Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Do You Have An Ex You Are Not Over?

We've all got a past. Past relationships. I always say that past relationships were just preparing you for when the right one comes along.

When we are in those relationships we are happy and everything is right with the world. We take vacations together, take pictures together and buy each other other gifts from time to time. Most of these things we hold on to and cherish because of the memory and sentiment attached.

The problem is when you leave that relationship and ultimately find yourself in a new one. What do you do with those mementos from relationships past?

Some people keep these items tucked away in a box hidden away from the prying eyes of a lover. Some are like me and discard all of those old items (with the exception of a picture here or there proudly displayed in a photo album under an end table).

What happens when the new lover discovers those cherished mementos? If the new love of your life takes issue with finding these things and insists you get rid of them what do you do? Do you cave and throw all of those memories away? Do you dig in your heels and absolutely refuse to comply?

With me, it depends on a lot of factors. If the guy has a picture of his last girl as a wallpaper on his cell phone or computer or displayed on his fridge or night stand then I might take exception with that.

If the items are tucked away somewhere then I might not bust a gasket. Unless the guy talks continuously about his ex, I would not care if he hid those items away somewhere.

If my new man came to my home and insisted I discard pictures in my photo album or throw away a card that might happen to be in my night stand then I might have to kick him to the curb, swiftly. To me that proves that he is a little insecure and I don't do insecure. Well, not anymore.

What do you guys think?

23 People saying stuff:

JStar said...

I TOTALLY agree with you on this! I have pics of all my ex's that meant something to me...My exhusband had a problem but he was insecure...One of the reasons that he is an ex :)

Sharon said...

I have thrown all my pictures away of old relationships. The only pictures I own of an ex are those of my ex husband and that is for the sake of the children.

I once had a guy who I was seeing ask me to throw away his photos (which I keep in albums that I rarely look at in a box for the children) I was like you are not throwing away my children's pictures. And he didn't last much longer . . the jealousy was just one issue :)

Karen said...

I wouldn't dispose of memories with an ex if it wasn't my choice. That is part of my life and I am not giving it up for anyone. I am hopeful that the new guy wouldn't ask me to. I have pictures of exes here and there in my house - in collage frame or in group shots with other friends. I don't stare at them longingly or lustfully, but they bring back good memories.

As for stuff - I get rid of it when I feel comfortable. I recently threw out love letters and cards from an ex. I found them and had no desire to read them so I chucked them. I gave my sister in law a diamond solitaire that another ex gave me because it matched a dress she was wearing and I wasn't going to wear it anymore.

But someone pushing me to do it would just make me resist.

Jeni said...

Someone insisting that things from your past be tossed out, it not just insecure but also very controlling. And those two commodities do not bode well in a relationship!
I never toss out photos -unless they are poor quality and blurry, etc. And cards/letters -keep 'em all!

The Dish said...

I do not have any sentimental items left from exes. I did for awhile, but after The Husband and I moved in together a 100 million years ago I slowly threw them all away. I find it useless to think of the past and the what ifs. I am here, and I am pretty happy with that!

Senorita said...

I don't have anything left from my ex except pictures filed somewhere on my computer.

I don't think about past men anymore.

laughingattheslut said...

I think that sometimes there are guys that you break up with, not because they are bad guys, but just because the timing is bad and your plans just don't match up. Maybe you should keep stuff from those guys, just in case you get back together.

And then there is the stuff that is just nice, like if you got a gold necklace for your birthday. You still like the necklace even after the guy is gone. Are you supposed to get rid of it? It was a birthday present.

And then there are pictures that have the ex in them, but also other friends. You want to keep the pictures because of the other friends. Are you supposed to act like an eighth grader and cut out the ex?

I think that even after we are long married to someone else, a lot of women still have these little boxes of things that remind them of other guys. Only after you're married you don't look at the box much anymore. It is burried away somewhere, and you never look at again until your daughter or niece is crying that the only boy she'll ever love has dumped her. And then you get the box out and tell her that it probably isn't true.

