It's easy to be a commitment-phobe in any aspect of life. Taking the plunge, whether it's moving, getting engaged, accepting a job, or getting your first tattoo, is scary business because you're expected to stick with it. There are plenty of general first tattoo tips that the commitment-shy have to consider before going under the needle, due to the multitude of repercussions that come with getting a tattoo.
Yes, you need to carefully and thoroughly weigh this decision for a decent amount of time so you can adequately discern if the pros outweigh the cons. You can and should put a lot of thought into the actual design. You absolutely have to research which artist you want to permanently etch something onto your body, making sure he or she is reputable as well as possessing a portfolio that you find aesthetically pleasing and compatible with your personal taste.
Those are the big things that anyone, commitment-phobe or not, who is thinking about getting a tattoo needs to take into account.
But these six tips are the things you need to know if you specifically struggle with commitment in many aspects of life and are about to give up your tattoo virginity. Deep breaths!
1. Start Small
The universal truth about tattoos is that they are permanent. Yes, there are removal creams and laser treatments. But those are expensive, traumatic, and don't seem to get the job done 100 percent... at least to my eyes. My friend had a bad ink job lasered off and he stopped the process due to the pain and the price. But even after a few treatments, I still saw the remnants.
In my estimation and experience, the best way to get rid of a bad tattoo — even a tiny one — is to cover it up. That's a complicated process and means you have to get a larger piece to effectively hide it. So, why not start with a small but meaningful tattoo for your first piece of ink? Break the ice slowly and carefully.
2. For Your Eyes Only
I think the commitment phobia that accompanies tattoos is due to the fact that perhaps we don't want the whole world to see our art all of the time. It's totally OK to want a tattoo that is just "for you" or that lives in a place where only those closest to you can see it. Perhaps consider placing your first tattoo in a "for your eyes" only spot, like between fingers, behind the ear, at the nape of the neck, on the hip, or around the ribcage.
3. Consider The Aftercare
Commitment-shy or not, anyone that gets a tattoo needs to know going into it that the aftercare is critical and a commitment unto itself. You cannot get the tattoo and then... fuhgeddaboudit! It might be your little secret, but you have to properly care for a tattoo for several weeks in a regimented fashion. If that sounds like too much work and you can't be bound by the tyranny of a schedule, since you're all sorts of carefree and go-where-the-wind-takes you, you might want to reconsider.
4. You Get What You Pay For
You don't want "cheap" to be a deciding factor here. You will get what you pay for. So save up a little extra cash so that you can get your first beautiful tattoo from a quality artist. You don't want to end up hiding your first tattoo since it's bunk because you were trying to be too economical about it. You do not want to end up on any sort of "Worst Tattoo" compilation list on the Internet, either! You want your first tattoo to be detailed and stunning, like the ink pictured above.
5. Time Is Of The Essence
Think about your lifestyle. Before you make your appointment with the tattoo parlor, think about your activities and even the season. Do you spend a lot of time outside or in the sun during hot months, either for work or for recreation? Then you might not want to get tattooed in summer, due to healing concerns.
6. Body Talk
You've lived in your body long enough to know how it reacts to pain and how it heals. You also know your skin's type. If you have super dry skin that is prone to itchiness, getting a tattoo in the dead of winter or in a super dry climate could affect how it heals. Think about those things, like your skin's optimum condition, before you book your appointment in your tattooist's chair.
Those are six things you probably haven't thought through. It sounds like a lot, but it's not. You just want to be fully informed as you make this commitment.