As of 2015, 29% of adults have a tattoo, up from 21% in 2012 and 14% in 2008. They are especially prevalent among Millennials—47% have at least one. Tattoos are much more common and less taboo than they once were. Maybe you hate tattoos or you can’t get past his crappy one. If you do appreciate ink on a guy, here are some things you can learn about him from his body art.
- He’s strong. He can handle pain. If he has tattoos on the palms of his hands, which I’ve heard is the most painful spot, then he’s definitely tough. His tattoos can show what gives him strength. If it’s his faith, for instance, he may have a religious tattoo. He’s also mentally resilient because he can handle judgment and rude comments about his body art. His ink serves as his armor.
- He’s different. He has an intense desire to have his own identity. Tattoos certainly make him stand out. And no one ever has the same tattoos as anyone else. It’s his way of expressing himself and makes him very unique.
- He celebrates diversity. Because he’s a little different himself, he won’t judge others for their distinct characteristics. He’s very open and accepting. We need more of that in this world.
- He’s sensitive. Tattoos don’t make a man impenetrable. Contrary to popular belief, tattoos can reveal that a guy has a soft side. If he has a skull tattoo with roses, it could indicate he’s tough on the outside but sweet on the inside. If he has a tattoo of his late dog, he must have a good heart. Tattoos can expose his more tender feelings.
- He’s outgoing. You have to somewhat enjoy talking to people if you’re willing to sit close to a person for hours on end while you’re getting inked. His tattoos make a good conversation starter, so he probably likes chatting. For instance, if he has a huge neck tattoo, he doesn’t mind people asking him about it. He also really wants to live life and appreciates adventure.
- He’s interesting. He has lots of experiences. There’s a story attached to each piece of his art. He wants to commemorate his adventures and loves permanent reminders. He’s mysterious and likes when people are intrigued by his tattoos. The fact that he tells you his stories may mean he’s interested in you and feels he can trust you.
- He’s sexual. Although tattoos won’t say anything about his orientation or preferences, they no doubt make him feel sexier. And you probably think they make him look good too. A lot of women think tattoos are really attractive. Tattoos also mean he might know what he’s doing in the bedroom. A study showed that adults with body modifications are more sexually active than people without. So his naked girl tattoo might make you want to get naked with him.
- He doesn’t fear relationships. Women tend to stereotype a guy with ink because they think it indicates he’s a player. However, you shouldn’t be so quick to judge him. He put something on his body that will be there for the rest of his life, which is a big commitment. He also knows what he’s looking for if he knows himself well enough to get tattoos. So he’s most likely not scared to be in a long-term relationship if the right girl comes along.
- He’s close to a loved one. If he has a tattoo honoring a certain someone, then this person is obviously very special to him. This individual may be living or dead and will influence him for the rest of his life. Whether it’s a big back tattoo for his grandfather or a small chest tattoo for his child, it has a very important meaning to him. If the tattoo is in a painful spot, like his wrist or ribcage, its significance is even more obvious because he was willing to tolerate a lot of pain for it. If it’s his ex-girlfriend’s name, you might want to be cautious.
- He may have a troubled past. Tattoos can be a form of therapy and are a better vice than drugs or alcohol. He might be trying to heal from a traumatic past, or he may be trying to hide or change himself to escape it. For example, a tattoo covering up a scar or self-inflicted wounds could mean he’s recovering from those hard times. Or, if his family was very religious and he resented that, he may be attempting to separate himself as much as possible. His tattoos are also a reminder of where he came from and how much he’s matured. However, if he has gang tattoos like teardrops under his eyes, you may want to be careful. Be sure that’s firmly in his past.
- He’s confident. Some people are very critical of tattoos. If he has them, he’s probably very self-assured and doesn’t care what other people think. He wants to show off his body and accentuate certain parts of it. If he has tattoos that are always visible, he really doesn’t worry what people say about him, which is a great quality to have in my opinion.
- He’s contemplative. He looks for a deeper meaning to life and loves having thoughtful conversations. You will never be bored with him.
If a guy doesn’t have tattoos, it doesn’t mean that he’s not any of these things. He may be more private. Or he doesn’t care for tattoos in general. If he does have them, you can gain a lot of information about his character. These observations apply to tattooed women as well. So if you have tattoos too, he can also learn a lot about you, and you can gain insight into yourself.