Category: talking about names

baby names compromise

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Many couples are shocked to find that, while they agree about so many more seemingly important things, they’re locked in an enormous battle over baby names. Why do arguments rear up about an issue that should be fun and pleasurable? And how can you solve these Baby Name Battles?

RECOGNIZE YOU’RE NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT NAMES. Name discussions often tap into deeper issues like religion, family, people’s experiences from their pasts that they may not have discussed openly or even be aware of themselves. It may take more time, patience, and care to thoroughly discuss name tastes and their implications than you anticipate.

DON’T COMPROMISE. Finding a compromise name — one that may not be either of your favorites but that you both like okay — might not actually be the best solution. It can provide a quicker, easier fix to the name problem, but may cover up the deeper issues still lurking.

It’s worth uncovering the reasons BEHIND the names you and your partner like. Let’s say your partner is campaigning for a name from their family — which may be more about pleasing their parents than loving that particular name. That can help you both look for other names that might fit the bill in a way that’s meaningful to the other person but that you also like.

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My husband and I talked about names on our first date.

Me being me, that might not seem so surprising. But it was years before Beyond Jennifer & Jason, and in those pre-internet days my name nerdism was still in the closet.

What was meaningful, I think, is that our baby name discussion signaled we took each other and our relationship seriously.

Which may be exactly why some couples don’t talk about names until they’re expecting a baby or (this is hard to imagine, but maybe it’s true?) the child is actually born.  Honey, we forgot to name the baby!

So when did you and your partner first talk about baby names?

What sparked the discussion, and what did you say?   Did you learn anything about each other or your relationship in the process?

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This Couple Needs A Baby Name Pre-Nup!


Duana Taha reports that she and her new husband are compatible in every way, until they start talking about baby names.

I recently got married, and we’re very happy. Like a lot of just-married couples, we’re thinking about children in the near future, which is great.

Except we forgot one crucial thing. A baby name pre-nup.

Do most couples work out their baby names before they agree to be tied together forever? Was I unaware? Because there are some issues here we definitely should have discussed…!

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5 Routes to Baby Name Happiness


In our best fantasies, here’s how we name our babies:

MOM-TO-BE — Darling, I just love the names Susannah and Henry, don’t you?

DAD-TO-BE — Oh, yes, dear.  And I might also suggest Jane, after your mother, and John, after my dad.

MOM — What excellent ideas, sweetheart.  So if it’s a girl, we’ll name her Susannah Jane, and a boy will be Henry John.

DAD — Perfect.  Now why don’t you let me rub your feet?

In reality, discussions go more like this:

MOM — How about Susannah or Henry?

DAD — Blech.  I hate those kind of frilly names; if we have a girl, I think we should name her something cool, like Harley or Parker.  And if we have a boy, my mother says we have to name him after my father.

MOM — Your mother’s not naming our baby.  And your taste in names sucks.

Usually, after nine months or possibly ten, the parents manage to arrive at a name they both can live with.  Why does baby-naming inspire such deep feelings and strong arguments in a couple who may have an easy time getting along in so many other ways?

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The question of the week: Have you ever experienced namer’s remorse?

This is a term heard more and more frequently in the baby name world, describing the feeling of parents when they think they could have made a better choice for their child.

Have you ever regretted picking the name you picked?

If so, was this an immediate reaction as soon as you saw your baby, or did it happen later, when it just didn’t feel like the right fit?

Or did it happen when the name became mega-popular—or when you came to realize that it already was?

A compromise choice you regret making?

A response to negative reactions you got when people heard the name?  Spelling or pronunciation problems?

Was it just a twinge or was your remorse strong enough for you to consider actually making a legal change?

Anyone out there who did make a change?

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