A loser lover tattoo is any tattoo depicting a lost love. It may be an ex-lover’s name, portrait, or a romantic symbol like a rose or heart. These tattoos memorialize heartbreak and lost relationships. Unlike tattoos symbolizing eternal love, loser lover tattoos represent relationships that failed. They also show regret over lost love, and an inability to let go.

These tattoos became popular in the 1970s punk rock scene. They were symbols of rebellion and nonconformity. Since then, these tattoos have become more mainstream.

They maintain their associations with grief, mourning, and holding onto the past. Some view loser lover tattoos as warnings or reminders never to open one’s heart again. Others see them as ways to gain closure.

This article will explore the history, meaning, and common designs of loser lover tattoos. It will also provide guidance on aftercare, cover-ups, and important considerations. And, it will advise before getting a permanent reminder of heartbreak.

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Meaning Behind Loser Lover Tattoos

Vibrant loser lover tattoo on arm with red roses and heart, symbolizing heartbreak.

Loser lover tattoos represent lost love and the inability to let go of a relationship that has ended. The lover loser tattoo meaning memorializes heartbreak and grief. It reflects a romance that failed.

Some common meanings and associations with the tattoo include:

  • Lost love – These tattoos immortalize love that was once present but has been lost. They represent mourning a relationship’s death.
  • Inability to move on – Loser lover tattoos suggest an inability to move past heartbreak and an unwillingness to let go of the past.
  • Regret – Getting an ex’s name or romantic symbol tattooed can represent regret over the failed relationship.
  • Sadness – Loser lover tattoos evoke sadness and grief over losing someone who was once cherished.
  • Holding on – These designs demonstrate holding on to love that is now lost. The tattoo owner cannot fully heal and move forward.
  • Rebellion – Loser lover tattoos have punk rock origins and can still symbolize rebellion or going against social norms.

They may provide a sense of closure. More often, they represent dwelling on the past rather than healing. The tattoo serves as a permanent reminder of heartbreak for both the owner and observers.

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The loser lover tattoo is a popular tattoo design inspired by the 2017 Stephen King movie “It.” In the movie, the character Eddie writes “Loser” on his cast, but later changes it to “Lover.”

The tattoo design features the word “Loser” in black ink. The letter “V” is in red ink, over the “S”. Some designs include accompanying images.

These might be a red balloon, a paper boat, or the face of Pennywise the clown. The tattoo symbolizes the power of friendship and how it can help us overcome our fears.

It serves as a reminder that we can accomplish anything if we have the support of our loved ones. The tattoo can also be viewed as an anti-bullying statement.

People get the tattoo for various reasons. Some are fans of the movie. Others feel a similarity to Eddie’s journey from being a loner to becoming part of the Losers Club.

What is the Significance of the Word “Loser” in the Loser Lover Tattoo

The word “Loser” in the loser lover tattoo is significant. It represents the journey from being an outsider to becoming a part of a group. It also symbolizes overcoming bullying and the power of friendship.

The tattoo is a reference to a scene in the Stephen King novel “IT.” In the scene, a character named Eddie changes the word “Loser” on his cast to “Lover.” He does this by adding a ‘V’ on top of the ‘S’ to save face after a bullying incident.

The tattoo can also be seen as an anti-bullying statement. It shows a belief in positive outcomes. It shows a belief in loving oneself. It shows a belief that love can conquer even the severe effects of bullying. The tattoo has become popular among fans of the “IT” movie and those who resonate with the themes of the story.

Arm tattoo with red roses and 'Lover Loser' script, embodying themes of love and loss.

Common Tattoo Designs

There are a few common designs and images associated with:

  • Portraits – Realistic black-and-white or color portraits of an ex-lover are a popular loser lover tattoo. These capture the ex’s likeness and make the connection explicit.
  • Hearts – Hearts, especially broken hearts, are common loser lover designs. They represent love lost and may include an ex’s name.
  • Roses – Roses and rose wreaths evoke romance and passion. Wilted roses represent dying love.
  • Song lyrics – Lyrics that capture themes of heartbreak or losing love are often used. Common examples are “Forever Yours” or “Til Death Do Us Part.”
  • Cupid – Imagery of Cupid, the god of erotic love in Roman mythology, recalls romance. A dead or weeping Cupid represents fading love.
  • Locks and keys – Locks and keys symbolize guarded or lost love. Locks can indicate being unable to open one’s heart again.

