Why I Didn’t Change My Last Name

“Where do you find these guys?” my friend had asked me in disbelief as she witnessed me get married. Again. And not change my name. 

family pictureWell, I don’t know. I found one at work, and he was from a tiny, rural town and younger than me. I found another on Match.com, and he was city and older than me. There’s no secret formula to finding a heterosexual male who is OK with his spouse keeping her name.  

I recently saw a compilation asking women why they kept their last name. Some of the responses included:

He’s not the one who graduated and is going on to become a doctor.

I got bullied for my last name growing up, but it made me stronger and who I am. I kept my last name because I earned it.

I lost my father right before we got married, and I wanted to keep it.

I’m from another country and my family survived genocide, I don’t want to change my name.

While these are all solid reasons, guess why I didn’t change my last name? 

NO reason!  

I don’t have to be a doctor. I don’t have to accomplish anything or have earned a badge of honor that goes along with my last name. I wanted to keep it because I wanted to keep it. I like it, I’ve always had it and now…my kids have it.  

Yet, I won’t be upset if they someday decide to get married and do something different: make up a new last name together, hyphenate or take their partner’s name. All I want is for it to be a conversation that takes place openly with love for the other person and patience as they deliberate.  

Marriage is legal for all and gender fluidity is a topic of interest – it becomes more and more apparent that the old notions of last name changing is mostly a heteronormative issue.  

  • Around 70% of straight women take their husband’s name currently. 
  • 22% of women keep their name. 
  • Around 8.9% choose to do something else, like hyphenate.  
  • In the LGBTQ+ community, 49% of couples choose to take one person’s last name. 

So keep your name, or don’t. Just give it the importance a name deserves; some time to deliberate and communicate.  

My friend Kara Montgomery told me her and her wife had plenty of last name conversations before tying the knot. She really put how I feel better than I could have even said myself. She told me, “We are definitely a revolutionary generation of breaking down these walls of stereotypes, roles, and titles and owning whatever feels authentic to us.” 

I don’t hold judgement for any decision regarding last name traditions. I don’t want any gender to feel pressure, regret, or falsehood when it comes to their name.

What I want is to strike the conversation of not feeling like you have to BE somebody to make a choice that is best for you and sits right in your heart. 

Hi, I’m Lizzie and you could say…I’m a little wild at heart. I’ve tried on a lot of different jobs, a lot of different towns-but now I’m home. I absolutely love KC. I have my own business, Lizzie Scribbles LLC, where I offer a complete range of writing, editing, and virtual assistance services. My partner, Greg, and I live in Independence with our 3 children – Grayson (11), Kase (10) and Adria (9). We love music, hiking, cooking, and family date nights.