Love-struck Jesse Metcalfe wears his heart on his sleeve

I'm kicking myself that I've never tried to win back an ex by having a picture of them naked, posing in front of a rising sun, tattooed all over my arm.

Jesse Metcalfe, who wowed the acting community (or the Hollyoaks cast, at least) with his portrayal of a good-looking gardener with his top off a lot in Desperate Housewives, has admitted that the large tattoo of Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle which he had inked on his arm after their break-up was a mistake.

I don't think any of us would have seen that one coming.

The tattoo, showing a naked Nadine lassoing his bleeding heart in front of a rising sun in the shape of Ireland, was a permanent reminder not to get his heart broken again.

Do you see what he did there? He wore his heart on his sleeve, totally literally – it's so metaphorical and clever that my brain is about to explode just thinking about it.

Jesse and Nadine started dating after meeting in Australia, but broke up a year later when he was spotted with another girl days after he'd left rehab, where he was being treated for alcohol addiction ('alcohol addiction' is better than 'alcoholism' – it implied he'd been drinking sexy alcohol rather than meths hidden in a brown paper bag). 'Everyone has had their heart broken, but this is just a reminder not to let it happen again. It doesn't mean you are staying in that moment or obsessing about it,' said Jesse at the time.

When I want to remember something, I stick a note to the fridge with a novelty magnet. I don't race out to get a tattoo of an ex-boyfriend in the raw against the backdrop of a street map of West Earlham.

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And if I want an ex to notice me, I find a severed horse's head in their bed tends to do the trick – that or writing about them in a newspaper column on the basis that they're now living on another continent and won't see it, not remembering that pesky thing called the internet. I've done that. Probably won't do it again, though, if I'm entirely honest, grovelling emails aren't my forte.