Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Poll: What Mementos From Old Realtionships Have You Held On To?

Broken heartToday’s column about the girlfriend who hadn’t bothered to box up her ex-husband’s belongings, including his wedding ring, before moving in her new boyfriend, wasn’t as bad as a column from a few years ago about the woman who found nude pictures of her fiancΓ©’s ex-wife. Remember that one? (She then later mentioned in the comments that he admitted to having LOTS of nude pictures of multiple exes). And it got me thinking about the things we hang on to from relationships past. Nude pictures are one thing, but what about vacation photos, love letters, a favorite t-shirt, gifts, etc.? Are you a packrat who hands on to everything? Or do you ditch mementos from a relationship the minute you call it quits?

[polldaddy poll=”5557470″]

73 comments… add one
  • avatar

    lk October 5, 2011, 1:14 pm

    I keep my old journals, I keep my old love letters, I keep files of all my friends – the ex files are just generally larger.

    I also carry my “to-do list” as a clear baggie filled with business cards/paperwork/etc. so that I physically feel the weight of things left undone in my life.

    I’m a memento person, I guess, but I do try to keep it streamlined…

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    honeybeenicki October 5, 2011, 1:18 pm

    I think I probably have a few things from exes, but not really anything like photos or love letters or anything.

    Reply Link
  • rainbow

    rainbow October 5, 2011, 1:20 pm

    Nothing, but not because I hate their guts or as a way of showing respect for my new partner. That sort of stuff slows you down, and I don’t want it around. I even got rid of my ex boyfriend’s suicide letter.

    Reply Link
  • FireStar

    FireStar October 5, 2011, 1:20 pm

    I keep old love letters and poems locked away in a box. I think I’m going to enjoy re-reading them when I’m eighty.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    AKchic October 5, 2011, 1:24 pm

    I have a few things from various relationships. My first marriage – I won everything in the divorce. I mean everything. If I had it in my possession at the time of the default hearing, it was mine. His clothes, family photos, collectables, etc – I owned it. He was homeless at the time (just got out of jail again), so I got the whole kit and caboodle because he refused to answer any of my paperwork and refused to come to the hearing thinking that if he didn’t, the judge would toss the divorce case out because the “man” didn’t want it to happen. For a year, I tried to get him to come get his belongings. But, it had to be on MY terms. A police escort (I had a five-year no-contact order against him, as well as his 5-year probation that said he wasn’t to be anywhere near me, so it was required by law that an officer be there), my attorney and a notary so that everything could be itemized and he could sign with notary that he received EVERYTHING (he was constantly threatening to sue me for “stealing” his stuff, or threatening to call the police about it). Three times he sent someone else acting as his “power of attorney”, but the paperwork wasn’t even valid, so I’d send the person away, especially since there was no police officer present and the kid (under 21) kept saying “lets go get the stuff at your house” when I said that everything was in a storage unit away from my home. It was nothing more than a ploy to get to my home since my ex didn’t know where I lived. After a year, I started cleaning out the storage unit. Gave all the clothes to goodwill. Tossed out the junk. The collectables and family history I still have. Copies have been made of the family history stuff and sent to the other three kids he had and a copy sent back to his mother (she requested). A few of the NASA collectables went back to the original owner (NASA requested them back). I’ve sold a few of the collectable pieces over the years when various mothers needed money for the kids (we have an unwritten agreement that when/if I sell anything, we divide the profits up between the children). I did stop selling stuff when the economy started tanking partially because of the economy and partially because of harassment of the ex.

    From my second marriage, I saved our wedding rings, pictures, a video of our wedding, and lots of stuff. He has all of the household goods from our marriage (it’s in NJ) in case he is ever able to move into his own home (he lives with his parents because his dad has Parkinsons). But, we have a great relationship post-marriage, so I don’t feel the need to purge anything.

