name, so I didn't drop it completely. It is now just an initial in my signature =)

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  23. ha, took me 8 years but I finally did it yesterday. The guy at social security asked me if it was "an extended trial period".

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  24. Well , I could not take my husbands last name as you have to keep yours here in Greece . Realizing that it somehow splits you apart was when I traveled with my daughter . The officer asked me whom this girl was ...... I was shocked ! She has her fathers last name , so I was like a total stranger to her ! By now they changed this (about time) and the mothers name is also listed !

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  25. My name changed from Eakle to Eaton. Not a huge difference haha! I should have got a discount on all my name changing documents

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  26. I did change my last name, but I was really on the fence about it. Honestly, if P (my husband) had some terrible last name I might have not done it. I was my name forever (over 30 years) and it was my name and I liked it. However, it was something that P said he would really like for me to do, that it made us seem more of a family. He did not push me about it at all and I waited over 6 months to finally get it done. Our friends joked and were making up combined "new" last names for us before we were married. The thing is that P does ask for very little from me and I know it was important to him...so I guess in the end I didn't feel that strongly about keeping my name (plus I did not have a middle name anyway so now my last name is my middle name and I didn't lose anything). It is a bit thrilling to hear your new married name and nice to get the letters that say our name together (though not the Mr. and Mrs his name...I do not like that).

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  27. I am so so excited to one day take my boyfriends name. With some things I am a huge traditionalist and this is one of them. I just love it and feel it will really make us feel like a family. Can't wait.

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  29. When I got married, it took me a year to get my name legally changed due to procrastination. I kept my maiden name to honor my father, who had passed away two years before, and also took my husband's name. It is now even more unpronounceable. In some circles, I go by my married name. In other circles, I go by my maiden name.

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