Exes Presents – To Keep Or Not To Keep?


When it comes to relationships, there are certain lines and barriers one should be clear about from the very beginning. This is true both for present and past liaisons. Obviously, these kind of decisions are different for every individual and for every situation, however there comes a certain point in the dating-game (usually with either the end of a relationship or the start of a new one), when one has to face the facts, roll up one’s sleeves, and decide what to do with the accumulation of cards, love notes, gifts, pictures, and paraphernalia left over by one’s previous partner.

Of course, one can be quite clear cut and decide to throw everything out. How many movies have you watched where the tear-eyed girl acts out some post-dumping ritual wherein she puts all her ex’s possessions and presents in a pile, douses them with oil, and sets fire to the lot?

Getting literally rid of the ‘extra baggage’ of a past relationship, can be a psychological release – a symbol of letting go, not just of the material possessions which remind you of a person, but all the anxiety, pain and regret, associated with them.

On the other hand, what if it’s a sterling silver jewellery set complete with display box? Would you have the heart to throw it in the bin? What if it’s an expensive leather jacket his mother bought you? Or an Armani wallet his sister gave you for your birthday? What about a cute thermal cow soft-toy or your favourite hard-backed horror novel? Would you really throw those out too?

When should we stop being melodramatic and simply start being practical?

I guess the point of the argument really is this. Do you still feel that the person has a hold on you, or not? If one has simply lost all emotion concerning a past ex, then retaining something he or she gave you, would have no special significance whatsoever, apart from the fact that you like the object in question itself.

If, on the other hand, you still feel like letting him / her go was a mistake, and you attach particular meanings to those Valentine cards full of nice words and promises … well then you are not ready to put that relationship behind you, and should try and come to terms with it first and foremost, before moving on to another one.

Certain individuals might feel that keeping certain past photos or explicit gifts will hold them back from enjoying an ex-free life (so to speak), not to mention scare off prospective new partners. Others, could tell you that re-living the moments of hypocrisy, pain and betrayal evoked by those self-same love-notes or gifts, would motivate them more into being a wiser person and searching for someone different than their ex.

There are, however, I think, certain items which are just too much. Keeping framed photos of you and your ex hugging happily on your bedside table is a no-no. Decorating your place with soft toys and items sporting big red ‘I Love You’s from partners which are not your current one is awful and using underwear bought by your ex while spending the night with your new partner is just plain yucky. The deal-breaker, obviously, is when, in the throes of passion, your better half moans another person’s name.

Those are my feelings on the matter, however as I wrote earlier, everyone is different.

What would definitely put you off someone, when it comes to exes-related stuff? Do you chuck out any gifts or items related to your ex or not?