I avoided dating a man who had the same name as my ex; then I found out I had the same name as his ex

M. Brown

What's in a name?Photo bycottonbro studio via Pexels

**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

What's really in a name?

A lot, actually.

Names are a funny thing. They can stir up emotions. People often associate strong feelings with a name. If there are people we don't like, we tend to carry negative emotions with us through life in regard to that name. Think of a childhood bully or a high school crush who rejected you.

In my experience, many of us cringe a little when we meet someone with the same name as an ex, especially an ex who broke our hearts or for whom we still harbor ill feelings towards.

When I first met my now husband at our workplace, he had the same name as my most recent ex. It had been a toxic and abusive relationship so, at the time, I was not too keen on that particular name. Maybe that was a silly sentiment to have, but it did affect me. It actually prevented me from getting to know him better for quite some time. I avoided him.

It turns out that after we finally did connect and got to know each other better, his ex and the mother of his child had the same name as me and he was also trying to avoid dating women with my name! Funny. That's life for you. Additionally, my husband named his child after him so they both have the same name!

Obviously, we did end up getting together and marrying, but the whole reality of dealing with sharing names that were associated with negative experiences did plague me for quite some time. Having to interact and co-parent with someone whom I didn't much care for personally and share the same name with on top of that didn't sit too well with me at all.

Was this petty? Perhaps. As the years went by it got easier but there were definitely times when I wished I could change my name and be different. I even named the child my husband and I had together with a more unique name because both my husband and I have pretty common names in general so I wanted her to go through life without constantly running into people with the same name.

There are definitely bigger problems in the world than having to deal with people who have the same name as you, but it IS irritating when you're trying to co-exist within a blended family where so many people share the same name.

Ultimately, I probably won't legally change my name just to be more original. A name doesn't define what kind of person I am. In fact, I think that we, ourselves, can define the name we have by our own actions.

I hope that when people come into contact with me who might have had preconceived notions about how I might be because of an experience with someone by the same name come away from interacting with me with a positive feeling about my name in general.

Now that I'm older, I can appreciate that my parents named me with love and intention. My name has a meaning to them that has nothing to do with how I feel about it. Perhaps my husband and I just found the wrong people with the same name and we were always meant to be together. Who knows. I just know that I'm glad I ended up going on that first date with him.


I never wanted to marry my second husband because he wasn't my type

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Host of The Pondering Stepmom Podcast. Writing about relationships, lifestyle, family & self-improvement.

California State

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