Monday, March 8, 2010

to trash or not to trash

A friend and I were chatting last week and she was telling me she was preparing for her long time boyfriend to move in. She had one question: to get rid of everything having to do with her ex or not. We're talking old letters, photos, trinkets & gifts, etc. They're all stored away, as they should be, but now she's questioning whether she should have them at all.
{always remember the happy times right?}
So what say you dear readers? Should she get rid of it all? Is there a need to keep items from a past relationship? (one that ended amicably by the way)
Personally, I told her to keep the photos. They're documentation of her past and shouldn't be erased & thrown away because she's moved on. The gifts & trinkets - let go of. No need to keep that old puppy he gave you five years ago. As for the letters - that's a tough call. I actually have many of the letters from my past relationship still. I never look at them so not sure why I keep them?
Can't wait to hear your input - comment away!
xoxo
photo via le love


17 comments:

Marjorie said...

Personally, I say let it go. I have a few pics of exes...mostly because if i got rid of all of them, I wouldn't have any pictures of myself from that stage in my life, but also because I'm still good friends with some of them. Letters - gone. Trinkets - gone. Nice gifts like jewelry or stuff like that I would keep, because why waste it. But the truth is, everyone has to deal with their past in their own way. She should do whatever she is comfortable with but also take the boyfriend's feelings into consideration. Put herself in his shoes.

Becky said...

I would tell her keep some, get rid of the rest. But do this because SHE wants to - don't let any pressure from the new boyfriend help in her decision-making.

bananas. said...

i just read a similar post about this very same subject. i was quick to say toss it but even i didn't do that.

when dave and i first moved in together, i packed up all of my ex's stuff and brought it with me. it took me another year to finally toss the letters, rip apart an old scrapbook and keep only some of the pictures because as marjorie said it's important to have pictures of that time in your life.

so my advice is to toss when ready. she may not be ready right now. when she is, she'll know.

eightieschick said...

Just me but I always keep everything. I do a "pack up the ex" house run-through and put it all in a box for safe keeping. I have notes and pics from high school still and they are such a hoot to read now. My thinking is anyone who loves me shouldn't care that I have loved or been loved by someone else in my past. Of course, this may explain why I am single...

Kimbirdy said...

I agree with your advice. The photos are fine. They show experiences that she had which made her who she is. And I kind of think the same thing about the gifts, they're fine if they are serving a purpose or are valuable as objects, not as reminders of the ex. The letters are tougher. Sometimes I think it's nice to just be reminded of young love, of all the growing you've done as a woman or in relationships. And sometimes it's nice to have evidence of how people felt about you. I have a poem that an ex wrote me which I'll probably keep forever. Not because I want to remain connected to him (we dated SO long ago), but because it was funny and clever and reminds me that my current boyfriend isn't crazy for loving me, because others have thought I'm pretty great too. So I guess my basic answer is, it depends on the underlying reason for keeping things - is it for her, or for the ex?

katie + bret said...

I think keeping one or two things might be ok (and understandable) ONLY if they don't bring back feelings of any kind. Sadly enough though, it is really going to depend on the boyfriends opinions on the whole thing. My hubs threw away the pictures I had saved of my ex when we moved in together without telling me! He finally admitted to it over a year later, lol

~KS said...

I would toss... I don't even have anyone else in my life, but I finally got rid of some the last stuff I had from Jason. The hardest thing was my birthstone ring he gave me. I love that ring. LOVE IT. The nicest piece of jewelry I own... but as much as I love it, I couldn't help but think of him everytime I looked at it on my finger. Remembered the day we bought it, remembered so much... so I stopped wearing it. It's in the back of my jewelry box and I suppose someday I will sell it. Pictures... I see what you're saying. They are your past... but the rest, I just feel like holding on to it keeps a special place for it. I just always wonder how I would feel if my boyfriend had a box full of stuff from an ex. Why does he need to keep it?? I would just wonder...

Kaz and Amy said...

I got rid of everything except my journals...They talk about things that happened in the relationships but also talk about other personal experiences....Tough call...I would probably say get rid of them if the relationship is really over....

amy[www.theprikazskys.com]

Kristin said...

I didn't trash. I don't have a special memory box holding the ex's treasures. But, I didn't go through my albums and throw away pics either.

Sarah Mina said...

I have old boxes of photos and such of my ex boyfriend and I just threw everything away a couple years after we broke up. Part of it was because I didn't like the way I looked in the old photos but also because it was weird to me to see us together like that after I started dating my current bf and he started dating his current gf. The only thing left that I have is a necklace that he gave me, but I only wear it because I like the necklace, and I never really think of him when I do.

Jen said...

I threw away most of the trinkets and such, but photos, letters, journals and such, I keep. In a box in the basement, in the bottom shelf of my bookcase, in a shoebox on the closet shelf. Someday I might have a daughter I want to share these pieces of myself with, or I may decide to throw them out. But, just because you are living with your SO doesn't mean you have to throw pieces of your past out.

Summer {Bisfor...} said...

i say don't toss immediately. i waited a year or so. you will know when you don't need it anymore.

OceanDreams said...

I would say toss but I agree with the other gals, only when her heart says it is time!

Allyson and Dave said...

I have never thrown out a photo...ever. I don't keep them on display or anything but I do have tons of photo albums in boxes in the attic. This is easier to do with the invention of digital cameras and all but my dating days were long ago. Everything else I threw out. Sometimes I look at the old photos and it makes me soo thankful I did not marry those guys.

I'm Lindsay! said...

I keep pictures, but trash everything else. That chapter of your life is (or should be) over so it's not fair to your current boyfriend. Plus, I wouldn't want my guy stashing old notes from an ex!

Jennifer said...

This is a tough one for sure... I still have stuff from my ex and photos that I have yet to get rid of...I'm kind of in the same predicament.

LJ Livin, Lovin said...

All I have are photos. I haven't thrown them out but the albums are in a box and not on display. I did throw out any photos of kissing or "gazing" at each other, as I don't think I would want to see any of my husband with past girlfriends, nor is that the reason I am keeping the pics. Pics of a trip you took with the person, etc, is a memory of the trip and experience to me, not a memory of the person himself. But, everyone has different emotions tied to things so it's hard to say. I try to look at it like my husband would, and put myself in his shoes. If I found this and it was him and an ex, how would I feel about it?