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June 2010 Weddings

The Hyphen!

Good morning ladies! I know this has been discussed elsewhere, but I would really like your opinions. I have been working in my field for 5 years, and just graduated and got my first certification. Everything I've done has my initials - ADM. I'm not comfortable changing my last name, so I'm considering hyphenating the two. So I'd be Amber M-P. I could keep my initals, but still be Mrs. Pauling. Does anyone have any experience with this?? What are you all doing?? TIA!

Re: The Hyphen!

  • I would do whatever feels right for you. What's right for someone else might not be right for you. I, personally, wouldn't bother hyphenating since that would be more trouble to explain for the next 50 years than its worth to me to go through the trouble of just changing a name. If you've only graduated, you don't have a HUGE professional name and it'd be a small hassle (I'd imagine) to swap out a name.But once again, I'm clueless here and it comes down to what you want and what's best for you.And obviously, your FI's feelings should be taken into consideration as well. Based off your blog, it looks like your mind is already made up on the hyphen. :)
  • Whatever feel comfortable to you and your lifestyle.  My last name fits my first name perfectly... but I'll be taking FI's name because I don't want to have a different last name than my kids.  If I use a hyphen... my last name total would be like 30 letters long!  hahah no way for me.  I know someone who professionally used her maiden name and socially used her married name. 
  • Yeah, it wasn't until after the blog that I started realizing what all went along with this hyphen idea. I'm second guessing myself now. I feel like if I was more established in my career, I wouldn't be worried about changing my name... Because people would already know me. But right now, all they know is my name... And if it changes, there will be little association between Amber M and Amber P. Maybe I'm overthinking this
  • My doctor growing up did exactly what you are talking about.  At work she was Dr. Smith but at home and to the other PTA moms she was Mrs. Doe.  Didn't really seem to confuse anyone.I would love to hyphenate my name unfortunatley it would be awkward... our last names start with the same letter and end in the same last two letters... does not flow well at all!
  • if you have to consider your FI's feelings, he should consider yours also and consider taking your name, or at least hyphenating with you since you're established in your field. you've been in the field 5 years. that's a long time, regardless of when you got your certification- all of your networking and work history has your given name on it. If you want to hyphenate everyone else can suck it, the people who get confused by hyphenated names aren't actually confused 90% of the time, they just disapprove so they give you a hard time. don't ever let anyone scare you away form it because it might be a hassle later on. don't pander to that crap. your kids can take either your Fi's name or the hyphenated. i've known no kid with a hyphenated name who was confused or thought mommy didnt love daddy, or wasn't proud that their name signified BOTH sides of their family tree. You wouldn't be Mrs Pauling, you be Mrs. Name-Pauling or Mrs. Pauling-Name. be proud of that choice. :) you could also consider the double barrel. Amber Name Pauling. You keep your middle and just have two last names. A lot of people do this. it's not that odd, and i think it makes you sound super official! like bam i have three names and you only have two, losers!!!! hahaha this would make it easier to then drop your given name in social situations if you so choose (although most i know who do this do not ever drop their given name in any situation). I am keeping my name. my FI has never questioned it. Neither of us want the other's name because we love our names and identities. whatever children i pop out will have a hyphenated name (mostly for official purposes like... they get sick at school or are in the hospital i don't have to carry around birth certificates to prove i birthed the MFers. lol). we have considered taking each others last names as second middle names to skirt having to carry around marriage licenses. the jury is still out. i will say this: if you do not want to change your name at all do not do it. dont think that you have to have some excuse to keep your name, like work, education, etc. you dont have to explain yourself to anyone! don't let anyone pressure you one way or the other stay strong in your convictions. this is a VERY personal choice, and you should identify yourself the way in which you feel most comfortable, not the way you think people will "accept" you. there are many different options, so just look them over consider them and make a thoughtful decision.
    Bio Update 4.25.10
    Amanda Williams Photography
  • I agree totally with nobs.  It's a decision that you have to make, and life with, for the rest of your life.Me personally, I am ecstatic about getting to change mine.  I have loathed my last name since I was a child.  My mom remarried when i was 12 so she got to toss it YEARS ago.  And seeing as my dad is STILL ignoring me, I don't want to keep his last name even more now.  But that's me.Hyphen, keep, or take.  Whatever you decide to so, let it be what YOU want, not what society expects.
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  • i have also seen couples merge their last names...it wouldn't work in my situation (because it would come out Koward or Howicutt (Kinnicutt and Howard)or something funky) but i have seen it. Another possibility...my former boss and current boss kept their maiden names for work. i had no idea for months that their husbands had a different last name.just do what feels right. and it's pretty commonplace now that I don't think it's too much of a hassle.
  • oh oops...I love my last name (but have to spell it ALL THE TIME) and love the ancestry of the last name, but i am traditional and will take FI's last name. My mom took her maiden name as her middle name... another idea...however, i love my middle name too... can i have 4 names? ha haHTH
  • the combining names is a good option too, (i forgot about it lol). yes you can have four names. yes some choose to move their given name to the middle name, but at this juncture it seems that the OP does not want to drop her last name and call it something else since she wants her surname to still be her surname in some capacity.
    Bio Update 4.25.10
    Amanda Williams Photography
  • I will be taking FI's last name. I can understand your point of view and how it may affect your career. My advice would be to discuss it with your FI and see how he feels about it. It should be whatever the two of you are most comfortable with.
  • I agree with nobs, too. I'm moving my maiden name to my middle name and taking FI's last name. One of my close friends decided to keep her maiden name, though, because she's been published academically and her career would suffer significantly if she changed it. Her FI is wicked old school and didn't get it for a long time, but she stuck to her guns.
  • must one get permission? should he not also consider changing his last name to the SO's last name? while it's an important discussion to have so that the couple can plan for the future in terms of emergency situations and paperwork, the decision to change or not change should be made on ones own terms, not someone else's (especially if the other isn't considering name change). it seems to me that if someone doesn't want to change their name, they really shouldn't put it up for a discussion- it should be a statement that is made when they are certain, and then appropriately planned for. putting it up for discussion makes it look like you're ready to make concessions, and the SO needs to respect the decision regardless of their feelings. it's also good to go into any discussion knowing what you want so that you dont feel later like you were swayed- or they dont think they might have swayed you, only to find out later that you never intended to change your mind- then they'll feel like you're flip flopping, which will cause all kinds of other issues. but this is JMO... i've known quite a few people who have not changed their names when they got married, so make of that what you will. (it's common in my former profession... and current one too, i think)
    Bio Update 4.25.10
    Amanda Williams Photography
  • You all make some good points. Nobs, you hit it home. My FI, TBH, would much rather I take his name just to be "normal", but I LIKE my name. And Im the one that has to live with it... and if I have to explain it to everyone I meet, so be it. I had my mind made up, until I let everyone know my decision and got a bunch of odd looks in return. Then I started wondering what kinds of problems would arise... But, in the end it won't be anything I can't handle. Thanks all.
  • holla!! glad we could help. an if you even need anyone to give you a pep talk. you know where to find us.
    Bio Update 4.25.10
    Amanda Williams Photography
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