You gain a lot of stuff when you lose a relationship. It’s the irony of the situation. All of a sudden, you’ve lost a boyfriend but gained a metric tonne of emotional baggage, and that is the WORST type of baggage. The second type is any baggage that is over its kilogram allowance at the airport. Putting the emotional stuff aside (unfortunately it cannot be fixed by paying a fee at the check-in desk), what are you meant to do about the physical stuff?
During your time together, you would have accumulated a range of mementos from the relationship; the earrings he bought you for Christmas, the pictures from your trip to Europe that made all your single friends jealous, a FJÄLKINGE shelving unit from Ikea he helped assemble on a rainy weekend. Fast-forward to post relationship, just the sight of those earrings, pictures, and bookcase has the potential to turn you into a blubbering snot bubble.
Lena Dunham made headlines earlier in the year for her choice to wear a ring Jack Antonoff gave her despite their breakup. In a live stream, Dunham revealed that she would continue to wear the ring because “love is a really cool, powerful, eternal thing”. Miranda Kerr made even bigger headlines when she was forced to return millions of dollars’ worth of jewellery gifted to her by ex-fling and Malaysian billionaire Jho Low, as the goods were purchased with stolen government money.
Obviously, every breakup will have their own set of circumstances and there is no right or wrong way to navigate this situation (unless you’re Miranda Kerr). Providing that your ex hasn’t showered you with embezzled gifts, you’ll go with one of two options.
Hell Hath No Fury
If you have adopted the character of a scorned woman after a breakup, with a performance so convincing it deserves an Academy Award, your gut reaction might be to burn everything to the ground. This is not advisable for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it’s a huge fire hazard and the cleanup is messy. Secondly, actions performed in haste can be regrettable later on. Take time to process what happened and then, if you feel that it would be for the best, do the purge.
The Curse of Nostalgia
On the other hand, if you’re a victim of nostalgia, there is a good chance you will be less willing to burn bin their things. Just like historical artefacts, relationship artefacts remind us of a time that has passed. The key word being passed. If you’re hanging onto your ex’s things or gifts because they are definitely, 100% COMING BACK, you might need to reconsider your position. A healthier stance would be to keep the things for the memories or because they’re useful. But again, relationship artefacts like photos and letters should be treated in the same accord as ancient Aztec pottery in a museum; stored in a box and only viewed when you’re bored on a Sunday.
Some may find it therapeutic to get rid of all romantic souvenirs or incredibly helpful to hang onto them. Whatever you decide, the end goal is the same. This decision is just another step closer to boarding that flight out of Breakup City. Best of all, there are no baggage fees.
Written by Sarah Mourtos