Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

If your relationship ended, would you destroy all the intimate stuff your former lover had given you?

Asked by wundayatta (58596points) April 30th, 2010

Lovers write letters or give lingerie or make valentines or send intimate pictures or videos. Lovers give each other gifts—some of which may be quite valuable.

These things may contain painful memories of the relationship. Or they may contain memories you want to retain. Or, you may have exchanged some pictures you wouldn’t want to see on one of those jilted lover sites. So you might want to hold onto some things as leverage against such an injudicious use of such materials. Or you may regret giving an extravagant gift—like a jilted fiance who asks for the diamond back.

Which wins out? Getting rid of the painful memories or protecting against blackmail? Or do you want to keep it anyway, just because? Would you ask your former lover to destroy the material you had given them? Do you now regret spending so much on the diamond? Enough to ask for it to be given back?

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35 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

Burn it.

Glow's avatar

I might in a furious rage…. and then regret it later ):

I actually might return it, or put it in a box, away from my sight until I feel better… which will probably be never.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Nah, I’ve never done that and have no problem looking over it sometimes.

DominicX's avatar

I really think it depends on how the relationship ends.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar


Bluefreedom's avatar

After my first marriage ended, I threw away our wedding album and the video we had made of our wedding ceremony and the reception. I don’t regret it in the least because those are memories I don’t want to reflect on ever again.

slick44's avatar

I keep stuff so i can be more depressed.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

I’d say return all of it & ask for all your things back. Keeping it only makes things worse later on. If you are sure you want to end this relationship, then end it all, right now. My brother had a girlfriend for many years. He accumulated tons of stuff from her. When they broke up, he kept everything. Things she gave him, things he got when they were together. He kept it all in two boxes in the closet. A couple years later, my brother now has a new girlfriend & they were going through his closet for spring cleaning & stumbled upon said box. Not only was it a very awkward moment, but it made his current girlfriend suspicious of why he kept it. She understood when he explained, but it made my brother more pissed than anything that he kept it. Every item he looked at, he would mutter under his breath, ‘that stupid bitch.’ And he actually had ended that relationship on pretty good terms. I guess after some time passes, your feelings will change as well. You may like the cute little things that have come to represent the relationship, but your memories of the time spent together are much less demanding & physical. Always having that little something to look at, it will just eat at you & make you think you made the wrong decision. End it all, keep the good memories, forget some of the bad (we need bad memories, how else will we learn?) & if you bump into them in the future, you just smile, say hi & continue on your way.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I keep photos.
I had a short lived scenario with a nice woman 2 years ago that didn’t work out in the end but I have some photos which are nice. I didnt share them with people after, they’re just there to remember.

Draconess25's avatar

I did that once, & regretted it.

talljasperman's avatar

I still have the beanie babies… and stuff from valentines…I kept trying to throw them away and she kept going through the trash and giving them it back to me…then she ended up putting one of them with everyone’s university pictures… I mean she asked the photographer for the year book to have everyone pose with them until I took it back…I should have shredded the stuffed animals but now they are hiding in my closet and will stay there forever until… I don’t know…and she broke up with me…very confusing…

gemiwing's avatar

Depends on the person, the breakup and the relationship. I usually keep one thing and get rid of the rest.

Jeruba's avatar

No. I would put them well away, but I’d always keep some souvenirs and mementoes (and jewelry). Once you’re past all the head crap, it can be really lovely to remember the good stuff. For me, at least, there was plenty of good stuff, quite delicious to recall from this vantage point.

My past romances occurred before people could post on the Internet, snap pictures with their phones, and send compromising e-mails. Letters were written on paper, pictures were taken with a camera that used film, and there was no way to show anything to the whole world.

I did give back the ring.

mollypop51797's avatar

Some I would throw away, some I would keep. There comes a time after the anger and depression has past where I get over it. Maybe I’ll someday want to look back on that letter in my old age and recollect the good things that happened in that relationship, which leads me to another point. If it were a good relationship and things ended sadly, then maybe I would maybe I wouldn’t save some keepsakes. But if it were a horrible relationship then…. I would throw it away. But, I hope I’ll never have to face this decision in reality.