Loser lover tattoos heavily utilize symbols of love and romance. They often suggest loss. The more obvious the tattoo is about a specific ex, the more clearly it fits the “loser lover” meaning.

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Ideal Placement

When getting a loser lover tattoo, placement is an important consideration. These designs represent failed relationships. Owners often prefer to keep them private or easy to conceal. Discreet placement also allows covering up the tattoo later if desired.

  • Above the heart – This personal and symbolic location keeps the loser lover tattoo close to one’s own heart. It can be easily hidden by clothing.
  • Along the ribcage – The ribcage area provides a large, flat canvas that can be concealed with shirts.
  • On the wrist – Wrists offer prime real estate for loser lover tattoos, especially words or small designs. They can be covered with bracelets.
  • On the arm or shoulder – Upper arms and shoulder blades hide tattoos well while allowing for versatile design options.
  • On the thigh or hip – Placing loser lover tattoos along the upper thigh or hip keeps them mostly out of sight.
  • On the back – The upper, middle, or lower back hides tattoos well. Women can conceal back tattoos with long hair.

The best places are usually covered by clothing. This allows keeping the tattoo private until ready to share it.

Aftercare Tips

Properly caring for a new loser lover tattoo is crucial. It ensures it heals well and appears vibrant for years to come. Follow these aftercare tips:

  • Keep it clean – Gently clean the tattoo with mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water. Avoid harsh scrubbing during the healing process.
  • Moisturize frequently – Apply a thin layer of fragrance-free moisturizer like Aquaphor several times per day. This prevents scabbing and itching.
  • Avoid sun exposure – Keep the tattoo completely covered and use sunscreen on it once healed. The sun can cause fading.
  • Don’t pick scabs – Let scabs naturally flake off as the skin heals. Picking can damage the design and cause scarring.
  • Avoid swimming or hot tubs – Wait until the tattoo fully heals before prolonged water exposure to avoid contamination and fading.
  • Wear loose clothing – Tight clothing can stick to the tattoo and hinder healing. Opt for loose fabrics.
  • Don’t scratch – As it heals, a new tattoo may intensely itch. Avoid scratching as this can remove ink.

With proper aftercare, your tattoo should heal beautifully within 2-6 weeks. If you notice signs of infection, such as excessive redness or pus, contact your artist or doctor right away.

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Cover-Up Ideas

Loser lover tattoos represent permanent reminders of heartbreak. It is possible to cover them up with a new design if desired. Here are some effective cover-up ideas:

  • Turn a portrait into a skull – Transforming an ex’s portrait into a skull helps obliterate their likeness. Adds darker meaning of death and moving on.
  • Incorporate flowers – Working bright flowers like roses, lilies or orchids around a name or portrait can completely transform a loser lover tattoo.
  • Add a butterfly – Butterflies represent transformation and rebirth. Integrating one overtop a loser lover tattoo evolves its meaning.
  • Extend it into a full sleeve – Covering up a loser lover tattoo with a full sleeve of new imagery removes its isolation and impact.
  • Work patterns into the background – Patterns like waves, Celtic knots or mandalas as a new background help hide unwanted imagery.
  • Keep the main elements colored – If you still like parts of the tattoo, keep those colored with the rest black and gray for a fresh look.
  • Layer contrasting imagery – Integrate powerful symbols like an angel wing to contrast with existing dark imagery.