    Other relationships, I’ve saved a few things here and there. Trinkets I’ve been bought, books, stuffed animals, movies, cheesy toys, etc. Most have ended up gone now, through time, moves, kids, etc. That’s life. I’m not going to try to hold on to the past.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    NOLAGirl October 5, 2011, 1:29 pm

    I generally get rid of stuff from my ex’s early on. It’s part of the healing process for me. I don’t harbor bitterness or anger (anymore) towards them – even the awful ones. In fact, the one who caused me the most emotional damage is now married and turned his life around – and it’s somewhat comforting to find out that he turned out to be a decent human being. But generally I get rid of everything pretty quickly. For me, it helps the short term healing when I don’t have reminders hanging out every day. And the sooner I can heal the sooner I can forgive/get over the bad.

    The only exception was I kept some jewelry from one ex for a LONG time. Then I gave it away to a girl I knew. I just wanted rid of it and was sick of it sitting in my drawer not getting worn so I gave it away to someone who (hopefully) wears it. It always seems kind of wrong (to me) to wear jewelry from a past relationship. It was a token of a love that’s gone, and when you’re in a new relationship it’s almost like hanging on to the past. In hind sight, with the price of gold, I probably should have kept it and sold it. But I digress.

    Reply Link
  • mandalee

    mandalee October 5, 2011, 1:45 pm

    I have kept a few things for exes, but mainly because I like them and use them often, despite who they came from. I either give it whatever it is back to them, or sell it/throw it out. However, there are a few things lingering that I use on a daily basis that my husband has no idea where they came from. I feel like Ted and Robin on HIMYM lol. My last ex-boyfriend’s family gave me this really huge, fleece, amazingly comfortable blanket for Christmas years back, and it’s one of my husband’s favorite things. He asked me once where I got it and I was like ummm, some random Aunt or someone like that I think. It’s not a sentimental thing, that blanket is just crazy warm and comfortable. A

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Lydia October 5, 2011, 1:46 pm

      Love the HIMYM reference! πŸ˜€

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      JennyTalia October 5, 2011, 2:48 pm

      I have an oriental rug from an ex’s family. Wasn’t too fond of them, it is now a utility rug in the laundry room of my basement collecting mold.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Lydia October 5, 2011, 1:45 pm

    I’ve never really seen the point of getting rid of gifts (as long as they are not of the sentimental variety). I’m a bibliophile and have always gotten a lot of books from my boyfriends – and just because I stopped loving the boyfriends, doesn’t mean I stopped loving the books! Why would I throw them out?

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Lydia October 6, 2011, 5:07 am

      Thinking about this a little more, I guess it also helps that all of my exes were perpetually broke and rarely got me gifts in the first place (excluding birthdays). So there wasn’t that much stuff to consider tossing out in the first place.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Eljay October 5, 2011, 1:53 pm

    I answered the poll with “My kids are mementos from my ex!”, but I must say I’ve kept a few things from my ex-husband. My engagement ring, my wedding ring (which I had welded down to a comfy toe ring – exactly where it belongs), and I’ve kept all of the divorce “ammunition” I gathered – photos & such from the PI, love letters from her to him, travel plans they made together, etc. I didn’t have to use any of it (thankfully, he didn’t try to pull a fast one, but I was so well prepared!), but for whatever reason, I still have it all 5 years later!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      TheOtherMe October 5, 2011, 2:11 pm

      I kept the binder in which we wrote down who gets what when we split our assets.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Eljay October 5, 2011, 2:37 pm

        Yeah, not that I go through it ever, but for whatever reason it still exists in my house. I suppose it is a conscious effort to NOT throw it out, but it generally serves no purpose other than to remind me to NEVER marry again!

        Link
      • avatar

        TheOtherMe October 5, 2011, 2:46 pm

        As long as it’s not in your bedroom, that’s baaaaaad Feng Shui !

        Link
      • avatar

        Eljay October 5, 2011, 3:47 pm

        Hahahahahahaha!!! Basement….as far away as it can get!

