Does Getting a Tattoo of Your Boyfriend's Initials Jinx Your Relationship?

There are many ways to display your love besides getting tattooed.
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When you're lovestruck with your boyfriend and believe that you two will go the distance, you may be tempted to memorialize your relationship by tattooing his initials on your body. While doing so will not jinx your relationship in the superstitious sense of bringing bad luck to your door, it can invite conflict into your relationship.

1 Your Relationship, Yourself

Tattooing in your teens and young adulthood may represent a way to anchor yourself when everything around you seems to be constantly changing, suggests psychologist Laurence Rubin. It could be that your desire to tattoo your boyfriend's initials on your body means you are too closely associating your sense of self with your relationship. Turning the responsibility of self-definition over to your relationship could place too much pressure on it, causing it to fail. Secure your sense of identity in other ways, such as journaling, meditating or trying something new -- from flying disc football to auditioning for a local play.

2 Too Much, Too Soon

Getting a tattoo of your boyfriend's initials would send the message that you expect the relationship to be as permanent as your ink is. Throughout the high school and college years, many guys are still working to solidify their own sense of identity, and are therefore not sure what the future will hold. According to Victoria Pitts-Taylor, professor of sociology at the City University of New York, the fact that you don't know what will happen down the road can give tattoos their allure. The same factor, however, can make them scary. While your boyfriend may hope for a future with you, he may also feel overwhelmed when he compares his optimism to your apparent certainty that the relationship will last.

3 Unequal Gestures

If you want to ink yourself in order to display your love and commitment, you may wind up feeling slighted if your boyfriend does not reciprocate with a grand gesture. Think in advance of how you will feel if your boyfriend, even if he accepts your gesture with an appreciative smile, refuses to permanently brand himself with your initials. You may feel that you are more committed to the relationship than he is. You may question his commitment to you, quickly thereafter questioning the wisdom of your choice.

4 Pressure for Proof

Before you leap, look carefully at your reasons for wanting this tattoo. If you hope it will satisfy your boyfriend's seemingly constant need for reassurance that you love him and are loyal to him, there could be issues of insecurity, jealousy and even controlling behavior that need to be addressed. When these or similar issues related to mistrust motivate your decision, know that going through with the tattoo will not fix your relationship -- at the most, it may temporarily mask the problems. A troubled relationship may not be jinxed by such a permanent gesture, but it will also not be improved by one.

Jae Kemp has been writing and editing professionally since 2010. In addition to reviewing novels, memoirs and psychology/self-help books for major review services, Kemp has served as a copywriter, commercial and creative editor, and staff article writer.