Is it ok to keep gifts your ex bought you when you’re seeing someone new? Q

gifts from exWowzer, there are so many variations of this question, and it is such a common source of relationship strife.

Talking from experience, if I kept a gift from an ex it was because the item in question was one I liked. I didn't keep it because it held sentimental value. One such item is a ring which is of course particularly controversial.

The ring was not given as an engagement ring or a wedding ring it was bought for me as a birthday gift. I wear it randomly. I have to confess that when I was asked by other boyfriends where I got the ring, who from etc. I told a white lie.  I didn't do this because I harboured sentimentality about the ring's origin, I did it because I didn't want them getting their knickers in a twist about nothing and objecting to me having it.

Experience in this regard had taught me that this was one occasion a ‘lie' was harmless. And to be fair to me, it has been. I don't make a habit of this behavior I assure you. I am sharing this ‘truth' so you know I am human and flawed and I share in these dilemmas.

Moving forward however without telling ‘white lies' you should (in my opinion) be able to keep gifts or even momentos if that is something you feel for whatever reason you want to do. The items do symbolize your life story and you may want to keep things as a record of that. Trophy's to show the grandkids 😉

If you enter a new relationship you are wise to show the new bf/gf due consideration and keep your ‘momentos' in a box in the attic. You need to be clear to yourself and the new person you have moved on. If you're not ready to ‘store' the items, you perhaps have not moved on.

Gifts you use like a nice coat, jewelry, shoes etc. you (in my opinion) should continue to wear or use as you wish as an item you have that you like. The new gf/bf may object and if they do reassure them you merely like the item, nothing more. If you're lucky you'll get a new coat and a new piece of jewelry from the new bf/gf to replace the old ones from the ex ;).

When the boot is on the other foot

I have also been on the other side of the fence in this regard. Many of my exes have kept items from previous exes. Some of them maintained close friendships and one of them bought a house a few doors away from his ex! I must be the most open minded person in the world right? Well yes and no. I knew about these ‘close connections' before things got too serious with those boyfriends and so I had a choice to accept the situation or to move on.

What I didn't do and wouldn't do is to try to change how they choose to live their life, who to be friends with and so on. I did though try to educate them about being sensitive to my feelings in this regard. I did indeed have ‘feelings' in that I didn't like any of it. But I figured that was my issue not theirs.

No one should be forced to let go of people they consider to be close friends especially when they have just entered a new relationship which may not last. Same applies re getting rid things of you ‘like' or wish to keep as memories of your life as a ‘whole person' and not just the person you were when you met your lifetime partner.

That's my take on the topic, what do you think and what is your experience in this regard? Have you kept gifts from an ex? Did it cause a problem with your new partner? What did you do?

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11 thoughts on “Is it ok to keep gifts your ex bought you when you’re seeing someone new? Q

  1. I guess it depends on the gift, also the relationship, and past relationship. Something’s don’t bother me and something’s do. If ita got the other persons name inscribed I’m not keen on those staying. Or the photo momentos that don’t include my spouse and frankly are more about the other past person. Cheap trinkets or teddys I don’t keep.

  2. I can’t see a problem with keeping things like cards, letters, photos and things of that nature in fact I have a home made valentines card from one of my first serious boyfriends which I have kept for over forty years and it is fun to look back at things like this occasionally. The only time I can see it being a problem is if you were to put photos etc on display for all to see. With regards to gifts like rings and necklaces, the only reason I can see for not wearing them is if they were inscribed with a soppy message.

  3. I had a motorcycle helmet bought for me so I could hop on the back of the ex’s bike. If I wanted to keep the helmet after we split, I had to buy the helmet from him!

  4. Yes! I would just keep quiet on where I got the items from.

  5. Personally I get rid of things like cards or anything else real personal once a relationship is over. I don’t even want those kind of things hanging around. I have many things from an ex including outdoor chairs he made me, lawn ornaments, vases, etc. and I have no intention of ever getting rid of them because I like them. If someone I am with is not able to get past the fact I like the objects, not the ex, then that new person isn’t for me. Of course, unless they asked, I wouldn’t bring up where these items came from. No point in it.

  6. Yep Darla, I am a firm believer in what they don’t know won’t hurt them … Within reason of course 🙂

  7. I tend to want to get rid of EVERYTHING once a relationship ends, don’t need reminders of that guy who turned out to be a creep, lol. I recently met up with an ex I hadn’t seen in 10 years though and discovered he kept a lot of gifts I’d given him, though it’s mainly because they were useful items and he’s too mean to buy new ones even after all this time.

  8. I still have all the bits and bobs from my ex’s but I keep them in a little box, I never wear them, but it might be different if they were things I liked for example, one ex bought me a silver bracelet, I like gold. I find it fun to look at these things occasionally, they were more carefree days, and not in the way that these things would remind me of that person, but the good times, people and places of that time, kind of like hearing a song which takes you back into the 90’s!

  9. I am on the other side: My boy keeps some cute gifts, stuffed hearts and teddy bears in pretty seenable places in his room. He broke up with that girl like 2 years ago, but kept in friends with benefits relationship for a while. I don’t know, how should i react to this. When I mentioned it, he responded: I’m not going to throw these away, she was my first love… ( I didn’t ask to throw stuff away, but I am also not keeping the stuff I got in my past on the shelf for everyone to see). We are together for like 7 months now, but sometimes when I see those things, I am starting to think that maybe he still holds feelings for her.

  10. I think your feelings are very normal and I would also feel the same. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for him to consider your feelings and put these things away out of sight.

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