I’ve been packing for the past week since I will move in the next few days and while cleaning out my closet, I found some letters and cards from two guys I dated in the past. I didn’t remember keeping them. I thought, I trashed them. Why keep them? It’s not as if I was still “in like” with them. I don’t like to have “ghosts of exes past” haunting any current relationships. I think you need time to grief and let go of the ex before moving on to the next person. It’s not easy but it’s not fair to the people that you decide to date.
What would you do if you found a box of things like pictures and other things of your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse’s ex in a box that he/she kept? Would you consider that part of emotional baggage that could hinder your new relationship? Would you think to yourself, “are they over me?” Maybe you would drive yourself crazy trying to over analyze and then maybe get angry with your new SO for keeping those things, if the situation was reversed and you found them.
There are probably hundreds of reasons as to why they would keep those mementos. What if their ex died? Maybe it serves as a reminder of the memories they don’t want to lose. It doesn’t always mean they aren’t over them, maybe they forgot they had it like in my situation. Personally, once you are an ex, I would get rid of anything that reminds me of them. I would donate things and throw away others. But if it were someone that had died and we had been for the longest I would probably keep some things in remembrance but after grieving and letting them go then it wouldn’t hinder any new relationships.
Everyone’s situation is different. I think keeping a memory of a happy time that you had with that person is ok. But if they have a shrine or boxes of stuff, then I think that’s a major red flag that they have not moved on and for whatever reason they are leading you on and to get to the bottom of it. People should be honest. Nevertheless, sometimes that seems that it’s only in an ideal world. But again personally, I think if you both respect each other and are able to be civil about things without going all “psycho” then you should be able to discuss the reason why they are holding on to every letter, every photo, every movie ticket, etc. What do you think?
Maybe he bought me a t-shirt from a place I wanted to visit but I wasn’t able to go or haven’t gone to. Does that mean that after I move on that I will get rid of the t-shirt? NO! It may remind me of the thoughtfulness but I doubt I would always sit and say to myself,”aww…he was so sweet…I miss him so much…blah…blah.” It would just be a shirt someone gave me. But I choose to donate it to Goodwill. I have a few movies and some books that ex-boyfriends have given me in the past, I honestly don’t remember who bought them for me. Really, I don’t. They are out of my mind. Because I’ve moved on. Moreover, I’m not going to throw away movies or books that I like just because someone I dated gave them to me. It’s not like someone is going to ask, who gave this to you.
I do have to admit. I have given a few books to Mr. Commitmentphobe. In each book, I had written personal notes. Therefore, I guess if we are done in the end, then he will probably have to tear the page out. Because it would be very obvious that there was something more than friendship going on! However, that’s my personal quirk. I like to write little dedications to people I love and care about. So do you have an ex-lover’s box, where you keep all the things that remind you of them? Is it bad if you keep a thing or two?