6 Things You Need To Consider Before You Get A Couples Tattoo

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relationship couples tattoo

In the moment, getting a couples tattoo with your loved one can sound like a really romantic idea. Because what says “I’m in this for the long-haul” more than getting identical (or, at the very least, matching) tattoos etched into your skin? Physically altering your body together screams “commitment” in a way that wedding rings or moving in together can’t even compete with, right? When you’re in a loving relationship, choosing to get a couples tattoo sounds like straight-up baller move… in the moment.

But what happens when that moment passes? What happens after you and your significant other stop giggling about the matching dolphins on your biceps and the buyer’s remorse sets in?

It’s one thing to regret a tattoo that you get on your own. However, regretting a tattoo that you SHARE with someone, a tattoo that, in theory, is supposed to act as a representation of your undying lovethat’s rough. How do you tell your partner, “Hey, I can’t stand looking at this dumb Chinese character I talked us into getting inked onto our ankles for another second, so, I’m going to go get it removed, but you want to keep it, that’s cool.” THAT will leave some scars.

If you really think about it, there are SO many different ways that you can regret a couples tattoo. You can hate the design, you can hate the placement, you can hate the sentiment, you can learn to hate the person you got it with. It’s a risky proposition. And not every love tattoo can so easily be altered from “Winona Forever” to “Wino Forever." (Johnny Depp lucked out on that one).

Couples tattoos can be amazingly cool — when they’re inked on the right people for the right reasons. But they’re a BIG, complicated step in a relationship, so here are SIX things you both should consider before you commit to showing off your “couple love” with big, complicated complimentary tattoos.

Is He/She the One?
Photo: Giphy
relationship couples tattoo

This might seem like a SUPER obvious question, but it’s the first one you need to ask yourself. Is THIS the person that I want to have as my permanent “tattoo buddy”? Do I really think that, if I get “LO” tattooed on my wrist, that this person will be around FOREVER to provide the other half of the “VE” equation?

Yes, tattoos can be removed, but it’s a huge pain, so it’s worth doing a little soul-searching before you head down the matching tattoo path to save you some existential (and physical) pain down the road.

How Hard Will This Be to Remove?
Photo: Giphy
relationship couples tattoo

This isn’t the most romantic notion, but it is practical. IF things don’t work out (perish the thought), how hard will it be to remove your couples tattoo? If it’s a quarter-sized ying-yang on your upper arm, no problem. But if it’s a full-sleeve or a neck tattoo or something elaborate in a REALLY painful place, you need to think about what it will take to get it removed, IF your ink one day becomes the reminder of an extremely painful memory.

Do We Go Funny or Romantic?
Photo: Tattooizer
relationship couples tattoo

This is a hard one. So, you’re in a committed relationship with no worries about break-ups (good for you), but what KIND of romantic shared tattoo do you go for? Do you embrace the cheese and get something uber-lovey-dovey OR do you get the set-up and punchline to your favorite Anchorman joke?

If you go romantic, you have to worry about being nauseatingly earnest. If you go funny, you have to ask yourself, “Will this same joke still be funny after seeing it every day for 30 years?” From the get-go, you need to decide if the tattoo is supposed to be a sign of unending love or eternal, hilarious friendship?

Do We Have a Decent Story?
Photo: Giphy
relationship couples tattoo

This is an easy one to overlook, but it’s important. If you get couples tattoos, you need to go into it knowing that new people will ask you “What do they mean?” every single time they see them. You need to be prepared to “explain” your tattoos, because you WILL be asked about them again and again and again.

So, if you simply can’t stomach the idea of explaining WHY you both got the lyrics to that one Mumford and Sons song tattooed on your back for the next thirty years, you might not be ready for a couples tattoo yet.

Am I Going to Get Sick of Showing This Off?
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relationship couples tattoos

This is more about body placement than meaning. If you and your partner can finally decide on the perfect shared tattoos, think long and hard about WHERE you’re going to have them inked on your body. Because, once people find out you have them, they will definitely ask you to show them off. A LOT.

And it’s not a big deal if the tattoo is on your upper arm, but if it’s on your lower back or your hip or somewhere more private, you might not be comfortable showing them off to your partner’s work friends. But, make no mistake, they will keep asking until they see it. So, if you’re not as comfortable with your body as your partner and you’re not sure you want to spend the few decades lifting up your shirt to show off your love stamp, you might want to opt for a less private location for your tattoo.

How Will I Feel About This Five Years Later?
Photo: Giphy
relationship couples tattoo

This is a question EVERYONE who gets a tattoo should ask themselves, but particularly people to get couples tattoos. You love the tattoos NOW, but will you feel the same way five, ten, or twenty years down the road? Will the heart or unique design or cunning in-joke really carry the same weight a few decades into your relationship?

If the answer is yes — or if you’re decidedly not worried about it — awesome. So get some ink together and enjoy. But if you’re truly not sure how you’re doing to feel about your tattoo design (or your partner) after a few years, maybe hold off on the tattoos and just get matching t-shirts or Vespas instead.