pregnant woman reclining on stairs, husband kissing her forehead

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Sometimes the parents-to-be agree almost instantly on a name, sometimes it takes a bit of time before they find a name they both like. And sometimes the parents need the full nine months to come to an agreement. You both want the most beautiful name, but you come from different backgrounds where different views and ideas prevail. There might be religious differences, it might be tradition to name children after certain family members, maybe you come from different countries or maybe the two of you just have different taste in names. That’s possible, isn’t it?

What can you do about this? For starters, you can ask yourselves some questions: Are we going to name the child after someone else? How many names will we give him? What will the initials be? Will we choose a short name or a long one? These are a few of the questions you have to find an answer to that you can both agree on. If you manage to do that, a lot of names will automatically drop off.

Then the two of you can each make a separate list with your own favorite names. About ten of them, say. Who knows? Maybe one or two names on your lists will be the same. Then the problem can be solved pretty quickly. If there’s no overlap, compare the lists and cross out the names on the other one’s list that you absolutely don’t want. Names that definitely don’t feel good to you. Also indicate which of the names on your spouse’s list you do like. Always try to explain why you like or dislike a name that the other person has picked.

Do this once in a while and in the meantime both of you can keep on looking for ideas and tips. You can also toy with the letters of names that you both like at least a bit. Maybe a game of Scrabble will help you on your way. What you definitely should do regularly is adjust your list; add new names and cross out the ones you don’t like that much after all. There’s no sense in arguing, because in the end you’ll always find a solution. If you take a break from it for a while, a new name will probably come to mind that makes you both say: “that’s it!”

Some couples like to hear others’ opinions when they’re looking for a name. If that applies to you, draw up a list of, for example, ten names. Include the ones you don’t seem to agree on also. For every name, ask your friends or family what they think or how they feel about it. Maybe they’ll come up with important points or new arguments when they offer their opinion about your names. That way you don’t give away what your ‘problem names’ are and you might end up a bit wiser, too.

A relationship is always a matter of give and take, whether it’s about names or something else. You’ll always have to negotiate and sometimes you’ll have to compromise.

The following suggestions might help you:

1. Do you have different ideas about the number of names? Take the average.

2. You can’t agree on whether or not you should name the baby after someone? Pick two names, one of which has a ‘name donor’ and one of which doesn’t.

3. Which last name? One of you can pick the last name and the other one the first name.

4. Do you have trouble agreeing on a name for your first child? Agree that the next time the other parent has the final say.

5. Difficulty choosing a name for a boy and a girl? Pick a name that is suitable for both boys and girls.