I don’t see myself getting married even in the future at this point, but I’ve considered a few options (SO dependent, of course). I have a double barrelled surname already (let’s say name 1 is A and name 2 is M) which complicates things. Name A is my dad’s and grandad’s name; my dad just wanted it in somewhere, not necessarily in the surname. M is my family surname.
My current top option, is keep the first name (A) as a second middle and double barrel name M, which partner and kids would share. It’s guaranteed to not work stylewise at all, because my surname is very tied to a certain culture as is my entire name. But I’d share a name with SO and any kids would have my surname no matter what. That’s really important to me, because my whole name reflects my dad’s side of the family. My mum’s always been fine with it (and likes my name) but since my parents broke up when I was born, in name it doesn’t look like I’m related to my mum. I do like my name and being connected to my paternal side, but personally I’d want more of a place in my kids’ names. Plus I’m planning on getting a PhD in the not so far future, and I’d like my own surname on it.
Another option I considered is keeping name A as a second middle and changing surname M. The kids would get SO’s name. This works better if SO has a longer surname and avoids style clashes, plus SO could have a surname that works a lot better with kids’ names. The opportunity to have a [name_m]Caspian[/name_m] [name_u]Winter[/name_u] or [name_f]Pandora[/name_f] Nightingale would be difficult to resist. Name M is super common worldwide and name A is already an important family name, so there’s still a lot of meaning, but if things don’t work out, I wouldn’t share a surname with my kids, which I don’t like.
Most likely scenario at the moment will be I stay single and my kids (they’ll happen no matter what) will get name M as a surname. There’s a chance I’ll change name A to second middle by the time kids happen, so they won’t have to deal with two middles and a double barrelled surname haha.