The delayed last name change


In a time when we have machines to do almost everything for us, some things that were an absolute cinch 30 years ago now seem harder than ever.

Like changing your last name.

A few people I know have had their nuptials, with no permanent, state-recognised last name change made until around 12 months later.

It’s not because of the hoops you have to jump through, simply the mindless paperwork and lengthy administration process you have to go through. What’s the issue? Why does it take so long? I could have sworn my parents and grandparents were married with all of the details done and dusted by the time they left for their honeymoon.

Maybe it’s more than just an excruciating administrative process, maybe it’s more to do with women hesitating to let go of the name they’ve had since birth. They’ve been that person their whole lives, and now they have to become someone different, sacrifice a piece of their identity to become a part of someone else’s, and frankly, I don’t know if it sounds all that appealing.

In a time when we tell women that they have just as many choices as men, to be independent, to be strong, is it fair that they have to give away a piece of their family legacy for a relationship that let’s be honest, these days has a 50 per cent chance of survival?

Double-barrelled names seem to be an appealing alternative, given your names work together. Personally, I think this is something I’d be inclined to go for, as it means that both sides of the family live on through the future generations. I know this is important to my dad, as the only son of his father, who had three girls. My name dies with us, unless I do something to keep it alive, and although a little trivial, I know it’s important to him – and to me (we have our own tartan, for goodness sake!)

So, when we speak to newlyweds that still haven’t managed to get their papers into the RTA (is that what you have to do? Change your name at the RTA? We all know that’s a mission in itself!) perhaps it’s a little more to do with hesitation than it is hoop-jumping. Girls, I say power to you. Speaking to your man about the possibility of merging names isn’t going to do any harm. The worst that will come of it is a slightly bruised ego, and we all know they have a habit of mending faster than expected. Don’t we?

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What do you think of taking on his last name?

Do you preferred the hyphenated option?