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Friday, 18 March 2022

Coming to Terms With Losing My Maiden Name

Let's talk about names graphic

Let's talk about names. Do you like yours? 

My wedding day is getting closer and closer, and as the months slip by, I've found myself reflecting on my name. Specifically, changing my surname to my fiancĂ©'s when we marry, and coming to terms with losing my maiden name. 

It may not seem like a big thing to most people, but the more I think about it, the more conflicted I feel about changing my name. Sure, it's a personal choice and by no means is anyone forcing me to change my name when I marry, but there is still the sense of traditionalism that dictates a woman takes her husband's name when they marry. Who am I to ignore hundreds of years of tradition? 

It's just a name, but it's my name. Your name is part of your identity - part of the fabric of what makes you, you. We're given a name when we're born and it stays with us as we grow and get older. Our name stays with us throughout all of life's experiences; it's a constant, a reassuring presence that grounds us and reminds us of who we are, where we came from, and ultimately, that we belong. Our first and middle names are chosen by our parents or guardians; our surnames tie us together and give us a link with our families. Our names are the roots from which we grow into the people we become.

Of course, not everyone likes the name they have been given. For years, I struggled with my name. It was unusual enough to stand out yet similar enough to other names that it got misheard and misspelt constantly. I've lost count of the number of times that I've been called Laura or Lauren by mistake! 

As I've grown older, however, I've come to terms with my name and made my peace. My parents chose my name for a reason, and it's become an integral part of who I am. My name is a part of me and I'm proud of it. 

Of course, my fiancĂ© and I have talked about all this and discussed what will happen to our names when we marry. I'm fortunate that he recognises it's a big step for me. We did consider double-barrelling our names, or him taking my surname, but in the end, I think traditionalism won out and we decided I would take his surname. 

At the end of the day, I suppose it's all part of getting married and growing up. My commitment to my partner will be embodied by graduating from a Miss to a Mrs, and by changing my name to match his. 

With less than a year left with the only name I've ever known, it's been playing on my mind a lot. Changing my name feels like a significant step now, but I'm sure years down the line, my new name will seem just as natural as my current name does now. 

I'm coming to terms with losing my maiden name. Now all that's left is to get used to living with an alliterative name! 

What does your name mean to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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