        Link
  • avatar

    ReginaRey October 5, 2011, 1:06 pm

    I have a box under my bed where I keep mementos from relationships past – notes, pictures, old gifts, jewelry. I don’t hold on to them because they’re all sentimental to me, but rather as a reminder of where I’ve come since then. I rarely go through it…I think it’s purpose is more so to symbolically (and literally) keep my past in a neat little box, where it won’t irk me with its presence but where I can choose to visit from time to time.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Bethany October 5, 2011, 3:14 pm

      I do something similar… I look at the stuff every year or so, sort of to remind myself of where I used to be and where I am now. Also, I’m sentimental as fuck, and I hate getting rid of stuff that I’m emotionally tied to.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    SGMcG October 5, 2011, 2:10 pm

    When I moved away from NY to start a life with my boyfriend (now husband), I did a HUGE purge of all the sentimental stuff I kept from past relationships – the pictures, the scented notes, the generic stuffed animals/gifts/etc. I’ve kept a few books, a few gifts and maybe one note from my longest relationship before my husband. Yet of the stuff I kept, I didn’t take them with me when I moved to live with my guy. I did keep the jewelry and I took it with me, but I pawned all of it a couple of years ago during a bad period when my husband and I were both unemployed. It’s not that I didn’t value the relationship that I had back then – it’s just that my husband and I were trying to survive together NOW.

    Reply Link
  • Budj

    Budjer October 5, 2011, 2:13 pm

    Had a box…decided it was a waste of space and tossed it. Just completely indifferent to the past – no malicious intent.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      TheOtherMe October 5, 2011, 2:48 pm

      Even all those “mix tapes” ???

      Reply Link
      • Budj

        Budjer October 5, 2011, 3:51 pm

        haha – never had a mixed tape. I made a mixed cd for my freshman year “girl friend” if you can call it that…you better believe O-Town was on that.

        Link
  • Chaotonic

    Chaotonic October 5, 2011, 2:16 pm

    I have a lovely memory box where I just have old letter from exes and family members saved not all of them of course but just a couple, even a break up later that would later serve to remind me precisely why my ex is a douche πŸ™‚ But other than that all I have is a necklace from an ex that I hardly ever wear, which my husband knows about. I’m sure my husband knows whats in my memory box just like I know he has non-nude photos of a couple of his exes and his exes kids (not his biologically). We don’t see the momentos as a big deal.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    thyme October 5, 2011, 2:17 pm

    I would have liked to answer somewhere in between “everything” and “a few things.”

    I don’t have EVERYTHING, but I did keep letters, gifts (except the lame gifts that I only kept them at the time out of obligation), and various mementos. Each ex has a gallon-size ziplock bag of mementos in my storage box. I don’t look through that stuff very often, but I’m glad it’s there.

    I also take a lot of pictures, and I don’t believe in trying to erase a person from my records just because we aren’t together anymore. I value all of my past relationships for what they were, and I am not ashamed of them. They are part of my life story. I still cherish the good times and value the lessons I learned from the not-so-good times.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary October 5, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I have a box in the closet at my parents house where I keep sentimental items, not just from relationships. I barely ever look through it but it is nice to still have the stuff. I also kept a ridiculously nice pink sapphire necklace from an ex. I couldn’t get rid of it…it’s too pretty and also valuable. Where would I sell it? A pawn shop?. Plus I don’t really have any sentimental value attached to it anymore.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Nick October 5, 2011, 2:23 pm

    Sounds a bit narcissistic (ew) but I wish I had the things I gave to THEM back. I’m actually a little more curious about what I was thinking than what they were thinking.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Beckaleigh October 5, 2011, 2:26 pm

    My husband and I both kept all of the photos we had, whether they were pictures of an ex or not (but no nude photos). I really couldn’t think of throwing them away because even though they are of an ex-boyfriend, etc., they are my past too. We don’t look through the pictures and they are tucked away in boxes in the garage, but I think its nice to know we have those memories.
    When my grandfather passed away two years ago (my grandmother passed away a long time ago) my mother, aunts, and us kids were going through a bunch of pictures we found. We found pictures of my grandmother with men that nobody knew and the same with my grandfather. It was fun and we had a good laugh to think about our grandparents dating when they were young and all the things they were up to! I couldn’t imagine throwing away photos (except nudes) and that experience just solidified my belief.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      SpaceySteph October 5, 2011, 2:41 pm

