Dating someone who shares your last name

All Woman

WHEN it comes to love, some of us will swear on our lives about the things we would never do.

One such thing is dating an individual who shares our last name, as in our minds everyone who bears our family name is related in some way, shape or form.

But they say love has no bounds; when it comes, it comes, and even if you've sworn against doing it, you may find yourself falling for someone with the same surname.

However, frustration may arise when, after you've checked and rechecked all avenues that would determine whether you're related, and coming up with no leads, some people still frown on your relationship.

Relationship counsellor Wayne Powell explained that this frustration arises as we are socialised to date or marry someone who has no similarity in terms of surname.

He further pointed out that this could lead to being uncomfortable and suspicious if someone we are interested in shares our surname.

“So if David Soares in Jamaica meets Maxine Soares in Holland and they fall in love, although they might feel that distance is one factor that disqualifies them from being related, family and friends might think otherwise. So to ensure that one of them is not an outside child who was never brought to the fore, it is suggested that they both ask some questions and trace the family line to see if there is a possibility that they are blood relatives,” he said.

Additionally, a couple in this situation may be the subject of immense teasing, but Powell said despite the friendly and not so friendly jests, once all checks are done and the couple is satisfied, it is best that they simply forget the snide remarks.

“If they plan to get married and have children, then a DNA test may be necessary to confirm what is or isn't. One thing for certain is that their friends will poke fun at them, while others will be curious or even discourteous with unkind innuendos. Some will humorously state that the bride will not have to worry about changing her last name or signature. So the couple must expect eyebrows to be raised, but once they are cleared of any blood relationship (near or far), then embrace the unique situation and each other, and enjoy the ride,” said the counsellor.

Meanwhile, Dr Compton Beecher, chief DNA analyst at Caribbean Genetics (CARIGEN), told All Woman that in this situation the couple may choose to do first-cousin testing to determine if they are related.

However, he warned that the limitation lies in the fact that the further you move away from the original mother/father gene pool, the test gets less accurate.

“With DNA testing, you see a 99.9 per cent chance of a child belonging to a mother or father. With this testing you won't get a 99.9 per cent. You will get a number between 0 to 100 where you can then say it is likely or not likely that they are related. The choice is there to do it, but understand the limitations to the accuracy, as you're moving away from the original gene pool,” Dr Beecher said.

Moreover, Dr Beecher warned against people using disabilities in children as a marker in this instance to prove that a couple sharing the same last name was related.

“While it is possible, there are other factors that can lead to a child being born with a disability. So for instance, if two people with the same last name, but no trace of blood relationship, have a child who is born disabled, you can't use that to say the parents are related. Other factors can contribute to a disability,” he pointed out.

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