And I ADORE Helena. Helen seems unfinished and clipped, to me. But Helena is beautiful. It has a fantastic meaning and history. I didn't like it originally, but when I used it on a character and started thinking and saying it a lot I grew to love it.
Start saying it more. It flows so perfectly off the tongue, it doesn't drop in your mouth when you say it like so many other names do. When you say it quickly it sounds like water, when you say it slowly it sounds romantic, like music. It evokes images of roses and fields, of oceans and sunshine. It's lightly exotic with it's roots in Greece, but so simple and subtle that it doesn't surprise or shock you. It's like an acquired taste or a chill pool, you start slowly and grow to love it as you spend time with it. It becomes more interesting, more beautiful every day, every time you hear or say it.
I'm legitimately sitting here whispering it to myself in my empty kitchen because it just sounds so nice. I might end up using it in spite of my character, because of how deeply I've fallen in love with this name.
Helena is gorgeous! It's not quite on my favourites list but pretty close. It's elegant, beautiful and feminine while being strong and grounded at the same time. Helen of Troy is a great reference, as is Queen Victoria's daughter Helena, and I believe it's a character from Shakespeare (can't remember which play though, might be something I haven't read). Helen is nice also but doesn't seem as feminine.
I'm with you on this. My husband loves Helen after his mother, and I never liked it before, but Helena has grown on me and now I love it. I prefer the HEL-eh-na pronunciation. I still don't love Helen, but adore the French version, Hélène.
Would you and your BF go for Eleni, a Greek version of the name?