[Photo by: New Line Cinema]

Lasering off your tattoos is much more painful than actually getting tattooed. Don’t put yourself in a position where you regret your tattoo so much that you need to resort to this excruciating and expensive ordeal. These six types of tattoos are the tattoos people end up regretting the most, so if you’re planning on getting them, you should probably think twice. If you’re still not sure what you should do, you’re in luck! We’re also giving you advice on what you should get inked instead.

Lovers’ names and portraits

One of the most important tenets in the proverbial tattoo bible is to never get your lover’s name tattooed on you. You would think, after hearing this over and over and encountering people who have made this mistake, this practice would have ended by now. But humans rarely learn the lessons they should from history, and many still get their boyfriend or girlfriend’s name or face tattooed on themselves. Even if you’re married, you never know what the future holds for you and your relationship. So don’t commit to a tattoo you might later hate with a burning passion.

What to get instead
While it is ill-advised to get a lover’s name tattooed on you, you can still get a tattoo to commemorate this person. The best way to ink someone onto your skin to avoid future regret is to get something symbolic of your relationship. For example, if the two of you went on an unforgettable vacation to Thailand together, get an elephant or something representative of that experience. That way, you’ll always have the positive memory, but you won’t have their stupid name or portrait staring back at you, mocking you.    

Cheap tattoos

Cheap tattoos are tattoos people end up regretting the most because the end result is usually subpar artwork. While $800 can get you a photorealistic portrait of a lion, $200 will get you something more akin to a third-grader’s interpretation of a lion. These are the tattoos people end up getting covered up or lasered off later in life.

What to get instead
Don’t cheap out. If you’re certain you’re committed to having a piece on your arm forever, then you might as well spend the money to make it something worth looking at forever. However, there is a myth out there that needs dispelling. While it is true that high-quality tattoos cost more, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a piece just because it’s by a celebrity artist. There are plenty of tattoo artists who don’t charge $2,000 for a piece, but can still give you exactly what you’re looking for.  

Time-sensitive tattoos

People like to jump on fads and current events. From pop culture phenomena such as “Harlem Shake” to political slogans such as “Make America Great Again,” there are tattoos that people get that are only relevant to a specific time. But these things quickly fade in popularity, and when they do, you’ll be sitting there wondering what drove you to commemorate those things on your body permanently.

What to get instead
Get something timeless. If a new dance craze comes out that you really like, get a tattoo of a dancer instead of the name of the actual dance. Dancers will always exist, but in 20 years, no one will remember what “Harlem Shake” was. The best tactic for getting a tattoo you won’t regret is to go the abstract route.

Spur-of-the-moment tattoos

Some of us love to be spontaneous—it’s in our nature. However, not all of us are OK with living with our spontaneous (some may say reckless) decisions for the rest of our lives. A lot of spur-of-the-moment decisions also come about as a result of drinking or excessive partying, and as many of you know, we aren’t always as stoked on our inebriated decisions when we’re sober.  

What to get instead
If you suddenly get the irresistible urge to get a tattoo with your friend, visit your tattoo shop and make an appointment for a few days in the future. Talk about your tattoo ideas with your artist and see if you can get him or her to come up with a sketch. That way, you’ll get some satisfaction knowing you immediately acted on your desire, but still have some time to really think it through.

Sexual tattoos

Tattoos placed in sexually provocative places are amongst the tattoos people end up regretting the most. Why? Because 99 percent of the time, it’s just not classy. The word “ratchet” cannot be emphasized enough here. Maybe it’s fun when you’re in your single, IDGAF phase, but when you meet someone you want to be serious about, you might not be so proud of having a handprint tattooed on your ass.

What to get instead
There are ways to be sultry and sexy with your ink that don’t make you look ridiculous. Hip tattoos and waist tattoos of various designs can look sexy on a woman without being boisterous or crude. Even if you want to get a large piece, delicate linework can give it more finesse and class.

Misspelled or grammatically incorrect tattoos

These tattoos are perhaps the most regrettable because they just make you look stupid. Forgetting the “i-before-e” rule or misplacing a comma can totally ruin a tattoo that originally meant a lot to you. The worst part is that there is really no way to fix a spelling mistake, unlike an image-based tattoo that can be altered more easily.

What to get instead
If you’re getting a quote tattooed, be sure to research the quote so you know how it’s supposed to be written. Don’t just trust one website’s interpretation of the quote, either—investigate several sources. Also, please learn the difference between “there,” “they’re” and “their,” and triple-check that your tattoo artist has stenciled your words correctly.