Is there someone else you can have talk with him about this? I'm sure he loves his gf, but getting a name tattooed on him isn't the greatest idea. If he is looking for a way to show her how much he loves her, there are other ways to do that. try having someone else talk with him about it. Tattoos are permanent and it would be horribly sad if they broke up and he is stuck with her name on him ... good luck.
I'm curious if he and his present girlfriend broke up and he ended up with a new love in his life, how would that new love in his life feel about looking at some other girl's name tatood on his body, especially if they got married! How would he feel if the situation was reversed? I think if this were my son, I'd probably let him know that I disagreed with what he wanted to do, not because of him, but because of the future bride in his life. You might try and convince him to get his BRIDE's name tattooed on him instead; in essence, just wait until he is married. (Maybe he'll forget about doing it by that point)
You could try this approach...It sounds like he's trying to establish himself in his world -by defying you, and by make what seems to be daring decisions for himself. Perhaps try not only the suggestions above, but also finding someone with a lot of tattoos to seek advice from.(A tattoo parlor would be a good start.) Also, make sure he knows about the possibility of getting Hepatitis B or C (it would be hard for him to find someone who wants to be with him and understands a disease that affects him and his sex life forever), and tell him IF he HAS to do this, to make sure it is by someone who uses sterile technique and sterilizes all their equipment. -Just the act of "giving" your permission may be enough to make him lose interest in doing so...~MM
I think that this is a great idea, I am sure he is just doing it to wind me up. Thank you all for your help, you've given me some really helpful ideas and I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that I can stop him!! Thanks so much :)
To other people it is obvious that getting a tattoo of a girlfriend/boyfriends name is silly, but when your 18 and in love your too busy being in love to realise it's silly. The more you protest the more he will want the tattoo. He is your son but he is 18 and no matter what he is going to do what he wants to do, you just have to let him make his own mistakes.
Luckily the silly thing he is doing is getting a tattoo, rather than something even worse.
I am not for tatToos. However, each to their own. I remember the day my brothers got a tattoo, my mum cried and cried. My boyfriend has a few tattoos and he would like to get my name tattooed, however I refuse to let him at this stage. I know you don't want him to get a tattoo at all but if he is determined then I doubt anything you say could change his mind. Why don't you suggest that instead of her name he get her star sign, or her name in Japanese, or a code word/inside joke that they share. That way he still gets his tattoo symbolizing his love for her, however would not have her name imprinted on him if things were to turn sour. :-)