updated 07/27/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/29/2011 AT 3:45 PM ET
First, it was Gene Simmons’s reality TV proposal – which aired months later, when the couple had all but split up.
Now, just days after PEOPLE broke the news that Jesse James and Kat Von D ended their engagement, the former bride-to-be can be seen gushing about her then-fiancé on the new season of LA Ink, which premiered Thursday night.
“The long-distance relationship, we’re just making it work,” says the L.A.-based Von D. (James, who lives in Austin, blamed their breakup on the miles between them.) She also refers to him on the show as “my soulmate” and giddily shows off her new tattoo – an image of James as a child.