Is it okay to keep momentos from past relationships?

Do you think it is okay to keep gifts, photos or other tokens from a previous relationship once you are in a new one?

37  Answers

256 8

Yes. Your past makes you who you are. The people you date, and the experiences you have with them, help to shape that past. There were happy things you experienced with that person, and those are good memories to have.

If a couple has a baby and decides not to stay together, those momentos are excellent tools for showing your child that they were made out of love. While they may hold the bad memories just as well as the good ones, those bad memories can serve as a reminder to never do something (or date someone) again. We are material creatures to some degree, we establish value to the objects we possess.

Having things from a prior relationship serves the same sort of purpose as an old diary entry -- I wouldn't rip pages from my diary to simply 'forget' someone. That relationship happened, with the good and the bad included. Discarding anything simply because it came from a prior relationship doesn't mean it never happened. Learning from past experience is what helps people to grow and mature. Throwing those things away might make you feel better, but it's not like you're discarding the memories.

16
0 14

Generally I'd agree. However,divorce is another matter.I kept things telling myself that my children would appreciate photos or trinkets. But God put pressure on my heart. It was time to let go. Those things only were for me. I loved my husband and when he came back from a military mandatory trip to Turkey and wanted a divorce, I couldn't accept that he wanted a divorce. We had two precious girls 10 and 4 who dearly loved him. He had become a deacon in our church 6 months before he left. We didn't argue or fight. His only reason for wanting a divorce was that I was too "goody-goody' for him. I can only guess what the real reason(s) could be. Three years later I married a wonderful man who was 17 years older than me. But I was still divided in my heart. I was "happy" but not at peace with myself. One day I had my Bible reading in Proverbs 5:7-14. The Lord used those verses to show me that I needed to get rid of everything that reminded me of him so I could pursue my current husband and me as a true couple without division. My two girls are both married now and when they would come for a visit I would pull out some things that I didn't want to keep and gave them a chance to claim what they wanted and the rest I gave away to Good Will. It has taken about 6 months to really divorce myself from things. Even my wedding rings I was finally able to take to the jewelers. Soooo...my experience was very different than yours. Now this November we will celebrating our 25th anniversary!!! So my advice is to stay close to the Lord, try to have a little time each day to read and pray. He will give to each person as is needed. Try reading 2nd Timothy (near to the end of the Bible) in verses 12-14.

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2 20

Ok lets put the children out of this question. If you are no longer in a relationship and you are in a new relationship you should NOT be keeping keepsakes from your previous. Pictures are a record of your past not unlike a diary. Take them off the wall and put them away. However, the last thing your new love wants to see is the ring given by another sitting on your hand or in the jewlery box. I took mine to a jeweler and had a new piece of jewelry made. That teddybear or stuffed bunny, get rid of it. I took mine to the local preschool for them to enjoy. That keepsake statue/nicknack, sorry take a picture of it and donate of sale or put in a box under your bed. These are all part of your past and make who you are but your new love does not need a constant reminder of who was in your past. Move on.

9
21 15

If no children are involved then I believe it is only fair to your current relationship to put the past behind you. I don't believe any relationship can be long lasting and healthy when one or both people in the relationship are holding onto the past. Let the mementos go and move forward.

121 4

Of course it is. If a man expects you to have no past he is sadly mistaken.Just don't be rubbing his face in it. I have many mementos and my husband has no problem with it,. He has pictures and things. I don't have a problem with that. Your past is just that,Past.

7
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5 2

I have an ex-husband. I have lots of old boyfriends too. I have shoe boxes filled with momentoes and cards. Every now and then I pull them out and get a lovely feeling of fondness for the men who made me happy at those times. I would never dream of putting the stuff in plain view of my partner now. It's private and some things you can't remember so physical memories are nice. I put the boxes away and forget about them never allowing the past to hinder my present. I think if you continually keep going over and over the past you will never move on to the present and that is a big dangerous place to stay when you have a perfectly wonderful relationship right now. SO keep them if you want to, but just don't make it a big deal.

6
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85 27

Depends. It depends on how important the previous relationships were to you. It depends on what the momentos are. It depends on if there are children from those / that previous relationship(s). (Jewelry can be handed down and children might want a photo of their birth parent. A daughter could proudly wear a ring from her dad or a son could use it to pop the question to his future wife.) It depends on how serious this relationship is. (if you are getting married then ask your soon to be spouse their feelings.) Things like jewelry, photos, nick knacks, and etc. might have more value to you depending on how good or bad the relationship was. If you want to keep something but don's want to upset your new bf/gf then just pack it up and put it away until you know just what you do want to do with it. But here is a a rule of thumb -- if you are getting married or have children by some else take your spouse's and children's feelings into consideration. If you don't want the momento anymore ask your child if they want it or give it back to the ex. You never know they might want it.
I make my husband get rid of all of his momentos from his previous relationships because they were a pair of panties from almost each ex.