Rangie's avatar

I think it depends on the your choices you have made in your life, and how you dealt with the end of those relationships. The worst thing I can think of is regrets that some people hang on to. I have absolutely no regrets about relationships in my life. I have grown and learned something from everyone I have given a little heart to. I am, who I am today, because of my contacts in my past, right up to today. Sure there are some rough times, but time has a way of only letting us remember the good things. At least my brain works that way. I smile when I recall past relationships. If I had something that they wanted, I would give it to them, other wise I would keep it. Memories are so special to me, but sometimes need a little help in the recall department.

Kismet's avatar

I honestly don’t know because it hasn’t happened nor do I plan on it ending anytime soon.
I suppose I’ll figure that out when the time comes, but I think I’ll enjoy what I have while I have it.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I think it depends on the break-up. I have notebooks of love letters from two boyfriends (from ages ago) because they were so beautiful, I could not bear to burn them. They chronicled my life as a young girl.

I keep things that former lovers give me——if they are useful/beautiful/special. I just put them away for a year until all the old charge is gone. Then, I can look at them with nostalgia and not pain.

Bad relationships? I give the stuff away, destroy it, or just bin it. But I don’t put too much energy into that….because it really is probably not worth it.

casheroo's avatar

I can’t destroy things like that. I even have things from high school boyfriends. I’m crazy sentimental.

wilma's avatar

I have kept some things.
@Jeruba said it best for the way I feel.

jazmina88's avatar

Be happy it happened. and that you enjoyed the time together.

The ugly stuff will fade in time.

SeventhSense's avatar

leather jacket: yes
watch: ebay
picture of her in a compromising position: PRICELESS

Pandora's avatar

Nope. I might sell my wedding ring. The rest I’ll try to keep. Even the stuff he didn’t want to give me. LOL

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’d keep some items and offer to return some. That shows that you are taking the high road and can be trusted. It is history no matter how it turned out. You never know the rest of the story or what will happen in the future, so never burn a bridge.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I would hopefully find a few items that remind me of a good time in that relationship. If we were with someone for a decade or more, it would be a great loss to discard all of our memories of such a large chunk of our own lifetime.

Of course too many memorabilia would hold us back from moving on and would needlessly clutter our future relationships.

ucme's avatar

Another thought provoker, pleased to see you’re learning how to craft a good question.I know I taught you all you know, you can thank me in PM’s otherwise i’ll feel all bashful & humbled.Back to the question, I reckon if that dark day ever dawned instinct would tell me to destroy all intimate stuff but I have a feeling I would hold back for fear of regret.I mean you can’t just extinguish feelings & emotions in one foul swoop.They mean something no matter what happens.

Narl's avatar

I burn and trash everything!

ucme's avatar

@Jeruba Well in England we say foul, so there.Sticks out tongue in mock gesture but is actually secretly harbouring thoughts of begrudged respect….I think.

shelly45's avatar

I was in a relationship many years ago and I found out later that he was married. I destroyed everything that he had bought for me or that reminded me of him. To this day (15YRS LATER) because I would have went back to it-re-examined it and posibly went back to it. I know I made the right decision.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If my current relationship ended then there wouldn’t be much to contemplate, my partner gives more by his time in taking me places rather than buying me goodies. In the past I have kept jewelry, art, clothes and non risque pictures but from one very disappointing relationship then I did throw away a gift after smashing it to bits. If I give a gift then that’s it, it’s theirs and I don’t want it back. The exception was a recent Valentine’s Day gift to my partner they didn’t seem to appreciate or take very good care of. They hadn’t gotten me anything at all for V-day, not even a card so the item reminds me of a lot of disappointment and feeling foolish- I took the item back.

SeventhSense's avatar

Probably just your accent. :)

ucme's avatar

@SeventhSense Aye ya not wrang there like bonnie lass, or lad whichever the case may be ;¬}

SeventhSense's avatar

Aye I’m a lad and more than a bit Scottish meself from my dear old mum. I’ve been there on ‘oliday.

IsseyBaby's avatar

Personally i feel that even though the relationship’s over, the memories are still there and even if you destroy all the materialistic stuffs, the memories would still be etched in your heart and your mind, so why get rid of them? I would just keep them in a small corner for the sentimental value :)

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