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Do You Have To Give Back Your Ex's Stuff After A Breakup? 12 Women Reveal Their Give And Take

If the idea of politely smiling over an awkward coffee as you hand Chad from accounting back his Barstool Sports sweatshirt (that you kept for an entire year) sounds unappealing, then I totally feel you. When your post-breakup routines include a major Marie Kondo moment, it's natural to wonder: Do you have to give back your ex's stuff after you go your separate ways? Whether you'd rather throw it all in the trash, bring it to a Goodwill, or keep it all for yourself, knowing what to do with your ex's stuff isn't always easy.

If you're anything like me, after a major breakup, you're never really in the mood to see your ex again. Ever. Maybe you're still mending your heartbreak or you can't stand the idea of speaking to them again. After all, the end of a relationship can come with a mix of emotions. Of course, if you and your boo ended things on good terms, you may have an easier time sorting through all that stuff. Just as there's no one way to maintain a relationship, there's no one way to end one.

Elite Daily asked 12 women about giving back their ex's stuff and what they said really covers it all.

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1. Bad Vibes

I literally couldn't believe this, but my ex asked for the vibrator and butt plug and collar set that he gave me after the breakup. I knew it was pretty expensive, but what, is he going to use it with someone else?!

— Noah, 26

2. Petty Kitty

My ex wouldn’t let me have my two Ragdoll cats. It has now been four years since we split and she texted me two days ago asking if I want the cats back, as she has to move for work. I have a cat of my own now so, yeah. I don’t know what to do.

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3. Snail Mail

My girlfriend and I were long-distance and when we broke up, we were three states away with no plans of seeing each other. We had been dating for three years so there was lot of her stuff at my house, but I just kept it all. I wasn't going to see her and mailing it all would have been so expensive.

— Gina, 27

4. Dollar, Dollar

My ex and I had a joint checking account. We both deposited about $600 at the start of every month to pay for joint expenses so we didn't have to track who paid for what. The relationship had pretty much run its course when she gets a job in another state (that she accepted without talking to me first, while I was out of the country). She asked me to go with her when I get back. I said no, I don't have a job there. She told me she'd support me while I was looking for a job. I still said no.
Fast forward to one month after she left. We'd obviously stopped putting money in the joint checking account, but there was $8 left. When I closed the account, I just took the $8. A week later, she sent me a string of texts about how she wanted it and it wasn't mine to take. So I sent her $8 on Venmo.

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5. Bucket List

My ex wanted the $3.60 orange Home Depot bucket that she left behind back.

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6. Monday Morning Quarterback

My high school boyfriend was a big football player and when we dated, I had his letterman jacket. I honestly forgot I had it, but my mom was recently cleaning out a closet in our house and found it. I don't talk to him anymore, but my mom and I both figured he would want his jacket as a nice memory. I had her drop it at his parent's house the other day.

— Monica, 26

7. Take It All

I round up everything an ex gave me — jewelry, soaps, clothes, whatever — and I give it back to them. I can't really move on if their stuff is around.

— Taylor, 22

8. Give And Take

If you purchase it together, decide what's important to both of you and if you want to save the memory. You shouldn't take something just because you know it's special to the other person.

— Alesin, 27

9. Over Booked

My ex's dad was a rare book collector and he gave me a signed copy of a collection of this French poet I loved. When we broke up I was worried he was going to ask for it back, so I just blocked his number.

— Rebecca, 28

10. Memory Lane

My boyfriend's mom made me a pillow out of his childhood blanket. It was, like, really sentimental to both of us and I really loved it. When we broke up, I tried to give it back, but he said he wanted me to have it.

— Soraya, 27

11. Goodwill, Good Riddance

Clothes that she gave me in the first year of us dating that hadn’t fit her since high school and couldn’t part with until I came along. She asked for them back but then turned right around and donated them. Guess she’d rather give them to Goodwill or something, and know that I didn’t have them anymore? She also wanted back the cheap ring she bought me as a joke because of its 'symbolism'. It’s like... girl, you can ask me to throw it away for you. I really don’t mind.

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12. Royal Flush

After breaking up with my controlling partner of three plus years, they sent me a detailed email of every item they had ever bought that I needed to return. One of which was a used toilet bowl brush from the dollar store. I returned it, but not before deep cleaning my toilet.

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After a breakup, only you and your ex know what's right for you. If giving back everything that reminds you of them feels right, by all means, Marie Kondo that stuff! If there's something meaningful that you want to keep, try sharing how special the item is to you. Sometimes, relationships are give-and-take, emotionally and materially.