      Hah I’m totally afraid of the “who’s that girl” syndrome… where you show up years later in the pictures and nobody remembers who you are.
      I went with my boyfriend to his brother’s wedding and I was so freaked out. If we break up, people will be like “who’s that girl”? everytime I’m in a picture. My ever-so-sweet-and-not-as-crazy-as-me boyfriend said “But what if we don’t break up? How cool will it be that you’re in all the pictures?”

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Eljay October 5, 2011, 3:48 pm

        That has to be the sweetest reply EVER! He’s a keeper. πŸ™‚

        Link
  • Tracey

    Tracey October 5, 2011, 2:31 pm

    I don’t keep much from old relationships – firm believer in clean breaks – but I do have some things that were difficult or inconvenient to replace or discard. For example, an ex (and I’m not making this up) broke my bed…and not in a fun way. He did a diving sit one day, and one of the slats on the cheap box spring I had cracked. He replaced the box spring and mattress with the most comfortable bed I’ve ever had. We broke up a couple of years later and he told me to keep the bed. Another thing I ended up with was half a crystal doorknob from the home of my ex-husband’s grandmother. He said he wanted to keep it as a memento after she passed, but he left it behind when we separated. I didn’t know he did until years later, when I found it while cleaning out a closet. I have no way of returning it to him – he moved out of state shortly after our divorce and we never kept in touch. I suppose I should throw it out, but that feels wrong (like I’d be disrespecting his grandmother, who was a very sweet woman), so I’ve got it put away for safekeeping until I figure out what to do with it.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    SpaceySteph October 5, 2011, 2:35 pm

    I got rid of everything from my most recent ex, a few months after the relationship. I had finally come to grips that he wasn’t going to change his mind and then waited a little longer until I could open the box without crying. Then I threw most of it out, but some stuff went to goodwill. There was one thing, a Build a Bear dinosaur that went out with the rest. But now, looking back, I wish I had kept it. It seemed to sentimental and upsetting back then, but now that I’m really totally over him, I wisk I had kept it. Because it was different, and kinda adorable. I guess when I threw it out I didn’t think I could separate the sentimental value from its general novelty/cuteness. But now I think I do see the difference– if only I’d left it in the box awhile longer.

    Other than that, I have the first love letter I ever received. A Valentine’s day poem from high school that a guy slipped into my bag when I was turned away. We never actually dated, but it was meaningful to me as a “hey someone will love me” which meant alot in my awkward teenage years.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Eljay October 5, 2011, 2:45 pm

      That reminds me….I still have my first (and only, thank goodness) Dear John letter from my first boyfriend. He wrote it on the back of my junior high school yearbook. Here I thought he was writing me a special I love you letter but as I read on, was devastated to see he was breaking up with me – and at the end asking if we could still be friends! To this day I read it sometimes & swear I can still feel my heart breaking.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest October 5, 2011, 4:15 pm

        Awww, I feel bad for your junior high-self.

        Link
  • avatar

    Britannia October 5, 2011, 2:39 pm

    I don’t keep anything from exes, unless it is of obvious worth, like a pair of shoes that were given as a gift.