5
4 7

It is not okay because the new partner may think that you are still holding on to your past relationship which creates tension and doubt

4
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21 11

No, would be my simple answer. Those things are given as a reminder of a person and events that you shared together. Would you want your partner wearing a tie from one girlfriend, using a nice pen from another, wearing a ring from another one,being reminded of how nice they were when the use or see these things? You could be really asking for trouble when you go through a rough patch.
Historical note, Prince Charles wore a pair of cuff links from Camilla( monogrammed with 2 'C's intertwined) to his Wedding Breakfast. If it hadn't been such a huge world wide media PR event , there may well have been no wedding.

4
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1 4

I think so. It represents a part of your past that may be over but has its place in your history and makes you who you are today. That being said, it would be best to be open about it and not hide pictures or whatnot which may seem like you are not moving on with your life. If there are wedding pictures and children from a past marriage, I would say they should be kept for the child as well.

4
0 0

My husband when we were first married brought out a beautiful afghan that an old girlfriends' sister made and gave to him. It was made so beautifully that I was not about to throw it out. 22 years later we still have the beautiful afghan and our girls and I fight over who gets to wrap up in it when it's cold. My husband just shakes his head never dreaming us girls would treasure it. It has never bothered me that it was a gift from an old girlfriend. I could see past that to how well the blanket was made and that there was alot of time put into it, so why not enjoy it. What is really funny is who ever has the afghan is the one our toy poodle will go sit with. Doesn't matter what other blankets are around even he knows that blanket is the best. Too funny!

3
0 0

As with everything else in life, you have to weigh the variables. Most everyone has a different experience. I was married to a great guy, but we were better together as friends. We had a beautiful child together. We stayed friends until his death (14 years later). We both saved items, for ourselves and for our son. Before i married 6 years ago, I had a couple of long term relationship, neither resulted in children, but I saved photos that I culled out (without the men in them). The trips I took were to beautiful places, so I kept photos of me and the scenery. These trips were long enough ago, that I can remember the beauty and good times, without it being about the relationship I was in at the time. My husband knows everything about me and my past. I like to think that I know most everything about him. He had a past (I've seen pictures) and I love the man he is now. For me, I wouldn't marry anyone who didn't understand that I had a life before them. Again, my situation is just that, my situation. Long story, short, my personal answer is yes, it's all in how you handle it, but the choice is ultimately yours.

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1 3

It just depends. If you have an engagement ring and you call off the engagement, it should be returned to your ex. If it's a wedding set and you get divorced, have it made into another piece of jewelry. If it's other kinds of jewelry, then your new special someone doesn't need to know where it came from. It's yours, period. Keep it to yourself. Chances are he/she will never ask. If you just have to tell someone were things came from, then YOU have issues that you need to deal with. If you have pics all over the place of you and the ex, but you can't bear to burn them, then put them in an album and put them away. If you're a widow or a widower, that's another bag of beans. You're entitled to keep those up until you put a ring on someone else's finger. When that happens and if you have kids with the deceased, they should be put away for them to have one day, or put in their room. If there are no kids, then you should just put them away or give them to your former in-laws or just send them to the Thrift House. A new spouse should not have to contend with a memory. The same thing applies in a divorce. If you have works of art hanging on your wall that were a gift from a love interest...really, who's going to know if you don't tell? The main thing is to be open to the new possibilities and you can't do that if you're holding on to something that is over and done with. I have a cedar chest that I keep mementos in. I rarely get into it,, but once every few years, it's nice to remember the girl I used to be and the things that made me happy. Those things don't bother my husband because he's a well-adjusted, secure man. A word of warning: if your new interest seems to be bothered by you having little mementos, even if they are put away, run for the hills. If he or she is constantly asking where things came from, that's not good, either. Those are some of the first indications of a control freak or worse. Like other people have already said, you had a life before and you have memories and no one has the right to take that away from you. By the same token you should be considerate and respectful of your new love and not make them feel like they are competing with a person from your past.

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0 34

YES, i agree with most, i'd think. The past is not able to be erased, no matter how had you try, It is part of who you ALWAYS WILL BE. So, I think the new partner needs to accept this, and if they can not it might be better to rethink the relationship. Don't rub the past in their face, but simple memories are important to make is whole.. Keep reasonable restraint in the exposure and intensity of the mementos, and discuss it with your partner, and be sensitive to their feelings, if need be,, pack them away. You'll ALWAYS REGRET it if you trash them...

