What’s in a name?

Do you guys get a little extra excited about a prospective suitor if he or she has a name you particularly like?  I do.  I know it doesn’t make sense, but I do.

I’m not even talking about having a handful of names that I like, and hoping someone I approach online happens to have one of them.  I mean when an online dude tells me his real-life name, I’ll sorta mentally go “Hmmm.  [Boy] and [Cowgirl]” and if the names sound nice together, I feel a little extra optimistic, like it’s a sign that things will work out (spoiler: it’s not).  I mean, okay, there are a few names I already like.  But I have a pretty big capacity for being pleasantly surprised, too.

I especially like names that everyone (in my culture) has pretty much heard of, but that are a little bit uncommon.  Within the last little while of talking to shitloads of FetLife guys, there’s been an Isaac, a Jacob, and a Connor.  Each of these names has made me squeal out loud a little bit.  I don’t think I’ve ever met a Kevin I didn’t immediately get along with, so I have positive associations with that name even though it doesn’t fit the above criteria.  

Minx’s real name, incidentally, was totally unappealing to me (more proof that names are totally unrelated to relationship longevity).  I associate his name with grizzled old men, and indeed Minx found a site where you can look up a name’s popularity throughout history and his name was most popular in, like, the 1920s or something.

My ex-husband’s name, I think I liked when we first met – but after nine years of emotionally abusive marriage I don’t like it anymore.

I love The Pedant’s name.  Although that’s mostly because I associate it with him.  It wasn’t a name I ever especially thought about before I met him.

Does a person’s name ever make you a little extra attracted to them?  Does a person’s name ever turn you off, even if you don’t have a history with it (it’s not the name of a shitty ex or your cousin or anything)?

Tell me stuff. 🙂


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9 responses to “What’s in a name?

  1. Just A Slut

    For me, a persons name isn’t synonymous with wheather I can get along with them. I just have a very inapropriate thought. For instance names after liquer or cars mercedes, alizay, champagne (I know a girl with the name champagne swear to blog!) Those names come off as ghetto to me.

    Names after gemstones (diamond or ruby) or names after flowers (violet lily jasmine) or names after food (cherry, praline, candy) these names are reminiscent of exotic dancers or burlesque type women.

    However names after natural things (brooke river storm rayne) those names make me interested in the person. I love names like that!

    Classic names (robert james morgan charlotte) these names sound like money. They are very successful sounding to me. They remind me of doctors and lawyers.

    I promise I don’t judge people on their name alone lol. These thoughts run across my mind sometimes when a person introduces themselves lol.

    -Just A Slut

  2. Juuuuuuulia

    Jacob is gonna be really common soon! I heard it was recently the most popular name for babies. Also, I sometimes worry about meeting a really cool dude with the same name as an abusive ex, since it was a pretty common name.

  3. gingernic

    Oh, yes, names can be an attraction factor. I’ve always been partial to those with liberal sprinklings of “L”s in them: Layla and Lillian and Lena and Logan. But names that aren’t turn-ons (or even initially off-putting) will grow on me as I get fonder of a person.

  4. I know for me personally a name I find really appealing can turn me on and make me interested. Weird, but true

  5. Brugmansia

    Yes, cool names make me weirdly extra hopeful that things work out. I’ve wondered if (for me) this has to do with social status and trophy boyfriends, because I like the little thrill of being asked about a boy and getting to say “his name is [completely awesome name]”.

    A lot more frequently, however, I’ll meet someone with a name I don’t love and hear a little bell of doom ring in my head. I’ll tell myself this is utterly irrational and swallow my disquiet and see how things go, but I do wonder if some part of me subconsciously withdraws from those poor boys. I HAVE crushed hard on guys with uninteresting names. This is more of a problem when I’m meeting someone online, and there’s an expectation that you might like each other before you trade real names.

    I’ve recently been on several dates with someone who has the same name as my closest brother, and this unsettles me to no end. I keep telling myself it’s not his fault, and it’s not an uncommon name, and they do not look anything alike and have near opposite personalities … but still, I get a feeling of ‘wrong’.

  6. Names that sound silly or have a ridiculously complicated spelling are a little bit of a turn-off, but it’s not something I think about very often when dating. My husband’s name is a very common one (we can’t watch an evening of TV without hearing it at least once) but I actively dislike it and don’t feel like it fits him, so I almost never call him by it unless I’m trying to get his attention in public. My accent makes his name sound even worse too, so I’m glad we got into using nicknames really early.

    I once dated a guy who *never* called me by my name, or even a nickname.

    • I seem to have an issue where I have a hard time calling people (or maybe just partners?) by name. My ex-husband had it, too; in nine years of marriage I think the only time I heard him say my name was when he was talking about me to someone else.

      That was fine by me because, in some ways, I kind of hate my name. For one thing, it’s slightly uncommon – which I like in and of itself, but which means almost every time I introduce myself people look absolutely baffled and I have to repeat myself several times. I’ve developed a complex that I must not enunciate it properly or something (it’s not that uncommon of a name! People will have heard it before at some point in their lives! Why can’t they grasp what I’m saying?) – I feel like I have a very odd and specific speech impediment. Although I’ve asked trusted friends about this and they assure me I say my name just fine.

      Secondly, it seems like the people I care about have rarely said my name in a happy tone. Minx used to sometimes moan it out during sexytimes, which was a brand new experience for me and kind of thrilling. But mostly, friends and family have called me by my name either to get my attention so they could yell at me, or to be a condescending shit.

      I have this idea of getting someone I trust to help me like my name at some point. Like having a future partner make a point of using my name often in nice contexts. I feel like it’s a weird and silly thing to ask of someone though so I’m not sure I’ll have the nerve.

  7. eep

    interesting post actually, never given it any thought, my husbands name doesnt put me up or down really but that was even before i met him. for some reason i have a thing about calling him by his name, the longer times gone on the more it’d be hard to start (we’ve been together 12 years now), no idea why this has happened, cant even compare to previous relationships as i havent had any 🙂 nice to hear everyone elses thoughts on the matter. i understand that naming names online where people uses nicknames won’t really happen but it’d be interesting to hear what names are common to people in different parts of the country or world 🙂

  8. Vy

    My spouse actually has a name that I had never really heard at all before meeting him, and is highly nationally specific to his country (it’s in an almost-dead language that people outside of that country often don’t even know *has* its own language that isn’t English). I remember thinking in passing on our first date that his name was quite strange sounding to my ear and that if we ended up spending a lot of time together, it might stay strange, and wondering what that would be like, since all of my previous partners had had really common english-language names. It’s so *not* strange to me now that I get really confused when I first mention it to strangers and they make some sort of childish pun out of the name. On the other hand, a lady who dumped me recently had a name that I associated with “mean girls”, and I found that I always thought of her by her facebook nickname, even though I never actually called her that (oddly enough, now that she dumped me, she’s reverted in my head to “Mean Girl” name. Guess I have my petty moments.)

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