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Moving with Memories…Except from Exes



It’s been just over a week since I moved from my small Harlem abode to my brolick Brooklyn apartment. And I couldn’t be happier.

What I’m not happy about is the process of unpacking. It sucks. A lot. And as much as I hate to admit it, I’m prone to mini bouts of hoarding.

I’ve been traveling over the years with papers and folders I swear I’ll need one day, even though I haven’t touched them in years. I’ve got boxes of wires, electronics, and miscellaneous nonsense. All with some obsolete value or memory attached. Snugglecakes has been telling me to get rid of stuff and I keep telling her to get rid of the idea…even though I know in the recesses of my mind that she’s right.

The easiest things for me to get rid of as I pack or unpack?

Items from exes.

I don’t know what it is, but no matter how many boxes I go through or how much stuff I get rid of, items from exes appear during each move. They pop up like those ads that frustrate the hell out of you because you can’t get them off your screen.

I don’t harbor hostility toward my exes. At least not consciously. I’m also not looking for a psychological evaluation today, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t try to fix my life (thanks). I just have this thing about not keeping keepsakes from the women of my past. I don’t need to revisit pictures of the happy moments to remember times formerly known as awesome. I don’t need to look at old cards and reflect on an ex’s thoughtfulness. To me, that’s pointless. And the only reason I’d be revisiting old times is because I want them back. And if I want the old times back, that means I’m not happy in the current.

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I remember finding a stack of pictures from some tropical destination and boobookins looking flabbergasted when the I turned them into confetti before tossing the pieces in the trash.

Of all the stuff she thought I should get rid of, items from exes weren’t on the list…well, except for [love] tapes. Or flip books that depicted [love]. Apparently, motion mementos are a no no. Not that I have any of those anyway.

And with each still shot or written note I tossed away, she continued to look at me like I was crazy. She likes memories. I like them too. I just don’t believe those of other women need to travel with me throughout life.

But what about you? What’s your policy on items from exes? How do you feel about your significant other keeping relationship luggage stuffed in the corner of a closet?

Wondering why I can’t just ex out these pics and cards,

slim jackson


  1. I treat items from exes like any other thing. If I don't need it, it can be tossed. I don't go specifically looking for things from exes. I have pictures that I don't purposely go through with the intent of reminiscing. I'll just be going through folders and be like "oh I remember this with her"

  2. "I don’t need to look at old cards and reflect on an ex’s thoughtfulness. To me, that’s pointless. And the only reason I’d be revisiting old times is because I want them back."
    This pretty much says it all for me… When it's over, it's over!

    1. "LOL @ Snugglecakes"

      I will never forget that Slim called himself the Sultan of Snuggles. In fact, he should have wrote this post under that pseudonym.

  3. Snugglecakes? I see u Slim.

    But yeah my policy on ex items is I keep it if it’s worth keeping. I have watches, clippers, colognes that are simply watches, clippers and colognes I barely think about the person it was from. Also clothing, I like the person I’m with to add something to my wardrobe (or use her as an excuse to wear something I could never see myself actually buying *pops salmon shirt collar*). Oh and souvenirs I keep, pictures I don’t, unless they’re on my photobucket that I’m too lazy to delete.

  4. Yeah, items from booboo become just "items" for me. I do the initial leave behind during the split. Anything that we bought together/they bought for me – they can keep. They can go though the sentimental "clean up" – they've deserved it. I'm out of here with my stuff & my stuff only.

    Unless I think I can make money off it – in that case, then that's mine to 😉
    My recent post 5 Things Women Shouldn't Do In Bed…

  5. I have all my pictures of exes in a box, that I rarely look at it just takes space in a corner of my house. I am waiting until when I am at my bachelorette party reliving those that trucked up their chances with me so we can roast them in a fire. I cannot wait!!! However, if it 's something big like a television or stereo, etc, I am not throwing that away. I am not thinking about the person that bought it for me when I am using that item, I am thinking about if Olivia is going to give it up to Fitz on Scandal!

