Author Topic: Giving back stuff and moving on  (Read 4393 times)

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macncheese

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Giving back stuff and moving on
« on: December 09, 2012, 08:51:57 PM »
Something came up after a night out with the girls.

Whenever one of my girlfriends breaks up with someone she basically cleans out everything that her ex gave her and gives it back. Anything that reminds her of her ex she gets rid of. She even does it with her with friends she is no longer friends with.

I can understand doing that with exes. But I think it is kind of strange to do that with friends you have nothing to do with anymore.

What do you all think?

Sharnita

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 08:55:00 PM »
I think it probably depends on if the "break up" is acrimonious.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 09:04:22 PM »
I wouldn't give back things that were gifts to me, in either case.  I would return property that belonged to the ex-BF or BFF.  The only thing I would return is an engagement ring if I was breaking off the engagement.  If he broke off the engagement, I might keep the ring, unless it was a family heirloom, in which case, I wouldn't feel right in keeping it.

If I didn't want to keep the gifts, I'd sell them, donate them or throw them in the garbage.

This actually happened to me when I 'broke up' with a friend.  I had a bunch of her books so the next time I was in her neck of the woods, I timed a 'visit' for a time I didn't think she'd be home and hung them on her door handle, protected by a plastic bag.  I didn't return anything she'd given me previously.
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JenJay

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 09:20:30 PM »
If the friendship ends abruptly and with a lot of hurt/anger I'd probably get ride of the gifts, photos, etc. that reminded me of the friend. Anything that brings about negative emotions has no place in my home. I wouldn't return it, though, that sounds like unnecessary drama. I'd just toss it or give it to goodwill.

If the friendship fizzled but there was no hurt I'd keep the stuff. if the day came that I didn't want it anymore I'd  toss or goodwill it.

O'Dell

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 10:17:23 PM »
I think it's weird to give gifts back in either instance unless they are exceptional in some way, something like the ring Outdoor Girl mentions. But I do understand getting rid of anything that brings up negative feelings. Why keep that sort of stuff around?
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sweetonsno

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 10:44:10 PM »
I think it would be odd to do that in cases where the friendship just died a natural death or where someone moved, but if the relationship ended on a bad note, then I can see getting rid of stuff. I don't think it really matters whether it is a platonic or romantic relationship. Losses hurt and it's legitimate to not want to be reminded of that pain.

macncheese

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 10:46:33 PM »
I wouldn't give back things that were gifts to me, in either case.  I would return property that belonged to the ex-BF or BFF.  The only thing I would return is an engagement ring if I was breaking off the engagement.  If he broke off the engagement, I might keep the ring, unless it was a family heirloom, in which case, I wouldn't feel right in keeping it.

If I didn't want to keep the gifts, I'd sell them, donate them or throw them in the garbage.

This actually happened to me when I 'broke up' with a friend.  I had a bunch of her books so the next time I was in her neck of the woods, I timed a 'visit' for a time I didn't think she'd be home and hung them on her door handle, protected by a plastic bag.  I didn't return anything she'd given me previously.

The last friend "break up" I just tossed the gift she gave me into the trash. I would have dumped them at her house but she lived three states away from me. One girl I know dumped stuff off at an ex-friend's parents house.

Iris

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 12:34:00 AM »
I think returning the gifts to an ex-friend is unnecessarily dramatic.

In terms of getting rid of the stuff I think that's a personal preference. I'm not a fan of rewriting history myself - if I was friends with someone for any length of time, chances are there were good times and funny memories. A relationship would have to be completely and utterly toxic for me to want to get rid of every single thing associated with it.
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Danika

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 01:59:31 AM »
I think returning the gifts to an ex-friend is unnecessarily dramatic.

In terms of getting rid of the stuff I think that's a personal preference. I'm not a fan of rewriting history myself - if I was friends with someone for any length of time, chances are there were good times and funny memories. A relationship would have to be completely and utterly toxic for me to want to get rid of every single thing associated with it.

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blarg314

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 02:08:57 AM »
Getting rid of stuff that reminds you of your ex makes emotional sense for someone who is going through a breakup and is really upset. Giving it all back to the ex strikes me as something that is designed to hurt the other person - retroactively rejecting any presents or other things they've given over the course of the relationship, and rubbing it in their face.

If it were simply a matter of getting rid of painful memories, throwing stuff out, selling it, or giving it to charity would be better options, with the exception of particular items that had sentimental meaning to the giver (family jewelry, for example), stuff that actually belongs to them but was at your place (like spare clothing, or DVDs), and jointly purchased items of more than trivial value.

Doing the throw-away/give-back for friends strikes me as way over the top.  If someone has acrimonious breakups  with close friends often enough to have an established routine to go along with it, I'm going to start wondering whether they're the one producing the drama.


figee

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 02:20:05 AM »
I agree with the above. One ex of mine gave md back the monetary value of everything I gave him over the course of the relationship. That was one oc the most hurtful things that happened because it reduced our relationship to a financial exchange. But given he gave me nothing at all during the Tim's we were together so he didn't see my gifts as gifts but as things putting him in debt. Awful for me. So, no. A gift is a gift. Giving them back seems petty and hurtful.

MariaE

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 03:05:18 AM »
Completely agree with the others. Giving back an heirloom meant for "their significant other" is one thing, but giving back all presents ever is just plain spiteful!

My best friend told me this story about her ex-fiance. She was the one to break off the engagement. He did NOT see him coming, and I do have sympathy for him for that... not for how he chose to act upon it though. Not only did he give Liz back all the presents she'd ever given him, he went out of his way to drive by her parents' place, to give them back all presents they'd ever given him as well!

... Suddenly they saw the breakup in a whole other light....
 
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bonyk

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 05:52:44 AM »
I had an ex-friend (who had randomly stopped speaking to me several years before) send me a wedding gift off of my registry.  She was not invited to the wedding; I didn't even know where she currently lived to send a thank you note.  I sent her a facebook message thanking her and asked if she's like to get together for coffee.  She didn't respond, and I ended up returning the gift to the store.  Looking at it made me feel very uncomfortable.

Margo

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 06:32:59 AM »
I agree that returning gifts to the giver is unnecessary and over dramatic (except if the item is something which the giver would consider an heirloom)

If you don't want things around, bin them or donate them or re-gift them as appropriate.

I think that returning everything is a very aggressive and hurtful thing to do, as it implies that not only is the relationship (whether romantic or friendship) is over, but that it never had any value .  I think it would only be justified if it were a bad breakup and the ex / ex-friend were to make accusations about  you being greedy / a gold digger or something of that kind, in which case I might be tempted to return everything with a coldly polite covering letter, but even then I suspect the 'correct' response would be to ignore everything!


despedina

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Re: Giving back stuff and moving on
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2012, 11:41:30 AM »
I would return a ring if an engagement is broken off.  I feel that a ring is part of an agreement to get married and if you're no longer getting married it should be returned to whoever is paying/paid for it.

Giving gifts back is petty. If they stir up painful feelings then donate them or give the items away.