A really, really long name change journey

My favorite photo of us from early in our relationship.

My favorite photo of us from early in our relationship.

Three years ago (!), Zach proposed, and I was so, so happy. We started discussing Big Things almost immediately: Would we have kids, what would we teach them about religion, and who has to do the dishes?

Somewhere between a discussion of the virtues of poodles and Jack Russels, we discussed the name change.

Zach said he didn’t care, which I immensely appreciate. I believe (as a feminist, duh), that it should ultimately be something that a woman decides for herself, but if a man wants to have an opinion, that’s fine too. At the end of the day, though, it’s not his name, and not his choice. He’s awesome, so he agrees with me.

With the stress of the wedding weighing on me, along with a million other things, I just didn’t reserve enough mental space for making a decision. Suddenly, the wedding happened, and we were officially married.

The decision to change my name (or not!) was not quite so sudden. Some weekends I decide I’m going to do it, and I start gathering paperwork. Other weekends, I decided I’m not going to. Other days, still, I decided I was going to go the Beyonce route and just go by my first name.

After a little soul searching, I’ve finally, finally decided that I’m not going to officially change my name. It’s the name I first saw in print, and the name I’ve used my whole life. It’s just not the right decision for me to change that now.

If you want to call me Whitney Gibbs, I’m totally cool with that, though. I really couldn’t care less. I still LOVE “Gibbsi” as a couple name. It’s amazing, don’t ever change it. But, officially, Whitney Lee’s going to be it for me.

Much love to everyone!

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4 thoughts on “A really, really long name change journey

  1. Whitney, I love this blog. I 100% agree that it is the woman’s decision whether or not she wants to change her name. No one should be forced into it. I ultimately decided to change mine, but for my own reasons, not because someone told me I had to. I’m glad you are making the right decision for you. (Though, I would like to try the whole Beyonce one name idea. Do you think we could pull it off?)

    • Umm, I’m pretty cool, and so are you. I think we could totally pull it off! I agree, there are so, so many factors that play into whether or not you’ll change your name. I think the best thing you can do is just take time to think about what you really want!

  2. Virtual high five (because I’m a dork and I love high fives), Whitney Lee! Shawn and I have talked about this a lot, and I keep going back and forth as well. That personal branding thing on Thursday really got me thinking about it again. I did some Google/Social Network research and realized I would have a lot more Kaylas to compete with if I take his name. I’m thinking I should at least keep my name professionally…but I could still change my mind. Thanks for reminding me that it’s okay to take your time with a decision like this šŸ™‚

    • Yay! I’m glad you’re taking time to think about it! I have the opposite problem: It’s way easier to be Whitney Gibbs online instead of Whitney Lee, but it just doesn’t feel right. Kudos to you for doing research! šŸ™‚

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