1/3 said...

I keep my pictures...im sorry u dont throw those away. And momentos i keep hidden but if my new love is insecure...oh well must not be the man for me.

Noelle said...

Agreed. People don't come out of a vacuum. We want to keep small remembrances that tie us to past good times. But within reason ... 1 or 2 things.

Freckle Face Girl said...

I guess it is a little different when thinking about the father of my kids. Clearly, I can't trash all of the photos and items that he gave me. It just wouldn't be fair to the kids. Now, I kind of prefer to date dads so I would expect them to keep things from their kids' moms too.

In general, I tend to keep those kinds of things tucked away. I am not a jealous person, so as long as their wasn't something weird going on, I'd be fine with it.

Moooooog35 said...

See? That's why I don't give girls anything. Less pressure for the next relationship.

I'm thoughtful like that.

LionsVictory said...

For some reason I've kept all my old cards from ex's. I haven't kept pictures but cards are so meaningful to me. My current boyfriends would get mad but I'd explain it's not that I want my ex back but the cards have so much meaning. IDK how to explain it. I've said when I get married I'll throw away all the old mementos.

Stesha said...

I have no pictures of my ex...but my mom does. It use to bother me, but now I realize he was part of the family.

Hugs and Mocha,
Stesha

Menopausal New Mom said...

I hadn't really thought of it until I read your post. I don't have anything from past relationships around, no photos no nothing. I guess I'm the type who makes a clean break, no memories kicking around, all mementos kicked to the curb along with the failed relationship.

My husband was married before and has 4 children from that relationship. They were together for 23 years and there are tons of photo albums around with the old family. I don't care, don't even give it any thought. I love his kids (who are all grown up now) and I fully expect their mom to be in the photos while they were growing up. It helps that she is remarried as well and has no communication with my hubby :)

Confessions of a Single Black Woman said...

If the new guy would like for me to get rid of my diamond studs I got from an ex, he needs to replace them with a bigger carat. Only then will I donate the current pair.

For pictures, they can keep them as long as they are not like you said, their wallpaper on their phone or anywhere openly out in their home.

Renaissance Woman said...

Oh so complicated! I started to respond and it was taking so long to say it all. But nobody should do anything that they don't want to do.

Red Shoes said...

I have a couple of ex relationships I've been trying to process out... 'Jan'... I doubt I loved my then wife more than I loved Jan... I loved her.. I adored her... I hate to say that I worshipped her... and when it fell apart, I was so lost... it took me years to get over Jan... and Laura was beneficial in that regard, and then Laura and I fell apart... and now I'm dealing with having lost her...

And now an old gf from high school has resurfaced... what a timely post and a group of timely questions... I can't wait to read the rest of the replies here...

~shoes~

The Dish said...

BTW- you have a present at my page! Smooches!

Anna said...

I am glad I don't.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Anna :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

oooh, yeah, good topic. I didn't hang onto the ex stuff, but wouldn't really mind if the hubby had (he trashed all of his things even though I told him he might want to look at it all again someday). I figure ex'es are that for a reason, no looking back. What I hold onto is the "what if's". You know, the relationship I didn't give a chance. Not that I have any memorabilia from a relationship that never was ;-)

Suze said...

It's funny you said this as one of my friends on FB sent me a friend request for an old boyfriend of almost 30 years ago. YIKES!!

Tonya said...

hey I have given you a blog award!

Just telling it like it is said...

That is a hard one.. My boyfriend has mention his past girlfriends and I am not bothered by it...I have no reason too...I have a key to his house and I don't go through his things because I allow him his privacy...He seems to be true to his word and never tries and give me excuses for things...So, if he has mementos of past relationships, pictures...I don't see any problem with him keeping them. I like him for who he is and excepting him means excepting that he has a past...as long as he makes me feel special I don't mind...