My newish boyfriend just inked himself. With my name! Eeek.

My newish boyfriend just inked himself. With my name! Eeek.

On a drunken whim, my boyfriend went out and got a tattoo of my name on his ankle. But rather than being touched by it, it has totally freaked me out. I didn’t have any idea he was serious enough about me to get my name permanantly inked on his skin, and it’s making me doubt if I have similar commitment. Every time I look at it, it makes me queasy! Anon

Right, let’s just take a few deep breaths. Yep, I agree that your boyfriend should go back and re-read the Dating 101 manual. Particularly the chapter about how grand sweeping gestures at the start of a relationship can backfire (badly) if the recipient isn’t as gung-ho. Because tattooing your ankle with a lover’s name – when you’re just newly dating, say – is  right up there with telling someone on a second date that you think they’re The One and you want to marry them.
It sounds like you guys haven’t been dating long enough for you to find your boyfriend’s drunken tattoo expedition a) funny and b) flattering. Fair enough. If you’re not that into him, you’re well within your rights to use this irksome inking as your get-out-now clause. But before you do, let me play devil’s advocate for a moment. I’ve been the recipient of a grand sweeping gesture at the start of a relationship and it did freak me out, too. It adds pressure and raises the stakes – or so it can feel. I know where you’re at, but in my case, I let the feeling settle, and I gave the guy a chance. We’re now married, and his pull-out-all-the-stops gesture at the start of our relationship is now a sweet part of our history, and a story that people love to hear.
So, if something’s stopping you from dumping your guy outright for what boils down to arguably a dopey, drunken mistake, I’d urge you to just sit with this awhile. Cut him some slack, try to laugh about it – and give yourself some time to figure out if you like him as much as he clearly likes you. You never know. That tattoo could be something you’re both keen to show the grandkids in decades to come.
Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Debra 7 years ago

    I’m with Lola! I think it is a combination of some feelings, which I assume you would want him have about you, and copious quantities of alcohol (and probably a couple of friends egging him on) At least it is on the ankle!

  2. Lola 7 years ago

    Oh Anon, in any case allow yourself to feel flattered. There’s nothing wrong with that 🙂
    I understand that it can be scary to be at the receiving end of a fairly over-the-top gesture, but as RC says, it could be a wonderful anecdote to share with your grandchildren. Even if you decide that you want to part company with “Mr Ink”, allow yourself a smile or two. Western societies have become too politically correct, and some amazingly seductive gestures have become suss. Think outside the square and as RC says, cut this gentleman some slack. There’s always time to dump somebody if they continue to come up with more stupidity down the track. All the best!

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