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of keeping around “mementos” of an ex. It means that you deliberately plan on thinking fondly on them, on occasion. It’s my opinion that the actual memories should be enough, you don’t need material evidence. The material evidence says that you still hold on to them in some way. Luckily, my boyfriend agrees.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      220 October 6, 2011, 4:14 pm

      What’s wrong with thinking fondly about an x?? I have a few x’s that are really good, nice decent people. We weren’t right for eachother in the long run, but that doesn’t mean I don’t look back fondly on our time together. Luckily, my husband agrees.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    lets_be_honest October 5, 2011, 2:39 pm

    I have every single card I’ve ever received from anyone. Issues? I think so. I even have the deflated balloons from the hospital when I had a baby. I’m very organized though, so I don’t consider it full-on hoarding.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      lets_be_honest October 5, 2011, 2:41 pm

      Recently, my first boyfriend (and lifelong friend to this day) experienced a horrible flood destroying most of his belongings. He called me that day to tell me one of the few things he was able to save was “our box” from way back when we dated. So sweet!

      Reply Link
      • Budj

        Budjer October 5, 2011, 3:53 pm

        He doesn’t live in Binghamton does he?

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest October 5, 2011, 3:58 pm

        I wish it was you Budget. No, but in NY.

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest October 5, 2011, 3:58 pm

        Hah, budJER.

        Link
      • Budj

        Budjer October 5, 2011, 4:04 pm

        haha, just curious. The flooded areas are like an hour away from me down the highway with similar terrain so if things had been slightly different I’d be flooded.

        Link
      • avatar

        SSBoo October 6, 2011, 1:14 pm

        I actually am still really good friends with my first boyfriend/high school sweetheart and this “article” made me ask him if he kept anything of ours. I’m really curious about his answer because I still have lots of things from him.

        Link
    • avatar

      amber October 5, 2011, 2:44 pm

      i’m glad someone else keeps their deflated baloon. i have a nice chest with all the cards, baloons, etc including baloons that my mom gave me that she was given when i was born. maybe that’s a little hoarderish but it all fits in to one trunk! i’ve been trying to figure out a way to make scrap books or something to better hold it all and so i can share it easier. i love being able to look back and read cards from my friends and especially relatives who have passed away. only a few of those things are from my ex-bfs though. i seem to be pretty good at throwing stuff from them away!

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        TheOtherMe October 5, 2011, 2:47 pm

        “hoarderish” lol… Love it !!!

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest October 5, 2011, 2:47 pm

        I saw a neat way to bind the cards recently and have been meaning to do it. Punch holes in the sides and get the wires used to hold together notebooks. Keeps it neater.
        I recently came across notes passed in 4th grade! Reminds me how much my daughter is just like I was back then.

        Link
      • avatar

        amber October 5, 2011, 3:20 pm

        i like that idea, i might have to try it!

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest October 5, 2011, 4:17 pm

        Link
      • avatar

        amber October 5, 2011, 4:20 pm

        awesome! thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

        Link
    • avatar

      cdubs October 5, 2011, 4:43 pm

      I used to keep every single card too! Although one day I decided I had too many and I needed to throw them away. So I read through each one one last time before I threw them away, and I found $20 in a card from several years ago! Score!

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    silver_dragon_girl October 5, 2011, 2:45 pm

    I chose the “angry no” response, although I’m not really that angry. I don’t absolutely hate any of their guts, but several of them did end badly for me, and there was a lot of anger at the time. Moreso than that, I just don’t like to be reminded. Usually after a breakup I immediately go around and gather up stuff that reminds me of them and throw it away. I’ve never had a guy buy me much, or bought things with him, or give me gifts or anything, so it’s never anything valuable…just like random journal entries, maybe a T-shirt he left there, his favorite food in the cupboard, stuff like that. It’s not the kind of stuff that I’ll miss in the long run, but it is really painful to look at before you’re well and over it.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      silver_dragon_girl October 5, 2011, 4:03 pm

      Well, except the iPod. One ex (the worst one) gave me his old iPod, and I did keep that. Because, hey, free iPod.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      cdubs October 5, 2011, 4:41 pm

      Ha I have a free iPod too from an ex. He bought it for me when we got back together to show me how sorry he was. Still works! And it was blue, my favorite color at the time.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    va-in-ny October 5, 2011, 2:46 pm

    The only thing I have ever kept is photos. I’m have a very strong belief that you should never ever destroy photos becasue you can never get them back.

