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I’ve always believed that getting a tattoo of the name of a boyfriend or girlfriend (hell, even a husband or wife) is an awful idea. When you are head over heels in love, of course, you think you’re going to be with someone forever and ever–amen. But if things don’t work out, that tattoo becomes an eyesore. And it’s even more of an eyesore for the new man or woman in your life.

At least it is for a woman who hit me up and said her boyfriend’s tattoo of his ex-girlfriend’s name on his arm is turning her off.

The woman, who we’ll refer to as Kam, says that she has been dating her boyfriend for about seven months now. He has a good sense of humor, good looks, a good job, and a big heart. But he also has a gaudy cursive tattoo of the name of his ex (and the mother of his son) on his arm. Kam has tried not to let the tattoo bother her, but she says that when they have sex, it’s always there in her face. And when she notices it, in and out of bed, she’s immediately turned off.

In the short time that Kam has been with her boyfriend, she’s had a few unpleasant encounters with his ex. Knowing that her name is always there, on the body of the man she’s with, bothers her.

So Kam decided to ask her boyfriend why he still had the tattoo and didn’t want to get it removed.

According to him, the main reason is that tattoo removal is not cheap. But her boyfriend also says that after all these years, the tattoo doesn’t really matter to him anymore–so it shouldn’t matter to Kam.

Still, she asked him why he would want to walk around with the name of someone he supposedly isn’t in love with on his body. To Kam, it’s like walking around with a ring from a relationship that’s no more. Why would you want to have anything associated with that person?

However, Kam’s boyfriend believes it’s something that can and should be overlooked by her.

And you know what? I would have to agree.

Accruing many things in a relationship is possible. From expensive gadgets to jewelry, and something as simple as a T-shirt. Sometimes you give those things back; sometimes you throw them away. And sometimes, you keep them. Not because you are still in love with that person and want a memento from your time together, but because those are useful products and items to keep around and use. You didn’t see Elizabeth Taylor trying to dump all the fancy diamonds and jewelry given to her by the men she loved in the past. Those things were too fly (and expensive) just to discard like a pair of old raggedy boxers.

And sometimes you don’t get rid of things because you simply can’t. Like tattoos. You can cover them, but they’re still there. And while you can reprimand yourself for getting one and make it your duty never to get another tatt for a man or woman again, for some people, ink is just that–ink. At a certain point, tattoos fade (just as the love a person may have had for the individual behind the tat fades), and they mean a whole lot of nothing. So instead of trying to find meaning and fault with an old tattoo, Kam should let it go. Is that really enough to put a damper on a solid relationship?

Besides, seven months into a relationship is too soon to start recommending that people have their skin burned with lasers or altered again just to assuage one’s ego…

But as always, that’s just my opinion. What do you think? Is Kam being petty about the tattoo? 

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