So Mr. T and I have been married a couple of weeks. And one question that I've been asked a few times is if I'm taking his last name. Now, let me just say that I have no issue with this question whatsoever. It's perfectly logical and I assume that some people genuinely want to know what they should call me now that I'm hitched.
The answer? No, I'm not taking his last name. I'm keeping my own name.
Oddly enough Mr. T and I actually talked about this long before we even decided to get married. It was in the list of all the questions you ask each other when you realize that you could really see a future with someone. And at that time, marriage was the furthest thing from our minds.
Side note: I use a lot of me/us in this post. That's because it felt really weird to keep saying I. Honestly, I don't feel the decisions was (or should be) solely based on what I want. I thought it was important to be on the same page and liked that we made the decision together.
So why am I not taking his name? Well, a few reasons actually. Six reasons to be exact. Here are the reasons why I'm keeping my last name.
1. I want to keep my name.
I've had my last name for nearly 34 years. And I'm well aware that I'm now in a partnership so stuff isn't all about me, but still, it's my name and I want to keep it.
2. Changing your name isn't exactly easy.
Have you ever actually thought about the process of changing the name you've had for 34 years? I mean, all the records, credit cards, and so on. That's a whole lot of work for something I don't really care about.
3. It's old fashioned and I'm not.
I honestly believe that it's an antiquated idea (so does Mr. T).
4. We're not having kids.
Not that I would automatically change my name solely because we were procreating, but I would definitely have additional things to think about if that was the case.
5. I've built a brand around my own name.
Here's the part where I sound all conceited and stuff (sorry). But, I've built something around Jess Downey. It took a lot of hard work and many years. Starting all over again just seems a little crazy (and like a really bad move). I know I can keep my name professionally, but that seems even crazier to have two names (that's why I never had a pen name for writing/blogging in the first place).
6. I don't think taking his name says anything about us or our family.
Frankly, I don't see the point in taking his name. We are legally married. We are a family. Not taking his name doesn't take away from any of that.
The decision to take your husband's name is an extremely important and personal decision. There is no right or wrong decision here. What works for me/us might not work for others. And I'm sure that there are plenty of gals who can think of double the reasons to change your name. But this was my/our decision.
My advice for any gal who is getting married is this: do what you (and your husband) want. Think about all the reasons why you would and why you wouldn't and do what makes sense. Don't do it for silly reasons or from pressure. Do what's right for you.