Why I Chose to Not Change Name After Getting Married
People meet, fall in love, get married & change their names. That’s the way it is supposed to go right? Not in today’s world. Many choose to hyphenate, keep their name or even take the untraditional route of swapping names. So why am I keeping my last name?
I am not; at least I am not for the next few years. With being an immigrant, there is a lot of paperwork on a normal basis let alone changing it all to have a new name.
We got married a few days before we submitted our visa paperwork. Changing my name would have been an issue for that.
I went back to the states 3 weeks after getting married for 6 weeks and then came back to Denmark. Changing my name would have been an issue for that as well.
My visa is attached to my passport. Changing my name will not only take forever but cause confusion for that.
So yes, one day when my passport is expiring, I will file for that brand new Danish last name. For me, it is something that proves my dedication to becoming a Dane or at least to be accepted as wanting to be a Dane.
“So why does your all your social media say two last names?”
Because of the social norms that go with getting married. The fact that we eloped & then I moved to a foreign country had the look & red flags saying “green card marriage” even though that is far from the truth. Taking my husbands name publicly proved to the world the validity of my marriage & our love for each other. At least, that is what I feel it shows.
Why didn’t I drop my legal last name and just publicly take his?
Because we might both take each other’s names. It is something the Dane has been considering, both of us sharing the last names we grew up with. For me, I am happy to do either.
I, of course, have a great attachment to my name. My last name is my identity & connects me to two of the most important people in my life, both of whom have passed, but it is something I always knew I would eventually probably change. If the decision comes to drop my middle name to replace it with my maiden name, that is where I draw the line.
My middle name comes from the Jewish traditions of naming after the dead and it symbolizes my father's mother. It is a name my parents choose instead of just having. It means more to me symbolically than a last name.
Until then, for the next few years I sign papers, buy plane tickets & have bank accounts with the name I grew up with instead of the name that I choose to publicly go by.
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