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Baby Names: The Ex Question. Advice from Babble.com

I’m six months pregnant with a baby girl, and my all-time favorite girl’s name, Natasha, happens to be the name of my husband’s ex. I don’t care and my husband says he’s okay with it too, but everyone we know keeps saying it’s a bad idea. Is it weird to give your baby the name of the woman you replaced? I’ve loved the name forever. – Giving love a bad name

Dear bad name,

Weird, maybe, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It sounds like both you and your husband are on board. As for everyone else . . . who cares? When you’re pregnant, people feel compelled to supply you with any possible negative thought about any name you may consider, as if preventing poor naming choices were the responsibility of the community at large. But there is little in the world that’s more subjective than names and how people feel about them. For this reason, we often suggest that people who are even a tiny bit sensitive keep their name selections to themselves until the birth certificate is inked. Once the baby’s born, people may talk, but they won’t talk to you. And as time passes, they’ll start developing new associations that will likely overshadow the old ones.

Apparently, your husband has moved on from the Natasha of the past, or he probably wouldn’t want to hear her name upwards of fifty times a day. Or he loves you so much he wants your daughter to have the name you’ve always dreamed of, and he’s willing to bet that whatever residual memories the name conjures up will fade with time. Maybe the ex was actually really cool, and he’s happy to have her name live on. He may not be that happy for you to know that’s part of why he likes it, but does it really matter? It’s up to you guys. If he’s giving the name his blessing, and you want to use it, there’s no real reason not to. Name regrets are pretty uncommon; in general, it doesn’t take long before your kid and the name become one and you can’t imagine things any other way. What’s the worst that could happen? Your husband comes back and tells you he realizes he’s still in love with his ex? In that case, we’re guessing the name problem won’t be at the top of your list.

Have a question? Email parentaladvisory@babble.com

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