Tiny tattoos don't get the attention they deserve. They're shrugged off as just "whatever," when, in reality, they say just as much (if not more!!!!) about a person's personality than a really well-planned, meaningful tat.
So, if you find yourself dating a guy with a random tattoo, do yourself a favor and do not overlook it. In a world where you can stalk Insta, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and literally anything else the internet has to offer for any sort of intel on who your crush really is, why not take a minute to evaluate the seemingly meaningless piece of ink he decided to stick to his flesh until the end of time?
In my humble opinion, based on ~serious~ science (lol, JK), here's what his tiny tattoo could reveal about his boyfriend potential:
If his tattoo is...
...An ode to his family:
Maybe it’s a matching tattoo he got with his siblings; maybe it’s his mom’s name. Whatever the case, this is a textbook "Nice Guy." He’s loyal, and would probably make a great boyfriend, but don’t be surprised when his way-too-eager-to-get-cuffed personality jumps the gun trying to have the DTR conversation on, like, the first date.
...His frat letters:
TL;DR: Expect to have your date nights with him peppered by bursts of laughter every time one of his boys says something new in the group chat. Oh, and no, he won't show you, because it's a "guy thing you wouldn't understand." Btw, don’t even bother trying to make plans with him on a Saturday—you know those are *strictly* reserved for the boys.
...A shout-out to his favorite sports team:
Like the family-oriented guy, this dude is also loyal, but he’s not exactly a Nice Guy. I mean, yes, he might be nice, but his defining characteristic is that he tunes you out while he refreshes his phone for basketball updates.
...Something stupid he got when he was drunk:
So, this guy got a stupid tattoo while he was drunk and 1) didn’t regret it enough to get it removed, and 2) wasn’t embarrassed enough by the drunk part to lie about how he got it. This dude's honest and isn't ashamed about who he is but, as a boyfriend, don’t be surprised when "who he is" is the annoying guy who sends you 50 drunk texts and eventually shows up at your doorstep when you’re trying to have a low-key night in.
...A cheesy pun:
Don't get me wrong—I love a good pun. (A rock telling a ruler that it "rules," while the ruler responds, "you rock" gets me every damn time.) But, to commit a pun to your flesh for life is, you know, um, a lot. A relationship with this lovable goofball likely means signing up for a never-ending stream of dad jokes. Mark my words: You will never clear a plate at a restaurant without him—through bursts of laughter—telling the waitress you "hated" it.
...His favorite meme:
A relationship with this guy can go one of two completely different ways. Option One: He got it ironically and you're going to have to put up with his BS hipster commentary on literally everything you do. Option Two: He did it un-ironically and you will have to block him on social media to stop him from the billions of memes he's absolutely about to spam your inbox with. I'm not sure which is worse.
Five letters: B-A-S-I-C. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with getting the world's most basic tattoo. Plenty of great things are considered basic. But just know a relationship with this dude is about to be endless pumpkin spice lattes, unicorn floaties, and apple-picking trips all for his IG aesthetic.
I mean, there's the obvious fact that this dude loves his birthday and is likely going to expect at least a month's worth of celebrations. As his partner, I’d prepare to block out a month of your life for nonstop birthday vacations and bottle service. Then, there’s the more concerning possibility that maybe he had to get his birthday tattooed on there in case he forgets, in which case, I’m not loving the odds of him remembering your anniversary.
...A matching tattoo with his ex... that he hasn't gotten removed:
If he's holding off on getting it removed for financial reasons, that's chill, but brace yourself for lots of splitting the bill and surprise Venmo requests for things like the two chips you had out of the bag of Lays you found in his kitchen. If he hasn't covered up this mistake even though he totally can afford it, that’s quite frankly not at all chill, and you should brace yourself to be dumped the minute this ex that he’s absolutely not even slightly over decides to take him back.
...A bad coverup of the matching tattoo he got with his ex:
The thing with this guy is instead of just erasing it all together, he decided to keep it... which leads me to believe he’s not exactly the sort of ex who’s going to have an easy time just forgiving and forgetting should things go south between you two. Maybe invest in some extra storage on your phone before you break up, so your carrier can handle all of the texts and voicemails you're about to receive.
...The lyrics to a top 40 song all over the radio right now:
This guy is so impulsive that he legit heard a song on his Spotify New Music Friday and then decided to get the lyrics tattooed on his body, like, two seconds later. This is the sort of dude that's going to drop an L-bomb 20 minutes into your first date and then maybe break up with you an hour after that. Buckle up, baby cakes, this is about to be a wild ride.
...The lyrics to his favorite song that nobody has heard of:
Oh, God. I can't with this guy. Dating him is going to be like dating an SNL caricature of the worst hipster in Brooklyn. Think: Constantly questioning your love of any song that has ever been aired on the radio, scoffing at your "phone eats first" mentality, and forcing you to come to the weekly literary discussions he hosts at his trendy apartment that his parents most definitely foot the bill for. Quick, exit out of this post before he sees you reading anything other than that weird hipster blog he showed you.
...A not-at-all deep quote he thinks is super deep:
So he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, which honestly wouldn’t be an issue if he didn’t think he was. He’s really going to *want* to engage in some major heart-to-hearts and deep discussions about the meaning of life. But, at the end of the day, you’ll be lucky if you manage to have a convo that digs deeper than his favorite Will Ferrell movie.
...A phrase in a language he most definitely does not speak:
We all know he got this while he was studying abroad, and thought he was super cultured—until he found out that the tattoo artist lied to him and he actually got something idiotic like “farts” tattooed on his back instead of a beautiful native proverb. Choosing to be in a relationship with this guy is making a conscious choice to be embarrassed literally every time you go out to eat and he tries to authentically pronounce words like "burrata" to impress waiters who would rather he just shut up.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.