DEAR AMY: Tattoos don't repulse me, but I don't like them. Almost a year ago, I completely fell in love with my current long-term boyfriend. He has a few tattoos: one on the inside of his wrist, and two on his inner arm. His tattoos aren't pointless or simply for decoration. They have special meaning to him, and they don't bother me. However, now he has decided to get a half-sleeve of tattoos. I don't particularly want his arms to be covered in artwork, but I know there's nothing I can do about it. I haven't told him that I'd rather he not get more tattoos because I don't want to be a controlling girlfriend who makes all of her boyfriend's decisions. I also don't want to hurt his feelings.
I know it's his body and he can do what he desires with it, and I probably shouldn't be interfering at all, but I can't help but think that this will somehow spiral out of control. I don't want to date a guy who is covered in tattoos. I also have a fairly conservative family, and I don't want them to think any less of him. Should I tell him I'm not in favor of him getting more tattoos? And if so, what should I say to make sure he knows I'm not forcing anything?Unsure
DEAR UNSURE: You convey a solid realization that you cannot control your boyfriend and that he has the absolute right to do what he wishes with his own body.
You can, however, weigh in. Tattoos are privately chosen but publicly viewed.
Let's imagine what it would be like if you didn't say anything in advance and your boyfriend's half-sleeve did, in fact, repulse you.
You: "I really hate your ink." He: "Gee, do you think you might have mentioned this before I spent hours under the gun?" You can say, "You may know that I'm not a huge fan of lots of tattoos. But I am a huge fan of yours. I'm not sure how I'll react to all of your new ink, but if it's what you really want, I'll do my best to embrace it."