Almost nine years ago, I got a matching tattoo with my ex.
I know you’re cringing right now…I am too.
At the time, I knew it was a bad decision but I was young, naïve, and wanted a tattoo–Plus he was paying, so why not?
What I didn’t realize at the time was how the whole thing was all about manipulation and control. He presented the idea and everything after that was his plan. He chose the design, which I didn’t love in the first place. I wasn’t comfortable telling him this for fear of how he’d react. At least him wanting matching tattoos meant he planned on sticking around, right?
We’d already broken up once about nine months before, but the relationship was tumultuous and it was never a clean break. I assumed since we went back to being a couple that he must have missed me. In reality, it was probably because it was easier that way, and allowed him to enjoy the best of both worlds.
It only drew out the inevitable, and we broke up for good four months later.
After that, I started dating my fiancé Chris. Several years before we got engaged, I knew I was in it for the long haul and told myself (and him, though he was never bothered by it) that I wanted to get it covered up before we got married.
I waited so long because I thought the tattoo was well done and had grown used to it anyways. At least it wasn’t his name (I’m looking at you, Mom)! Still, I often made up what it was for or danced around the question.
Now, eight months before I get married, I finally got that cover up.
I didn’t think it bothered me that much until the second the tattoo artist added the last bit of shading over it, and I felt a huge amount of relief wash over me. I wasn’t expecting that. All these years, I had been carrying a reminder I didn’t want and although it didn’t distress me, it was still always there.
It’s nice meeting new people and realizing they’ll never know me with that small connection to my past. I’ll never have to awkwardly explain or feign meanings behind it again.
Now, I’m glad to look down at something that makes me smile instead of something that only makes me think of more difficult and emotional times in my life. It feels good to know that I no longer walk around with a tattoo that matches his.
We are not pieces of the same puzzle.
Besides, you know who I’ll love forever? My cat.
Anyone else ever make any silly tattoo decisions or been in a not-so-healthy relationship?