Millions of Brits hang on to sentimental items after a breakup – like photographs


Millions of adults admit to keeping hold of sentimental items after a breakup, including mugs, socks, t-shirts – and even photographs. A poll, of 2,000 adults, who have been in a relationship, found 35 percent have kept objects from their failed romances – with cards and love letters among the most common.

Others have held onto jewellery, ticket stubs, and hoodies after letting go of their former partner.

More than half (55 percent) have even held onto something for more than 20 years, as they have fond memories of the item (39 percent), or still like it and use it (21 percent). However, one in 20 admitted they wanted to keep the item out of spite.

It also emerged 46 percent think it’s emotionally unhealthy to hold onto items from an ex-partner.

Relationship expert, Gemma Nice, said: “Memories can be hard to let go of, but sometimes you just have to flush the past down the toilet.

“If you’re in a new relationship, holding on to items from an ex can look bad. It’s important to reflect on your reasons for holding onto these things – if it brings back bad memories, then maybe it’s time to let go.

“Parting ways with these belongings can be a step forward towards healing and moving forward.”

The study also found 80 percent of those polled have kept up to 20 items belonging to a previous partner, or from a past relationship.

However, those who have got rid of items either threw them in the bin (53 percent), donated them to charity (27 percent), or burnt them (12 percent).

And while 45 percent said they were simply having a clear-out, 31 percent admitted it helped them to move on.

Photographs (16 percent), love letters (nine percent), and birthday cards (eight percent) were among the items people find most heartbreaking to look back on.

And 27 percent feel relieved when they get rid of things from a previous relationship – although 25 percent simply feel sad. Meanwhile, 27 percent went as far as to say they regret getting rid of an item belonging to an ex.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed 56 percent have sent or received a love letter, with one in 10 having done so in the last year.

David Titman, head of consumer from Who Gives A Crap, which is inviting people to flush their ex and send in old love letters to be recycled, said: “We’re offering lovelorn Brits the chance to transform their love letters into toilet roll.

“We’re hoping to help the nation turn their ex’s sweet nothings into something useful – while assuring them that someone, somewhere, will be wiping their bum with it.”



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