    Everything else? Eh, pretty much gone.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Elle October 5, 2011, 3:02 pm

    Two of my exes were 13-14 years ago. I don’t remember either of them giving me any gifts. I know I had a picture of one of them, taken in undergrad, which is most likely at my mom’s house (I’m glad she’s a rat pack and doesn’t throw away my stuff). From my ex-husband, I still have a few things – a pair of socks (they’re colorful and adorable, I feel like my feet are wrapped in a rainbow every time I wear them. They must be about 9 years old…); a hat – the first gift he ever gave me; and a red box of chocolates shaped as a heart, with a cartoon and the text: “You are always first with me!”. He randomly bought it at the grocery store, reference to the fact that I would always freak out when he was driving and tell him to slow down. And my wedding ring is still in my jewelry box. I gave it back to him several times, but he wouldn’t take it.
    I asked a couple of guys I dated after my divorce to get me a magnet when they went out of town. They both happened to go to MA, but thankfully, got me different magnets. They’re still on my fridge, next to all my other (20 something) magnets. I bought my favorite magnet when I was with my mom, and it says “Young at heart (other parts slightly older)”. But I digress…

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    savannah October 5, 2011, 3:13 pm

    The first boyfriend I ever had was in middle school and then into high school so there were lots and lots of notes, poems, cards, pictures, gifts and the like (heaven forbid we actually talked to each other in middle school!). Because he was my first everything and it took me a long time to get over him I do have a box of not all of the notes, but a lot of them. I’m really glad I have them now ten years later even though I don’t ever really go though them.
    I don’t understand the notion that you are respecting your current SO by throwing away your past. I actually think that, barring any explicit photos or abusive past relationships, it’s pretty disrespectful of your SO to ask you to throw those types of mementos away. Past relationships are part of the long process that made you the person you are today and if they are not secure enough to let you keep those, it really says more about their character than yours.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    GatorGirl October 5, 2011, 3:17 pm

    I recently moved 900 miles…so that weeded out a lot of my ex items. Any remainders of that relationship are packed neatly in a box with all of my high school and middle school mementos in a closet at my parents. My last ex- 99% of his junk is gone. He was a terrible person and honestly there weren’t that many happy times to remember…why was I with him for 3 years? I did keep a pillow his mom gave me, it is huge and covered in black fur and now my cat sleeps on it πŸ™‚

    I did keep a set of pearl jewlery from the terrible ex. It was expensive and I like it.

    Reply Link
  • bagge72

    bagge72 October 5, 2011, 3:26 pm

    It’s funny, because I definitely don’t believe in keeping stuff myself, but I was going through some stuff at my parents house, because they were finally cleaning out my old bedroom, and found a box from about 5 years ago of stuff I kept from my fiance that we did together the first time we went out. No real gifts, but stuff like the key card from the hotel we stayed at for her commencement, birthday cards, and stuff like that. Makes sense that she was the only one I kept stuff from, because I was miserable for the first year and a half of the two years that we were “broken up”. Didn’t even want to be friends with her, because it hurt too much.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    spanishdoll October 5, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I’m keeping a beautiful necklace from my most recent ex. It’s gorgeous, he had it hand-made for me, and I only wore it twice when we were together. Since we are still good friends and I have only fondness for him, it seems a shame to give it away. Of course, I would be very careful about when I choose to wear the necklace, and probably wouldn’t tell any future boyfriends that it was an ex-gift.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    JennyTalia October 5, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I keep practical things, pictures that include other friends, and I have one hand-written card (God knows where) from an ex that said a lot of really nice things so I kept it to remind myself I deserve the best. I used to keep a box of momentos from the past but threw it all away long ago and felt a lot better.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      JennyTalia October 5, 2011, 3:18 pm

      Also would like to add that I sent a lot of things to troops overseas – men’s products, etc, but also toys and gifts that soldiers give to the local children. That’s a great way to rid yourself of unnecessary items and help out around the world!

