The best and least regretted tattoos are those that are the most meaningful to you.
A lot of people get tattoos on impulse, picking them out of the flash instead of designing them in collaboration with the tattoo artists.
If you take the time to make sure that your tattoo is meaningful to you, you are more likely to be satisfied with it long term. Even a fading tattoo that means something to you is more likely to bring you happiness than a beautifully designed one that you got when you were bored.
Bear in mind that you can always have a tattoo improved. If you got a tattoo with your partner on a holiday and they’ve both faded, don’t be afraid to look up a good, licensed parlour near you to touch up the work. If the original work was sub-par, you may also want to consider having areas of the tattoo lightened with a laser prior to retouching.
Meaningful tattoos are a map of where you’ve been and the experiences you’ve had, whether they are there as a reminder of something wonderful or recovering from something bad. If your tattoos are just there for the sake of having some ink, your map is a little more meaningless. All tattoos are a record of a past moment in your life, although sometimes these moments may be best forgotten.
Memorial tattoos are quite common, and although they can often be a small reminder of a lost loved one, they can sometimes turn out to be a bit of a nightmare. If you get a memorial tattoo and it’s not good, you should bear in mind that you can have it fixed — you don’t have to live with bad ink.
Many people also get tattoos with a loved one — for example mothers and daughters having the same, or thematically similar tattoos.
Bear in mind that a memorial tattoo will be with you for life. Immediately after losing someone, you may be emotional and not acting rationally. While some memorial tattoos are very touching, you should also think about the future; take time to consider how you would really like to remember your loved one.
Both music and literature can have a deep, meaningful place in people’s lives, and are often the inspiration behind tattoos. Song lyrics are a popular choice, but bear in mind that you will hear people repeat these lyrics over and over as long as you have the tattoo.
Books often help people get through difficult times — a fan of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books recently wrote to her asking for the words ‘Expecto Patronum’ in her handwriting to have tattooed on her body. While this wouldn’t necessarily be meaningful for a casual fan, for those with a deep connection to the literature it makes perfect sense.
Unfortunately, for every beautiful, meaningful tattoo, there’s someone wishing they’d thought about it a little more first.
The most obvious category of tattoos that start meaningful but quickly become a burden are tattoos of ex-partners — this could be a tattoo of their name, a significant date or even of their face. Many people are also terrified of the thought of their partner getting a tattoo of their name.
Symbolic tattoos can also be a burden, especially if they are symbolic of someone you no longer are or no longer believe. Many teenagers get tattoos of small, symbols such as dolphins and fairies and then, as they get older, regret their decision.
If you’re unhappy with your tattoo, you can have it removed. Whether you want the tattoo gone entirely or just faded prior to a cover-up, laser tattoo removal is the safest, quickest way to remove unwanted tattoos from your skin.