Valentine’s Day Tattoo Dos and Don’ts: Hearts, Broken Hearts, and More

It was such a cute idea at the time.

A symbol of unfailing, unending love. Your special someone inked on your body as a sign to the world that things would always be this way, wrapped in a heart as if to say, “romance and butterflies forever”.

Perhaps it was more spontaneous? Maybe you passed the neon Tattoo sign at a time in your life when you wanted to capture the passion of the moment?

  • A heart around your favorite team.
  • A heart around your puppy’s name.
  • A heart on Valentine’s Day to express that date you never wanted to forget.

Heart Tattoos instead of Name Tattoos

To start things off here’s just a little food for thought when it comes to combining hearts with names. Some people believe it’s the “kiss of death”. You know, the second you get the name of the person you love tattooed on your body is the second the relationship starts to unwind…

But who’s to really say?

Superstition aside and depending on your personal vision for a dream tattoo, there are other ways to symbolize your affection without going the name route. For example, maybe Dave embodies your shared love of the outdoors, or courage, or play. Can you blend elements of that imagery into a design with a heart? Or perhaps your special Jessica has a favorite city, book, or quote. Maybe there’s a way to capture the essence of who she is without getting the letters J E S S I C A inked on your arm. Whatever the case, beauty is — and always should be — in the eye of the beholder. If you’ve got your heart set on a heart with your beloved’s name, make it happen!

From black heart tattoos to broken heart tattoos, cover-ups and many other styles between, heart tattoos are a staple in our industry and we want to help you find just the right one for your session.

Considerations for a Heart Piece

Here are a couple of questions you may want to ask yourself before you go scheduling your heart piece:

  1. Will this expression compete with any future love?
  2. Does the symbolism within the heart spark joy or remorse? Will that change in time?
  3. Will the person you’re symbolizing in the heart be flattered or frustrated with your tattoo?
  4. Is there a meaningful story, lesson or milestone associated with your heart piece?

Again, there’s no perfect formula for a tattoo, these are just some hypothetical questions we’d ask ourselves if we were about to take a seat. And for the record, we really love heart pieces, especially this time of year.

Heart Tattoo Modifications

If you find your existing tattoo elicits bitterness, remorse or a piece of your past that you need to let go, relax, you have options. The awesome thing about a quality tattoo shop like ours is that there’s usually an opportunity to modify, cover up or take a new spin on an old piece.

Broken heart tattoos: Shattered, torn, stabbed or otherwise distraught hearts symbolize the heartache and pain of what once was. But as anyone who has overcome heartbreak knows, sometimes beautiful change is just on the other side.

Anatomical hearts: If the traditional artsy heart isn’t your speed, there’s always the biological route. Yes, many people desire a literal portrayal of the heart in ink form, arteries, ventricles and all.

Spiritual, faith-based and other religious hearts: Celtic hearts/Claddagh, winged or angelic hearts and other interpretations typically associate with personal beliefs, religions or deeper roots.

Locked heart tattoos: Whether it’s in memoriam or to symbolize lifelong vows, throw out the keys because the locked heart is intended to illustrate perpetuity.

Matching couples’ and friends tattoos:

Couples, friends, lovers, partners, and families often go the route of piecing a heart out into fractions or connecting sections. This way, the final heart becomes complete when both parties connect hands, arms or wherever they’ve decided the tattoo should live. Think of the matching necklaces and jewelry people often wear, but in tattoo form.

Do’s and Don’ts for Couples’ Tattoos

  • DO think through a creative design with the help of a tattoo artist
  • DO be true to your passions
  • DO triple check spelling, grammar, and punctuation – the last thing you want to do is misspell something
  • DO think through how the piece may live alongside your existing tattoos or future pieces – if there’s a theme or central thread to your art, you’ll likely want to carry it through the heart piece as well
  • DON’T get the piece in a rocky season of your relationship
  • DON’T mandate that your partner get a piece if they’re on the fence
  • DON’T do it on a whim unless spontaneity is a pillar of your relationship
  • DON’T place your ultimate faith in the tattoo – the art is a symbol of the relationship that will always demand thought, work and ongoing care

The choice for a heart tattoo is yours and yours alone. We invite you to do your homework, consult a professional and design a piece that makes the most sense for you. The bottom line is that any piece with a heart HAS to be something that you love and treasure forever.

Or, maybe not. 😉