2
13 9

yes I believe it is ok to hold on to things from your past, it is what made you who you are and got you to where you are in life, now if they are x rated photos then yea those need to go, but otherwise theres nothing wrong with having them as long as you are open with your partner about them and you do not keep them thrown in your new partneres face. (excluding if your ex is your kids dad) I have many things from my past that remind me of the things I have been through and remind me that I may not be where I want to be but I sure as hell am not where I use to be.

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0 20

I think different things work for different people. If you are in a situation where you feel the need to keep things from a previous relationship, then do so, if you're not, then dont. Simple as that. I wouldnt suggest anyone to do things just because it fits my scenario. Again, what may work in my home, may not work in yours.

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1 15

Yes ! It's something personal and previous .Tt

1
0 0

Unless you're talking about a relationship that resulted in a child, that you are raising , and who should have a connection with their parent - I'm gonna go with 'No'.

If your intention is to have a successful new relationship, it's really best to let the past be in the past and let it go. I wouldn't rip out diary entries but there's no need to save lots of pictures and dried flowers or special gifts or have shrines of your exes all over the house.

Frankly, I'd even go so far as to suggest that an ex, who is alive and in contact with your child needn't continue to be a 'ghost' in your home and new relationship.

1
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6 0

Yes it is fine, photos is a must, my ex and i split when i got with my new partner he didnt like the photos around i took some down but explained to him that my ex is the childrens father i a dont have the right to take that away, it was me and him that split not the kids. so i keep photos up for them.

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6 0

Hell to the NO!

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2,319 9

What on earth is a "Momento" - do you mean "Memento"? As in souvenir or keepsake?

I've saved one or two items from my first marriage (mainly wedding photos) because my children might like them.

I have a few bits of jewellery from previous relationships which I've kept - not so much for memories of the men who bought them for me (or, in some cases I bought them myself - but they're still linked to the time I was with that person) - but as memories of that time in my life!

I'm happily married to my 2nd husband. I always remember looking at the wedding photos from my first marriage a few days before my wedding to my 2nd husband - we shared a home. He said to me "We're getting married in less than a week, my family are coming over for the wedding and to be honest honey, I'd rather you didn't have pictures of your first wedding lying on the coffee table when they get here!

I moved them of course - he wasn't upset or threatened that I kept them or I'd been looking at them, he was just embarrassed if anyone from his family should happen to see them!

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1

Depends did the person die? Do you have kids? If so yes keep it other then that all your meomory s will be with you for the rest of your life no needs for rings or stuff that will hurt new relationships and if you keep them then do it with out telling your new love and lie to them see where that gets you , )

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30 0

I have kids with my ex husband and we were married for 10 years. The divorce was amicable but he has not been amicable since. The pictures with all of us I give to my kids as I come across loose ones. My mom put all our albums together so over the next month I am going to separate those all together pages out so she can create an album just for the kids. It will always be at the house even when they are gone unless they agree to keep it at one of theirs. As far as cards and such: I gave him the ones that I or the kids gave him and threw out mine because they have no value to me. I gave the kids all the stuffed animals we shared. I am in a new relationship so I gave my daughter our bed and slowly I am replacing furniture and knickknacks that I don't want. I had a relationship after the divorce and he was throwing things away behind my back including letters from my oldest daughter's father who is my best friend. I had to let him go. If I am going to be with someone he needs to respect that I had a life before him and not be intimidated by it. My guy now we both have a kid together and we both have kids since ours with other people so we understand that there will be things from the past. His mom has pictures of him with his ex on display and my mom does too. Our pictures will go right alongside the rest.

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0 0

I find it quite nauseating that some of these people say its ok to hold mementos, but only if the ex is a parent to your kid. So somehow that makes it excusable to disrespect your current/future partner? It's no wonder these new partnerships often fail. Because this mentality shows that your previous family will always come first. And that is wrong. Partnerships should be healthy and strong - a good example for your children to follow - and most importantly, a good foundation for your current family, not your past one. Your ex is your child"s family. Not yours. Keep up as much of a functional relation to the ex for the child's benefit, but remember that your new partner is your new family, and respect that. He or she will not stay if you throw your ex in his or her face.

As for mementos in general, it really depends what they are. X-rated photos or anything else sexual should be canned. A painting or nice glass you can likely keep. And if anyone is dumb enough to hang pictures of their x on their wall surely can't be expecting any new partner to respect them. The pics, at least whatever ones that are appropriate to keep, should be stored away and basically left there. They should collect dust because your past is GONE.

