Changing your name in middle age

Aristaeus

Well-known Member
How would you react if a friend of yours or family member in their mid 40s for example, told you they wanted to be referred to by a different name out of the blue. Say they wanted to be referred to by their middle name rather than their first.

Would you find it strange that they were doing it so late in life (although at 40 they still have another 40 years ahead of them), would it be hard to get used to? Would you be supportive? Would you see it as no big deal?
 

Xenomorph

Member
Not a big deal really. Unless it was from John to Joanne, which I would find a little more disconcerting. ;)
 

Storvay

Distinguished Member
How would you react if a friend of yours or family member in their mid 40s for example, told you they wanted to be referred to by a different name out of the blue. Say they wanted to be referred to by their middle name rather than their first.

Would you find it strange that they were doing it so late in life (although at 40 they still have another 40 years ahead of them), would it be hard to get used to? Would you be supportive? Would you see it as no big deal?
Middle age is when we often come to terms with ourselves and start feeling comfortable in our own skin. Everyone knows it’s a often a time of significant reflection and change - I’ve certainly made big changes in my life, during my 40s, where I was doing it for me and stopped doing it (‘it’ is a long story) for someone else. This may or may not be the case with your friend.

So, in the hypothetical situation where my friend Dave George Smith wanted to be called George after 40 years, I’d ask him why and then call him George.

Of course I’d be supportive. My view is that it would be pretty damn rude to ignore someone’s wishes about what they’d like to be called. ‘No, I get it, you want to be called George. But I don’t want to.’

IMHO, of course, and without knowing all the nitty gritty of your particular scenario.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member

Aristaeus

Well-known Member

Just because it's a thread about changing your name in your 40s. This thread is actually about me! I'm 46 and thinking about using my middle name instead. In fact, I've just talked about it with my wife for the first time and she told me that she's never liked my first name!

You might have another 40 years left. Do you want to be John for another 40 years?
 

The Dark Horse

Well-known Member
No big deal is it. Saying that I grew up with someone who done this, I still call them by the name I've always used and forget other people only know them their "new" name. I've just known them too long to remember to call them something different.
 

Plumsandpearls

Distinguished Member
Just because it's a thread about changing your name in your 40s. This thread is actually about me! I'm 46 and thinking about using my middle name instead. In fact, I've just talked about it with my wife for the first time and she told me that she's never liked my first name!

You might have another 40 years left. Do you want to be John for another 40 years?
My mum would actually be annoyed. It's a family name - dad, both grandfathers, uncle, cousin all called John and a few Sean's in the mix too.
 

Reese Withouterspoon

Distinguished Member
I'd say... go for it. It's entirely up to you how you wish to be addressed. If you already have a middle name that you prefer, why not go ahead and use it?

After all, you get no say in choosing your own name when you are born and if one of your middle names is preferable to you, there is no reason why you shouldn't use that if you want to. I think sometimes other people think it more strange if someone changes their name to something completely random, which has never been part of their original name - but even if that's the case, then it's up to them how they wish to be addressed.

My brother is always known by his middle name of Stuart because although mum and Dad always wanted to use the name Robert in his name, it looked and sounded strange with Robert in the middle, so that's why they made Robert his first name. He is never called that though. Likewise with Mr Withouterspoon's sister. She is only ever known as Anne, but Anne is her middle name because it worked better as a middle name than Catherine, which is her first name.

Changing any part of their name is not an issue which often arises for most men but women do sometimes have to confront the issue of whether or not to change their surname - on marriage, for example.
 

Storvay

Distinguished Member
Just because it's a thread about changing your name in your 40s. This thread is actually about me! I'm 46 and thinking about using my middle name instead. In fact, I've just talked about it with my wife for the first time and she told me that she's never liked my first name!

You might have another 40 years left. Do you want to be John for another 40 years?

If this has come from your wife agreeing with a view you already hold (as opposed to you thinking about it because of what she’s said) then just do it. Your name is your identity, literally!

Go for it. May be weird for others but that’s their problem, not yours.
 

Dwayne Dibley

Well-known Member

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
I was given two first names by my parents, and registered that way, but for reasons I won't go into my 'real' name, the one I've always been called from birth, is the second of the two.

As that name is the one I prefer anyway, this has generally been fine, but it has caused one particularly annoying problem which you might like to bear in mind:

Some official institutions, including financial, taxation and, for some reason, the NHS, insist on using your first registered name, no matter how hard you try to get them to change. You can see why, I guess, but it's still irritating. Your passport and driving licence will have to remain, also.
 

Plumsandpearls

Distinguished Member
I was given two first names by my parents, and registered that way, but for reasons I won't go into my 'real' name, the one I've always been called from birth, is the second of the two.

As that name is the one I prefer anyway, this has generally been fine, but it has caused one particularly annoying problem which you might like to bear in mind:

Some official institutions, including financial, taxation and, for some reason, the NHS, insist on using your first registered name, no matter how hard you try to get them to change. You can see why, I guess, but it's still irritating. Your passport and driving licence will have to remain, also.
My vets call out my dog's name plus my surname when I bring him. It always sounds so odd.
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Yeah, I know our vets do.

On any medication or their vaccination records it’s always got dog’s name followed by our surname.
 

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