Why is doing research on tattoo patterns important before getting a new tattoo? There are many reasons for that but the number one reason I think is because it's a permanent mark on your body. Even though now days there is laser removal technology but it's still not 100%. So to simply put it, you don't want an ugly mark on your body for the rest of your life.
Another recommendation I have is don't tattoo your boyfriend/girlfriend's name on your body. It's just too high of a risk. Not jinxing anyone here but what if something in the relationship didn't work out and it's time to move on for a new relationship? You can imagine trying to explain that one would be pretty difficult. I've actually heard a guy say "it's my mom's name!" but seriously, who would buy that?
The purpose of researching tattoo patterns is to find something you like, or something that'll give you an idea of what you like to have. I personally like to find a few different tattoo patterns I like then try to combine them into a very unique and cool looking design.
I generally don't just pick a tattoo design and put it on my body cause I don't think that's special enough. I like to be different and I like to be unique. Tattoo is a way of expressing your attitude and personality so why do you want to be like everybody else?
I do have one piece of original tattoo which is a Chinese character that translates into the word "devil". While we're on the subject of tattooing foreign language on your body... Please... Have someone who can actually understand that language to look at it before you get it inked. I had a friend who tattooed bunch of nonsense on his body because there was a chart in the tattoo shop that "supposedly" translated A-Z into 26 Chinese characters. And very brilliantly he thought, Chinese must spell the same way as English!
Guys please don't make stupid mistakes like that which will end up embarrassing you for the rest of your life. Just spend some time and look though some tattoo patterns carefully before you make a very important decision.