Should You Take Your Spouse’s Last Name?

Plus, how ladies should give out contact info to gents in bars

Dear Monica,
I am getting married in September for the first time. I am on the fence about taking my fiancé’s last name. Any advice? —I.M., Gladwyne

My personal opinion is that a woman should take her future husband’s last name when getting married.

Women whose careers are built upon the reputation of their maiden name should either hyphenate their name with his, or use their maiden name professionally and their married name socially. If you are approaching this from a feminist point of view, realize that you are honoring your father’s lineage — not your mother’s — when keeping your maiden name. Thinking in terms of the future, there is something to be said for a family all sharing the same last name. Have you ever tried to navigate a school directory when the mother has one name and the child has another? The only thing more complicated than this, is the kid with two last names. Spare me!! Marriage is a bonding of two people’s lives as one. Sharing a last name is a symbol of this.

Dear Monica,
When meeting a guy at a bar do you give him your cell phone, e-mail or home phone as a way to contact you? —M.S., Port Richmond

This is a situation where too much information is not ideal. You are meeting a complete stranger and although he may turn out to be terrific, you have to keep it simple. E-mails are no good because many of them either have your full name or place of work associated with them. Home phones are totally out of the question: too close for comfort. Cell phones are the way to go. He can call or text you. Only give him your first name and definitely ask for his business card. This way you can check him out before he calls. If he asks for your card tell him that you ran out, but you look forward to hearing from him. Be sweet, but be smart.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles.  Please send your questions to: