Ariana Grande getting engaged to Saturday Night Live's Pete Davidson a few weeks into their relationship was a trending story, and whether you think it's too soon or not, the reality is that couples in love will do whatever they feel is right at the time. We all do unconventional and "crazy" things when we're in love, but is getting a tattoo of your partner's name taking it a bit too far? 

Davidson tattooed the singer's bunny ears trademark on the back of his ear. This may sound adorable, until you realise that he also got a tattoo of his previous girlfriend.


Getting a tattoo means permanently declaring yourself taken by the person who's name or face you have on you. You are branded with this reminder and carry that with your for years to come.

As columnist Dorothy Black puts it, "you can't take a tattoo off like you can a ring".

We had a good night.

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Tyran Luzzie, the owner of Tattoo Crew in Johannesburg, says that he "100% declines" couples who request getting tattoos of each other's names. He only agrees to these kind of tattoos if it's the name of a daughter, parent, or anyone else related to the client, but not for couples - whether married or not. "Young couples are madly in love, but they're probably not going to last that long. The same with married couples. The divorce statistics are off the charts - it's not very smart at all [to get a tattoo of you partner's name]". People don't ask for those kind of tattoos that much anymore, though, he says. 

Why you may want to reconsider this kind of commitment:

You might break-up

This is the most obvious one. Of course, no one ever gets into a relationship wondering when and how it will fail, but you may want to consider that anything could happen. Like with a prenup, you need to consider that things might fall apart.

I asked Dorothy Black about particular reasons why partners might consider getting tattoos of their partner's name, she said that ultimately, "it's a sign of commitment - and a public statement of this - to one another. [...] It's a signifier of a kind of faith in the higher power of love and the idea that something can be everlasting." Though we all swoon at the thought of everlasting love, it is unfortunate that it doesn't always happen the way we plan it to.

You might need to change it

Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, and Pamela Anderson are a few of the once-smitten people on this earth who had the names of their partners tattooed, only for their relationships to end. Pamela Anderson had "Tommy" tattooed around her wedding ring finger after they got married in 1995, and she had it changed to "Mommy" when the couple split.

If you happen to get a tattoo of your partner and the relationship ends, you'd have to think about revisiting your tattoo artist. 

Or, you could keep it and use it as a conversation-starter for your next relationship with someone else.

Removal is expensive

As if the heartbreak alone would not be enough, having a tattoo removed by laser is not only risky but painful too. It may cost you around $200 to $500 (R2646 to R6615) per session and it takes more than one session to get it to disappear. There are a number of ways to get a tattoo safely removed, but you still risk scarring.

"Your love and commitment shouldn’t need to be proven by getting inked," says Dorothy.

If you really do want to ink your love for your partner into your skin

Rather get matching tattoos of something you could still keep if you and your partnered happen to split. "If it’s to prove commitment and togetherness, foreverness, just remember: Nothing is forever. Not even a tattoo." 

Here's a video of a tattoo removal option:

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