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0 1

I think it depends on how your relationship was and how you ended it also what your new one thinks about it.
If the previous relationship ended on a bad note and old things remind you of bad things better hack them up and burn them:} If howver, you are neutral about it u might want to keep somethings like maybe an expensive vase or a piece of jewellery , and let your new one know , where it came from

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4 7

I do believe it is perfectly fine. It makes you who you are. BUT, I would keep them in a shoebox (or shoeboxes) and put them away for safe keeping. If there are children in the picture, one or two pictures of the ex and your child/ren are ok. But more than that I think would be too much for the new beau. You also have to take into consideration his feelings but never ever get rid momentos that have created you as a person....

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0 0

I think it's a personal preference and there's no right or wrong answer. It's a personal choice. I've been married for 12 years, and this is my second marriage. My first marriage only lasted two years but we were together many years before. I don't know why, but I just can't part with the old wedding photos from my previous marriage. They're in a box in storage and I don't look through them but I can't toss 'em. They're out of the way and that's that. I don't know, maybe it's because I don't have a lot of mementos from my childhood, so I like having "something" from my past.

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0 1

If it is emotional reasons, then yes get rid of it. But, if it is just because you like it. Such as: big baggy t shirts, stained and just to wear around the house or sleep in. Even jewelry as long as you don't wear it. although, I wouldn't tell the new b. (It doesn't matter and they will make it one. Maybe not right now. But somewhere down the road, especially if you marry them.)

0
0 0

No it is not okay.

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0 45

Yes it is just not have them hanging on the wall or shoved down the throat of the new person in the realationship

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0 1

I kept momentos from a past relationship that lasted 5 years! He was my first love, my first of everything and I talked about him all the time. So I decided on New Years Eve after starting a new relationship years later that I would burn everything I had that came from him or reminded me of him so that I could let go and move on! It was a great help and I can't go sit in a room all by myself anymore and look at pictures and wonder "what if" any longer! In addition to burning those things, I wrote a letter to him about how he made me feel and how disappointed I was because of the things he done and the trust that was lost before our relationship ended. I burned that as well but at least my feelings were out even though he never read them, I was relieved and am now happily married to the man I stood at that bon fire with that New Year's Eve while I through my past away and promised to move forward and not hold bad memories against my husband! My past has made me the woman I am today but I don't have to keep momentos around to be reminded that at one time another person had my heart and broke it!

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0 0

No way, If you in a relationship, with someone else,always step out of a relationship first no one gets hurt that way, right!!!

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1 15

no i don't think that it is ok to keep things like that unless you were married to them or have kids to them... especially if its your partners ex girl friend who has already tried to interfere in your relationship

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0 5

I believe that it's ok to keep some things. I have a son with someone other than my current partner and i have his pics put away in an album, for any questions my son has. I also have alot of things from a previous relationship, that normally i wouldn't keep, but sadly he passed away from leukemia. I could never get rid of those things. He was my first true wholehearted love. In other circumstances though, yes i would get rid of things. I've had many "short term" relationships with all those silly stuffed animals to go along with them, and i couldn't imagine having to look at things like that if the shoe were on the other foot. I think it's only fair.

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0 0

I have been married for over fifty years to the same man. When we got married he wanted me to burn all letters from previous boyfriends, which I did. However, we both kept all of our photographs . They were never out on display. They were kept in albums or boxes and put away. Your photographs are an important part of your life. I plan to one day create a picture journal of my life , and one of my husband's life, for our grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Lorraine M.

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0 20

If the mementos don't cause you to live in the past and /or cause problems in a new relationship that you want to be permanent, then it's O.K. There's also the matter of what you keep locked away and what you keep on display. There may be differing levels of what is appropriate depending on the situation.

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377 19

I keep a few from my son's biological father, that I will pass onto him when the time comes. I also have a box of things from DFH's first marriage, that we are holding onto for his daughters. Depends on the situation.

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36 0

It depends. If you want to keep them then do so, but maybe put them away. Perhaps in a rubbermaid tote in the garage. If you have a new man in your life who is mandating you get rid of them, then get rid of him. If you are dating a man who has things from an old girlfriend and you are bothered by them, then you need to ask yourself why. If you are jealous or he won't move "their old photo" then you need to look at that and decide to stay or go. I was widowed young (at 36) and am now remarried. I have things in rubbermaid totes for my kids (who were young when their dad died). I go through the stuff every once in a while and purge it. Keeping some for my kids and getting rid of some. I am not sure there is a good answer.

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0 0

in most cases, no,except family pictures that your children may want.

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