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