  6. I'm surprised and intrigued that your "boobookins" is suprised at u getting rid of stuff from ex's and thinks you should keep it. Most women would be happy and doin the happy dance…lol. In most situations men won't get rid of stuff from ex's and thats usually a problem for the present "boobookins."
    Personally once a person is black history them and their stuff are all gone. Unless it's something of value or something that I really like and still wear or use. I don't throw away gifts like clothes or jewelry. I may be crazy, but not stupid….ijs. *smile*

  7. Haha! Good read as I am in the process of moving into my new townhouse and definitely have tossed a few things from previous exes…Good read and interesting timing…lol

  8. It's tough if you're a sentimental person, I know dudes that have shoe boxes and safes containing pictures or whatever trinkets from their exes. I feel as though once it's done for the most part it's done. The or one of the only ways you can perhaps get back is if it's the mother/father of your child if it was an amicable split. With that being said if you get rid of everything, out of sight out of mind and move on from there.
    My recent post I’m Tired….

      1. I remeber it took me a long time to get over the fear and anxiety that my ex was looking at five years worth of "motion" footage and "certain" pictures of us after our split. I was afraid it would add fuel to his attempts at getting me back or incite a "I Hit It First" Ray-J style campaign. Low-key I even prolonged our break up at first trying to figure out how to steal his harddrive and the memory card from his phone to delete stuff. But now, it's just a lesson learned to be like Cataleya in "Colombiana" and allow no photos/videos… the real thing is better anyways.

  9. It just depends on who that person is. With my ex husband, I probably would have set that stuff on fire Angela Bassett style. But with my last boyfriend I wouldn't have mind it being there. I would have made sure he came and got it eventually but it wouldn't have bothered me at all.
    My recent post Relationships + Facebook = Breakups

  10. I HATE cards cause I feel pressure to keep them. I have cards from everyone and everything. I NEVER go through them, smh.

    It depends on what it is and who its from. For instance, I have the letter I wrote my first love back in 1997 or 8…I was going on and on about how I couldn't move on cause I was so much in love (VOMIT, lol). I got PUNISHED for taking him that letter (didn't ask permission or tell anyone where I was). In 2008, he surprised me with it (CONFIRMATION THAT IT WAS REAL, lol). I'll have that forever. I have a poem another ex wrote me. You can't discard art, lol. That's just mean. I still have pictures. And I CERTAINLY won't be getting rid of my clothes, coats, shoes, perfume, purses, jewelry…none of it (I did donate my wedding bands though). I'm not that mad.

    1. But, I can't stand seeing pictures of my exhub and I. And its not cause I'm still angry…I just really don't care for yo like that. I don't dislike any of my other exes so I don't mind seeing us together in pics. But, I gathered EVERY picture of my married life and put them in a box in my children's room so that they can have them…show them to their children's children, lol.

  11. Articles of clothing and accessories are kept regardless of how it ended (A woman with a good sense in fashion can be hard to find). But it’s the cards and other emotional items I always have a hard time with. I don’t know if I’m being bitter by getting rid o them or if I’m just getting over the whole situation. I usually just tell myself the latter so I won’t lose sleep…

  12. I keep all gifts of value – jewelry, clothes, purses, electronics, watches etc. All that crap from "things remembered," photos, letters, cards, or anything not "pawnable" is destroyed and discarded. I have a serious issue hoarding exes clothes…don't ask me why. I have at least one article of clothing that's belonged to every man i've ever taken seriously and i just can't bring myself to toss them. and it's unfortunate b/c it's hella obvious when i am wearing another man's clothes but those are my favorite knock-around outfits. Oversized sweatshirts, basketball shorts, t-shirts etc. – i wonder if this is a diagnosed condition – ex clothes hoarding.

  13. Hmm.. I guess I feel different. Not only because of the good times with the person, it's good times in MY life, that I don't feel obligated to throw out. Not that I have them out to flaunt or disrespect the person I am currently with,but these are my memories and momentos into who I was at that time in my life.

    I don't think the emotional attachment is so much for the person, so I don't consider it an issue.

  14. Any tangible items that add value to my life stay. I kinda appreciate the irony on me wearing "his" perfume on a date with another guy. My favorite gym bag, sexiest pair of shoes, dresses, lingerie, electronics, etc. all from exes. I've tossed or returned all sentimental mementos from ex flames…except that one guy. I'm sure I'll get there one day. *shrugs*

  15. Lovely content !!! I am so impressed to read your blog. SBM started with one writer sharing his thoughts on male/female relationship dynamics, but has expanded to a team of six black men known for honest and thought-provoking perspective. At your core, You are writers artists.

  16. What a significant post dude about Moving with Memories Except from Exes. I am so impressed to read your blog. This is very informative for all those people. I don’t know what it is, but no matter how many boxes I go through or how much stuff I get rid of, items from exes appear during each move. Thanks for valuable info…..


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