My girlfriend wants to get my name tattooed on her chest over her heart. I'm really superstitious about it and believe that if she gets the tattoo, we'll be destined to break up. She thinks I'm being ridiculous, but I really don't want her to do it. How can I make her understand?
Inky Dinky Don't (female, 24)
Dear Inky Dinky Don't,
It has long been considered bad luck to get a lover's name tattooed on your body. I'm not really sure where this thinking originated, but a survey referenced in Inked magazine in 2018 found that the No. 1 most regretted tattoo was someone's name.
For some expert advice, I called up my favorite local tattoo artist, Jim DuVal, owner of Monster Mash Ink in Essex Junction. He told me he's known multitudes of people who have gotten tattoos of their significant other's name, and many of them still have both the tattoo and the partner to this day. He suggested that people who claim it's bad luck may have other apprehensions about the relationship that make them leery of the ink.
I inquired whether he's ever advised a client against getting a name permanently etched into their skin. He answered firmly in the negative and gave these reasons:
A. Who the hell am I to tell you who you love?
B. You're an adult, and you can make your own decisions.
C. It's job security, dude.
There might not be much you can do to stop your girlfriend if she's hell-bent on getting the tattoo. However, you may be able to sway her in a different direction if you offer some alternatives. Is there an image that could signify your relationship? A favorite flower, some symbol of where you met, or perhaps even the date of your anniversary?
If that plan doesn't work and she goes through with the name tattoo, at least if you do break up, you won't be the one who has to deal with laser removal or a cover-up tattoo.
Good luck and God bless,