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On Valentine’s Day, some people show their love with flowers, others with sweets, but some write it in ink. The owner of Pink Elephant Tattoos in Ankeny, Mark Jagerson, said tattoos are a popular Valentine’s Day gift. Some popular choices for couples are matching tattoos, or tattoos of each other’s names.

In the past few years, tattoo artists say they’ve been noticing another trend on this holiday: anti-valentine tattoos.

“I would say I’ve seen more requests for stuff like this that`s the anti-love,” said tattoo artist BJ Shorter, “someone in a bad state wanting something maybe. That`s a little more common.”

But regardless of what it is, just because someone comes in to the shop and knows what they want, doesn’t mean they’re going to walk out the door with it.

“We always ask. We don`t like to put a name on someone who isn`t married or hasn`t been in a relationship for that long, so if they are hesitant at all we usually try to get them away from putting a name on them forever that’s for sure,” said Jagerson.

More often than not, Jagerson said, if the customer hesitates they end up seeing them back in shop, but this time for a tattoo removal.

“I do removal here now and that`s a big thing now, getting the name removed off them or a ring finger tattoo removed off them,” said Jagerson.

Of course there are other ways to get rid of an unwanted tattoo, “a lot of people do come in that have old names of past relationships on them so they want something covering them up,” said Jagerson, “sometimes they want a big ‘x’ through the name or they say cover it with anything you possibly can. This chapter of my life is over basically.”

Tattoo removal at pink elephant starts at $50 a session.