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    redheadblogger October 5, 2011, 2:56 pm

    Let’s see…when I was in sixth grade the school put up paper hearts on the wall of the gym with each couple’s name on it, so I have the blue paper heart from sixth grade with mine and Mike’s name on it, lol. I just recently went to his wedding to a nice lady! Other than that, the only thing that I’ve ever kept was a tennis ball a guy gave me for my dogs. It would just be mean to take that from them πŸ™‚

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Brenda C. October 5, 2011, 4:00 pm

    My parents made me purge my stuff on a yearly basis so I have like nothing from my childhood and only a few small things left over from high school. I do have a few love letters, some plush toys, books, random gifts from Sanrio, and most recently an iPod touch. I do wonder sometimes if I should return the most recent gifts, some of them were gifted from his personal items but he pulled a fade on me so I’m just keeping them in a box and I’ll give them back if he asks for it. I know it’s vindictive of me but I don’t want to make the effort to return his gifts/things if he couldn’t make the effort to break it off.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      ForeverYoung October 5, 2011, 9:02 pm

      I feel like your parents and I have a lot in common. I don’t necessarily throw ex stuff away out of anger for any personal reasons – I just throw any shit away I don’t use on a yearly basis anyway.

      If there is an opposite to a hoarder – I am it. It drives my husband nuts. If I haven’t worn a shirt in a year I will donate it. He has actually caught me on two different occasions trying to throw out some of his crap. He will come home and be like, “honey, why is my baseball hat on top of the beer boxes out in the garage?”. It is very awkward to say the least. It’s not like I throw out his personal momentos – that’s up to him – but those nasty old jeans of his I hate are fair game. He hasn’t noticed yet so I know he doesn’t miss them πŸ™‚

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Brenda C. October 5, 2011, 11:54 pm

        Usually after a year or two whatever sentimental attachments I have placed on items have disappeared. I don’t mind decluttering and throwing away what I don’t use but sometimes I wish I had something tangible to hold onto from my childhood. It would have been nice to be able to pass on a cherished toy or a special dress.

        That’s why I keep a few things around from past relationships. It’s not that I look at them every day but once in awhile while I’m cleaning or just doing whatever around the house, I’ll notice something out of the corner of the eye and I smile at the memories it rekindles in me. I threw out most of my old love letters but I kept a few that still make my heart flutter. It reminds me that I was loved with such an intensity before and that I can be loved that way again hopefully in the future.

        And I’ll admit I’m as bad as your husband! I still have run down, starting to fall apart sneakers that are over 10 years old. And an old Hard Rock Cafe sweatshirt I bought on Spring Break that’s over 11 years old as well. And a closet full of clothes that are a size too big or too small (mostly too small!) but I can’t bare to part with them. Until they are just threads or full of moth holes, they still have some use haha.

        Link
  • avatar

    Turtledove October 5, 2011, 4:01 pm

    I’ve kept a few things. In the past, when I’ve broken up with someone, I tossed everything in a box in the darkest recess of the most inaccessible place in my apartment. Then later, when I’ve moved on, I look through it and decide what’s worth keeping. Sometimes that’s nothing, sometimes one or two pieces.

    So, I have a few pieces of jewelry from various exes but for the most part, I’ve kept them because I like them and I don’t even remember which ex gave me which piece for most of them. It doesn’t make sense to toss it if I like it and it hasn’t got any feelings attached to it. I have a few things that give me a warm fuzzy, but those are largely from breakups that didn’t have a lot of vitriol attached to them.

