After a break-up, there are a lot of things to consider, one of them being, what do you do with the stuff your ex got you while you were in a relationship? What should you keep from your ex?
First, I firmly believe that there are no “shoulds” in relationships, and thus, no “shoulds” in break-ups. If you want to keep something, keep it. Don’t feel you have to give it away. Don’t let anyone dictate how you should feel, because there are no shoulds; every relationship has its own story, and there are no set rules.
I’ve had exes that gave me gifts, and I’ve had exes that didn’t. One ex gave me a giant framed posted of David Bowie, and while I appreciated the thought (I love Bowie), the photo was so scary and intense that I gave it away when I moved. I couldn’t handle a giant Bowie staring down at me, taunting me, “Ground control to Major Tom…your relationship’s over you must move on.” But other things I’ve kept; a necklace or two, a (David Bowie) iPhone case, a set of Beatles glasses. I like these things.
And I guess it all depends upon how you ended the relationship. If it was a good breakup, and you’re still friends, it’s easier to hold onto things, because when you see them, you feel good feelings, or maybe even no feelings at all. And again, it depends on the keepsake. Like if an ex gave me something functional like a toaster, I’d probably keep it, because how much emotion could I draw from something as handy as a toaster?
Then there are the digital reminders. In a post-camera-film era, there aren’t so many photos to keep, as they’re all online. I had a framed photo and some photobooth strips that I put away for safe keeping, but the majority of my relationship with my ex unfolded in a digital way — on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’m not going to go back and untag myself or delete the photos, because it seems like I would be deleting important parts of my life. But I can understand why some people choose to, especially in a divorce. (What’s really annoying is when one of the divorced parties comes to you and asks you to remove all photos of them together, even photos where there’s like 20 people in the shot. That, I don’t get.)
And what if the keepsake is a tattoo? What if you and your ex got matching tattoos, what then? Do you immediately get it lasered off, or do you just keep it as part of your personal history?
It’s all up to the person; there are definitely no “right or wrong” answers here. So readers, I’m curious: do you keep mementos from your ex? What are they and why?
Photo by julian wylegly via Flickr.
Almie Rose is a writer from Los Angeles. She has a blog, Apocalypstick. In addition to Dating & Hookup she also writes for Hello Giggles, The Frisky, Thought Catalog, and Genlux Magazine. Her book, I Forgot To Be Famous, is out now. You can follow her on twitter @apocalypstick. Her favorite pastime is eating and drinking and sleeping and then eating again.
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