The First Commandment of Getting Inked: NEVER get your significant other’s name or likeness tattooed on you.

This is a post that is likely to be semi-controversial, as there may be some who very vehemently disagree with me.  However, I won’t back down from the belief that one of major cardinal sins of getting tattooed is to have the person you’re romantically involved with inked anywhere on your body.

The impetus for this commentary comes from the recent photos posted by Shenae Grimes showing the newlywed actress altering the script tattoo on rib cage to go from reading ‘Myself and I’ to ‘Myself and Josh’, after husband Josh Beech.


The euphoria of being in love is a powerful one.  It’s one that people want to share and proudly represent in dramatic ways.  So, one of the most common displays is for a couple that is married, or just exclusively dating, to get each others’ names or likeness tattooed on their body (at least one of them chooses to do this).

Unfortunately, many relationships (even marriages) end up not lasting.  But, the person is now left with a very permanent reminder of something was not permanent.  Now, this is not meant as a cynical rant about love, or an attempt to negatively assume that all relationships end.  It’s just an advisory that, if you are going to choose to put something permanent on your body, you should choose something that will always be permanent about you.

Examples of good permanent choices would be tattoos relating to your heritage (all of mine have a Celtic theme, paying tribute to my Irish and Scottish ancestry).  Another good choice (and one that is similar in nature) is the name or likeness of a biological family member, such as a child or a recently passed parent.  The reason these work is because they represent something that will always been a part of that person.

Below are some examples where the excitement of love did not lead to good ink decisions.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is famous for her love of body art (in addition to her acting and humanitarian traits).  She loves the history of tattoos just as much as having them, as witnessed by her travels to get inked in the old-style method on her shoulder.   She has also fallen victim to being caught up in love (or lust) and got her ex-husband’s name, ‘Billy Bob’, tattooed on her left bicep.

This marriage, which took place after the smallest of courtships (Billy Bob Thornton’s ex-fiancee’, Laura Dern, learned that they were no longer together when she read online that he was had married Jolie).  What followed was a short, but tempestuous, marriage, leaving Jolie with a permanent reminder.  She has since had it lasered and covered up with the geographical birth locations of all of her children.


Johnny Depp

During the late 80’s and early 90’s, Hollywood was dominated by a new wave of young and upcoming actors and actresses that were called the ‘Brat Pack’.  Among them were “Edward Scissorhands” lovers, Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder.  At the time, Depp was so taken with Ryder that he had ‘Winona Forever’ tattooed on his right bicep.  Acting as a curse to the relationship, Depp and Ryder broke up not long after he got inked.  He has since had it altered to read ‘Wino Forever’.  I’m certain he finds humor in it now, and he probably does like his wine.  But, it’s a classic example of a really bad idea.


Kat Von D

Someone who should definitely know better is celebrity tattoo artist, Kat Von D (of “L.A. Ink”).  She was so enamored of her fiancee, Jesse James, that she got a portrait of him as a young boy tattooed on her left side.  Given the circumstances involved (that they had only been together briefly before getting engaged… and that Jesse’s track record in relationships, which included humiliating ex-wife Sandra Bullock with his infidelity, was horrid), should have sent up red flags that this was a bad idea.  Well, she got it anyway, and still ended up breaking up with James.

KatVonD_Tat_Name01Chad Johnson

The last example here is courtesy of former NFL wide receiver, Chad Johnson (aka ‘Ocho Cinco’).  In 2012, against the advice of his inner circle of friends, Johnson chose to marry Evelyn Lozada, the highly volatile reality star of shows like “Basketball Wives”.  Needless to say, this didn’t work out.  A little over two months later, amid domestic disputes and accusations of abuse, the couple divorced.  Yet, for some reason, Johnson could not shake his lust for Lozada and kept pining to win her back.  One way that he thought would be a good idea was to get her portrait tattooed on his right calf.  It didn’t work, and now he has this permanent reminder.


There are plenty of great tattoos to get and creative ways to show people how you love them through ink.  But, please don’t break this first commandment when it comes to getting tattooed.


2 thoughts on “The First Commandment of Getting Inked: NEVER get your significant other’s name or likeness tattooed on you.

  1. Pingback: Happy 2nd Anniversary to “New 2 Tats” | New 2 Tats

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s