I gave DH a list of lovely girl names (in no particular order: Madeline, Lauren, Alexis, Kaylee, Amelia, Emmaline, Hallie, Haley, Sydney, Riley, Addison, and Ashlyn) and there were two names he didn't veto- Riley and Addison. I prefer Riley over Addison, so that's the name we are currently debating. The problem is I think it should be spelled Riley, since it's the most common spelling. Having to grow up as Allyson, aka "that's Allyson with two Ls and a Y," I greatly value using the common spellings. He thinks Riley is a boy's name and it should be Ryleigh. I hate it, I think it looks too contrived. I suggested Rylee as a compromise, but he thinks "lee" makes it a boy's name. Sigh. So I guess my question is two parts: 1) Are there any other obvious spellings for Riley other than Ryleigh, Rylee, Reilly (which would be my second choice), and Rylie (which is listed as an option on Baby Name Wizard, but it makes me want to say Ri-Lie? 2) What do you do when you agree on a name but not the spelling?
Well, if you're Paul and me, you abandon the name, feeling bitterly resentful about the other person's ridiculous stubbornness. We both liked the name Elliot, but I ONLY liked Elliot and he ONLY liked Eliot, so we didn't use it at all and I'm still a little crabby about it.
This question reminds me of the Ivy vs. Ivee question we did awhile back. Our basic consensus was that the spelling is an important part of the name: if the spelling has not been agreed on, the name has not been agreed on---and often this ends in needing to move on to another name choice.
As with the Ivy/Ivee question, I'd start by using facts to see if I could break down resistance. Riley is not "a boy's name": according to the Social Security Administration, in 2010 it was given to 5,506 girls and 3,606 boys.
Nor does "-lee" make it a boy name: in 2010, the spelling Rylee was given to 2,957 girls and 314 boys. Now, if he would like to say that it FEELS like a boy name to him when it's spelled either of those two ways, he may do so (though it seems like he would be eager to attempt to adjust his feelings to reflect reality), but he may not argue that it IS a boy name.
The only spellings of Riley I don't see on your list are Ryley and Ryli. (I also saw Rylei, Rilei, and Ryliegh in the Social Security data, but I'm chalking those up to misspellings or different pronunciations.) I'm not going to recommend Ryli but maybe Ryley has potential: changing a vowel to a Y is a common feminizing device, so perhaps this would be a good compromise spelling. And considering how many spellings there are of Riley, I think she's going to have to spell it each time no matter what.
The other option is to use Riley as a jumping-off place for finding a new name: