Your Partner Keeps Memories of Their Ex, What Should You Do?

Knowing that your partner keeps objects and memories of their previous relationship can generate doubts. The question is, what can you do in this kind of situation?
Your Partner Keeps Memories of Their Ex, What Should You Do?

Last update: 10 November, 2021

Perhaps you’re reading this article because you’ve noticed that your partner keeps certain memories of their ex. You might be asking yourself questions like: is it appropriate for my partner to keep these things? Does it mean they still have feelings for them? Should I ask them to throw them away?

In this article we take a look at these types of worries, to help you get to know what’s actually going on in this type of situation.

Is it normal for your partner to keep memories of their ex?

Firstly, there are several reasons that could explain why someone would keep memories of their ex. Indeed, we’re all different. For this reason, the ways in which relationships are built and ended are also different. This means the reasons that might lead someone to keep objects from their previous relationship will also vary from person to person. Furthermore, sometimes these reasons can be pretty difficult to understand.

Occasionally, we, as human beings, develop an attachment to certain objects. This could be because of their usefulness, because of their beauty, or because they allow us to re-inhabit the past. In this case, they become a kind of external support for our memory.

Photo of couple and a notebook

Of course, not all objects have the same value nor do we keep them for the same reasons. As a matter of fact, in the case of the memories that your partner’s keeping of their ex, you need to take a number of factors into account.

For example, your partner’s personal history, the history of their relationship, the reasons for the breakup, and the way in which it occurred can all have an influence on whether or not they decide to keep certain objects and memories.

On the other hand, the characteristics of the objects, their quality, or their useful life may also have influenced your partner’s decision to keep something in particular. On considering these points, maybe you’ll understand your partner’s motivations to keep that specific gift they received from their ex.

The situation bothers you, what can you do?

Nevertheless, you may still find this situation uncomfortable and want to resolve it with your partner. If so, it’s important that you express all your emotions and doubts to them.

Although it’s normal to experience these types of insecurities, it’s also necessary to identify where they come from. For instance, it’s possible that you might already distrust your partner, and the fact that they’re now keeping objects from a previous relationship just adds a bit more fuel to the fire.

Sometimes, a person feels able to save memories of their ex because they simply don’t hurt anymore. On the other hand, they may hang on to them because they haven’t been able to close the cycle. You may need to clarify this situation with them.

However, keep in mind that, in the end, it’s their decision. Furthermore, although it makes you uncomfortable, you can’t force them to change it. Therefore, you shouldn’t force your partner to erase any trace of their emotional past. In fact, it’s their past that’s made them who they are. As a matter of fact, perhaps you should start to give more importance to the new memories they’re building with you in your relationship.

Keep in mind that the most important thing is how the situation makes you feel and how receptive your partner is in listening to your concerns.

The importance of closing cycles

Man talking to his partner

Finally, there’s the importance of closing cycles. Indeed, avoiding emotional attachment and overcoming past love breakups in a healthy and responsible way allow the building of positive bonds in the future.

Sometimes, we’re afraid to start a new relationship. Perhaps we’re fearful of being let down again. However, it’s never appropriate to hold on to things from the past. Therefore, we should remember this before starting any new emotional relationships. This is because starting a new romance without having overcome the previous one can prove to be extremely painful for all parties.

In addition, when a relationship comes to an end, in the closing stages, it’s essential to have the support of family and friends.  Because having a space in which to talk about the break-up is extremely healthy and helpful. In fact, it helps in the understanding and acceptance of the end of the relationship.

On the other hand, it may be important to get professional help. In fact, psychological support can be extremely useful to help with grieving processes, as it fosters personal growth.



All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Barajas Márquez, Miriam Wendolyn, & González Forteza, Catalina Francisca, & Cruz del Castillo, Cinthia, & Robles García, Rebeca (2012). El significado psicológico de una ruptura de pareja significativa en jóvenes universitarios. Psicología Iberoamericana, 20(2),26-32.[fecha de Consulta 8 de Noviembre de 2021]. ISSN: 1405-0943. Disponible en:
  • García Palza, Daniela Fernanda (2014). Narración del duelo en la ruptura amorosa. Ajayu. Órgano de Difusión Científica del Departamento de Psicología de la Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo”, 12(2),288-307.[fecha de Consulta 8 de Noviembre de 2021]. ISSN: . Disponible en:

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.