With an experienced artist, unwanted loser lover tattoos can successfully transform into beautiful new designs. This facilitates closure and moving forward.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Loser Lover Tattoo

They are permanent. It’s important to fully consider the implications before getting one. Here are some important considerations:

  • Future regret – How might you feel about memorializing heartbreak in 5 or 10 years? Make sure your emotions have stabilized before inking.
  • Visibility – Are you comfortable with others asking about and viewing a tattoo depicting past heartbreak?
  • Professional settings – Will having an obvious loser lover tattoo cause issues in your workplace or career field?
  • Future partners – How might a future partner perceive a tribute to your ex permanently on your body?
  • Meaningful alternatives – Consider a symbolic design with deeper meaning vs. your ex’s name or portrait.
  • Location – Choosing a spot that can be concealed may be prudent if having regrets later.
  • Motivations – Examine whether the tattoo is meant to heal or prolong heartbreak. Will it provide closure?
  • Temporary options – Some shops offer semi-permanent tattoo options that mimic realism and last 1-5 years.

Take ample time to analyze your reasons, feelings, and the implications. This can determine if getting a loser lover tattoo is the right decision.

Do Loser Lover Tattoos Help with Healing?

Some people choose to get tattoos of a former lover who let them down. They hope these tattoos will help them find closure and heal from heartbreak.

Tattooing an ex’s name or face onto your body permanently may not provide the desired emotional healing.

  • Getting a loser lover tattoo can represent an inability to let go or move on from the past. Dwelling on heartbreak can impede healing.
  • These tattoos evoke sadness and regret. Focusing energy on grieving makes it harder to move forward.
  • Permanently etching an ex onto your body contrasts the need to create distance to heal.
  • Healthier ways to gain closure include journaling, therapy, removing memorabilia, or focusing on self-care.
  • A loser lover tattoo may provide a sense of control. However, true healing requires finding inner peace and acceptance.
  • It’s best to wait until you’re fully emotionally healed. Then, decide if commemorating heartbreak with a tattoo is appropriate.
  • If you’re considering a loser lover tattoo, choose a symbolic design. This will allow its meaning to evolve, unlike a portrait.

Loser lover tattoos represent loss and may prolong grief. They do not provide the closure or healing that letting go and moving forward can offer.

When designing a loser lover tattoo, consider some popular imagery choices.

  • Roses – Roses remain the most common element. They conjure up love and passion. Wilted or dying roses represent fading love.
  • Hearts – Sacred heart designs, broken hearts, or anatomical hearts are mainstays. Names or initials may appear within the heart.
  • Song lyrics – Including meaningful lyrics from songs about breakups, heartbreak, or loss is popular.
  • Portraits – Realistic black-and-white or color portraits clearly depict the ex. It helps if the tattoo artist excels at portraiture.
  • Cupid – The cherub Cupid often appears weeping, with broken wings or bow, or with his head down to represent loss of love.
  • Wreaths – Wreaths made of roses, leaves, or thorns memorialize the dead relationship. Barbed wire wreaths suggest pain.
  • Daggers – Daggers piercing roses or hearts represent the emotional stab of heartbreak and severed relationships.
  • Locks and keys – Locks demonstrate the heart closed off to future love. Keys represent a lost opportunity for love.

Lover loser tattoo designs can beautifully memorialize heartbreak. There are many options for visual symbols of lost love.


Loser lover tattoos provide a way for people to tangibly memorialize lost love and failed relationships. They capture the grief, regret, and mourning following a breakup.

These tattoos range from an ex’s name or portrait to symbolic imagery. Examples include broken hearts and wilted roses.

Some view tattoos as romantic tributes to past love. However, they often represent an inability to heal and move forward.

The permanence contrasts the temporary nature of relationships. Before getting a tattoo, deeply consider your motivation. Think about whether commemorating heartbreak will provide closure.

Alternatives, like journaling or therapy, can facilitate emotional healing. Transforming the design into something uplifting is another option.

However, if immortalizing the lost relationship is more important than the downsides, loser lover tattoos can still be poignant symbols of grief. They can be meaningful for both the wearer and observer.

If you found this article informative, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below sharing your perspective on this unique tattoo trend.

Let us know if you have or would consider a loser lover tattoo and what it represents to you.

We appreciate you taking the time to read our guide. We hope it provided useful context on the meaning and symbolism behind these tattoos. They represent lost love.

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