    I have a few photos, but I’m not much of a picture taker. Most of the photos I have are actually reference shots for work (I’m an illustrator). I do have some nudes in there, but that’s business. If I have a model release form for it, I don’t trash it since I don’t have a lot of extra money to hire models. Fortunately my husband is not a jealous man and doesn’t pry into my work.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    cdubs October 5, 2011, 4:36 pm

    I’ve kept a few things from my exes. Once was from high school, and still have some jewelry he gave me. Although I’m going to sell it soon because it really isn’t my taste, so why not make a little money off of it right? My next serious ex, I used to keep everything in a box (I called it my x-box hehe). Love letters, lists he made why he loved me, gifts, pictures, etc. I kept it because I couldn’t bear to get rid of it, and every once in awhile I would look through it and get sad. But eventually I was totally over it (being in another serious relationship helped…a lot), and I threw it all out. Now I’m a little sad I decided to throw out everything. I think I would have liked to have a few things, only because it’s fun to look back on things from the past. I just find it interesting, it’s in no way me pining for him. I do have pictures though.

    I don’t really think keeping stuff from a prior relationship is disrespectful to your current relationship, as long as you’re truly over your ex, and you’re not keeping because you can’t bear to get rid of something connected to him/her. And as long as the ex wasn’t a complete asshole (abusive, stalker, etc). Although obviously case by case and all that…

    My fiance and I were downsizing recently, and he started to throw away stuff from his exes, and I told him he should keep it, because he might enjoy looking back on it later. He looked at me like I was nuts, but he tossed it in the keepsake box anyway πŸ™‚

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      cdubs October 5, 2011, 4:38 pm

      Although I did keep gifts from my college ex. iPod, earrings, and a claddaugh ring. Only because I agree with Wendy, who would get rid of an iPod/iPhone?? And I actually really like the jewelry. Esp the ring. It’s not sentimental to me anymore, so why not!

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    rangerchic October 5, 2011, 5:25 pm

    I don’t keep anything though my MIL kept a picture of my husband with his HS prom date up (in the LR) even after we were married. I finally asked my husband to ask her to take it down which she did. She keeps everything hence my husband tries to be a pack rat as well but he doesn’t keep pictures of exes either but does have one keepsake from one of his exes…a christmas ornament. I wanted to toss it but he really liked it so it still goes on the tree every year!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      cdubs October 5, 2011, 9:37 pm

      You wanted his prom picture taken down because it has his date in it? It was in high school. Why would you care now? I’m sure your MIL didn’t keep it up because of the girl. I’m sure it was because it was a nice picture of her son at his senior prom.

      Reply Link
  • theattack

    theattack October 5, 2011, 5:29 pm

    It depends on what it is. If it’s something really nice or that I can use, like clothes, shoes, or jewelry, I keep it as long as I like it. Stuff that has no value like stuffed animals I generally get rid of, except for the stuffed raccoon my first boyfriend gave me because it was so unique and awesome. When it comes to jewelry, it depends on what it is. A nice necklace I like? Yeah, I’m keeping it. A ring? No, that’s probably inappropriate unless it was from a very long marriage.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Christy October 5, 2011, 8:37 pm

    I voted everything because I totally still have some nude photos! (I haven’t looked at them in a while) I’m much more hoarderish, I have a box full of cards, ticket stubs, etc from the past and stuff from my exes gets thrown in there too. I couldn’t possibly throw every reminder of a past relationship out. Even if it ended badly, there were some good times.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    zombeyonce October 6, 2011, 11:28 am

    I still have the juvenile detention center intake bracelet my junior high boyfriend mailed to me when I was about 12. Romantic, right?

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    SSBoo October 6, 2011, 1:36 pm

    I’m a sentinmental person so I tend to hold on to a lot; cards (from family, friends, exs), pictures, poems, notes, etc. When things ended with my now ex-fiance I did give back the engagement ring (which I miss terribly!!!!) but kept the other jewelery he gave me which I eventually ended up selling years later after I was unable to convince myself to wear them again. I also kept our dogs (those are my babies! No way I’d walk away from them just because I was walking away from him!). Finally I kept a pair of his sweatpants that we actually “jokingly” argued over who would get them if we broke up (foreshadow much!?). So, when we did break up I took them and still wear them years later. Yes, every once in awhile I remember they were his then I laugh and think about how I got them in the end. They are just the most comofortable pants ever. I even joke I’m going to wear them under my wedding dress whenever I get married.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment