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Arguing about baby names is not a given. You might be that one in one million couple who agrees on everything.
But, if that’s you, why are you reading this? Go snuggle with your spouse while the rest of us deal with how to overcome this argument.
How to Stop Fighting About Baby Names
Talk with your partner about what makes a good baby name to them. Is it the meaning behind the name, the family connection, the popularity, the uniqueness or an indescribable quality? Share what you both desire, and then be willing to compromise.
- Over 13,001 boys’ and girls’ names, nicknames and variations.
- Origins, meanings, and famous namesakes.
- The most popular names in the US and around the world.
Step 1: Discuss Why You Are Arguing
Arguing is never good. Debating about baby names is one of the worst arguments of all.
There is an inherent, emotional connection to the name you have chosen.
It is difficult to divorce yourself from those emotions to have a reasonable, rational discussion. However, this is exactly what is needed.
Ask yourself and your spouse why you are having the argument. Does your partner feel unheard? Is your spouse unwilling to budge on their chosen name?
Do you believe whoever is carrying the baby gets more weight than the non-pregnant partner?
Don’t look for fault when having this discussion. Look for a cause that can be managed so you can move on.
In my case, my husband did not like the middle name I had chosen for our son. We had already decided that his first name would be my husband’s grandfather’s.
It is a very traditional, somewhat uncommon name. I never met my husband’s grandfather, but I fell in love with the name the first time I heard it.
I had suggested the middle name be my grandfather’s. My husband said absolutely not. He would not even hear it anymore. If I so much as said the name out loud, he grew angry.
When we talked over our argument, we found that we both felt unheard by the other, which was making the fights more frequent and bitter.
Step 2: Look at the Situation From Your Spouse’s Point-of-View
Hopefully, you were able to find why you were arguing.
Even if it is as simple as, “My spouse likes one name and I like another,” it is worth investigating further.
Think of how your spouse feels in this moment. Ask your partner to do the same of you. Take some time to truly empathize.
My husband thought he had made it clear to me that he didn’t want our child having two old-fashioned names.
Because my grandfather’s name was also very uncommon, the baby would be stuck with two elderly-sounding names.
He wanted the middle name to be something more trendy so our son could opt to use that as his given name if he desired.
I had no idea my husband felt this way, which is why he thought I wasn’t really listening to him. Conversely, I didn’t think my husband was listening to me.
I loved my grandfather as much as he loved his.
Why would I not be allowed to honor my grandfather? It felt dismissive. He understood this when he took the time to see things from my point of view.
- Book uses survey results to tell what people think about names.
- Presents personality profiles of 1,700 common names.
- Understand what images and stereotypes are associated with each name.
Step 3: Explain Your Choices for Baby Names
A pen and paper is handy at this point. Each of you should write down what is most important about baby names for you.
Is it a family connection?
Is it the way the name sounds?
Do you want your child to have a completely unique name or one that helps them to fit in?
Write down your needs in the order of importance, and then swap papers with your partner. Look for common ground so you can choose the name together.
It was very important to me that my child not have a name that he would share with several other kids in his class.
I insisted that names ranked above 100 on the social security list of popular baby names be banned.
My secondary item was family connection. I wanted to name my child after my grandfather.
My husband’s list placed family connections first. Second, for him, was the literal meaning of the name. He wanted the name to mean something positive.
Step 4: Consider Compromise
You might have had a favorite baby name picked out for years, which turns out to be the name of the bully who picked on your partner throughout childhood.
Your partner might have a favorite name that turns out to be the name of your ex.
You both need to be willing to give. It took both of you to make the baby. It should take both of you to name the baby as well.
The compromise my husband and I came up with was that we would look for a name that had the same meaning as my grandfather’s.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work for us, so we went down another path. My grandfather’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather all shared the same name.
It just so happened to be a name that was somewhat en vogue, but not so much that I found it to be too trendy. In addition, the meaning of the name was one my husband loved. It was a hard-fought win for both of us.
You and your partner won’t immediately agree on everything.
With some compromise and skillful discussion, you will eventually reach a good place and a great name.
What are some of the methods you have used to discuss baby names with your partner? Tell us in the comments!