Returning Items on a Breakup

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Female
Should i return the things that he gave me after we break up? Advice
It really depends on the things. If there was an engagement ring, then YES. The engagement ring is a big investment towards a wedding. If the wedding doesn't work out, it's unfair to say the guy loses thousands of dollars and the woman gains it. That's heading back into the days of the dowry and women being property. Avoid at all costs.

Other than that, it depends on the item. Sometimes it hurts more to return items (for *both* people) because it means that nothing of your time together meant anything. Which isn't true. Your time together was very special, and worthy of remembering. It just wasn't meant to last forever.

So if it was a treasured ring of his grandmother's, that should probably go back. But it was a bracelet that he got just for you, keep it in his memory, as a sign that you do treasure that time you had together. If he bought you CDs of his favorite bands, then listen to them when you feel you can again, and enjoy the memories. If he lent you HIS treasured albums, I'd return those.

It might be hard to think of it in this way while you're in the painful breaking up part, but most relationships do break up. It's all part of the trial and error we go through while figuring out who really does work well with us. It's normal. And these people who we break up with - who were close but not quite right - are often wonderful friends. So treasure the friendship you had, the closeness, at the same time that you acknowledge it wasn't something meant to last forever.

I have many friends who have gone through many breakups. They keep something from each relationship to remind them of the fun times. They're with people they truly love now, and are quite happy, but they still look back fondly on the steps they took along the way and the people who were dear to them. As long as you look at them as beautiful reminders and not "war trophies", they will be a special part of your life.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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