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Thursday December 11, 2008 7:06 pm

To burn or not to burn:  What to do with pictures of your ex

Posted by Vicky Lane Categories: Advice, Humor, Marriage, Relationships,

What to do?

This is a tough one for me because I never, EVER throw away pictures. I am a big believer in holding on to memories, even if they aren’t always pleasant. A lot of people disagree with me and believe that once the relationship is over, any and all photos, concert tickets, t-shirts, and whatever else was saved goes into the trash and set aflame never to be seen again. Well, I can agree with the ridiculous things that we girls keep… I actually had a “love box” for one boyfriend with match boxes from restaurants we went to, dried petals from the flowers he gave me, and a few cheesy greeting cards he sent me (pathetic). Ladies, these things must go!!! But photos, to me that’s a whole different story.

I spent a significant amount of time with some of these old flames and, of course, had some good times. Photos are an image diary, and just like reading through those journal pages (yes, I’ve kept a journal since the 80’s), it reminds me of those good times, who I used to be, and wow look how far I’ve come.

I actually dated this one guy on and off for awhile and went on a fabulous dive trip to the Bahamas with him and another couple. I remember being at his house after a recent break-up/reconciliation and noticed the pictures from our trip out on the table. I started to flip through them and noticed immediately that there were quite a few missing. So I asked him - where are all the pictures of me and us? “I threw them away” he said. OK, so here we have amazing pictures of good times in paradise and this a-hole tosses them? I eventually got over it, but still think what a crazy thing to do. Of course I still have the pictures we took on that trip.

So how does my husband deal with my “no toss/no burn” rule? Out of sight, out of mind. I have a few albums in a box and he never sees them. Just as long as they are out of his way, I can keep whatever I want. I would say the majority of men are the same, but if you have that one insanely jealous boyfriend/husband, I suggest finding a great hiding place.

Aside from the jealous spouse, technology has also created a new issue. When was the last time you actually printed photos? We now have digital libraries on our computer with thousands of photos. So instead of “to burn or not to burn”, it’s “to delete or not to delete”. This changes the game a bit as your current beau could easily stumble across these. Before I got married, my soon-to-be-husband found a folder I called “Nudey Magazine Day”. No nude pictures, thank god, but pictures no less of me and my last boyfriend frolicking on the beach. I had to let these go unfortunately since they were way too accessible and I’ll admit, inappropriate for anyone to stumble across. I learned my lesson though and after that I went through all my digital photos and saved the ones that were important to me.

If you’re a photo pack rat like me, get yourself some good photo boxes and store them away for a rainy day. If you are dating the insanely jealous, the key to any relationship is compromise, and hopefully you can come to one like I did.



Thanks for your comment!  Sounds like you have a good balance.  Sometimes burning photos can be very empowering! Especially when the break-up was a bad one.


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