As the big red day hits, all streets turn into a large scene set of Moulin Rouge; from the red flowers to giant red teddy bears, all along gifts shop that are decorated with balloons and helium hearts. That’s how most traditional gifts are showcased, waiting for people to pick them up and demonstrate their love by giving them to their partners.
As it has become a tradition all over the world for loving couples to exchange gifts on that day, these presents might not last as a source of happiness for partners. As sweet as this ritual seems, when it occurs, some might find themselves trapped with presents after breaking up, being left only with heartache where once sweet memories had been.
While some of those who go through ugly breakups decide to keep those former tokens of love away from eyesight or just ignore them until moving on, others found funnier ways to deal with them in order to help them find inner peace after breaking up with the ones who gave them these things.
“I sold the gift my ex fiancé got me and bought a new pair of shoes.” That’s how M.N., 29, started her story, explaining, “that’s how I currently see him and where he stands in my heart, just like a shoe. It’s also the perfect way of reminding me how badly he treated me.”
Every time M.N. wears her new shoes, the comfort she feels about the fact that at least she came out with something relieving from that relationship brings a smile to her face and reminds her that she took a good decision when breaking up with him.
“At least now when I spend the whole day out, I know that getting out of that relationship didn’t only save me the troubles that would have occurred in a similar situation, but it also keeps me comfortable,” she says with a laugh.
As for Z.M., 24, her gifts remind her of the reason she originally broke up with her ex: being cheap. “Although he gave me several gifts throughout our engagement, he asked me to give them all back after we broke up,” she said. “The one and only nightmare I had to live with after the engagement was over was his mother’s continuous nagging to give him back the ‘extremely expensive’ gifts he had given me—they did not care about anything else.”
Although she wanted to conclude everything related to him, Z.M. refused to satisfy his wish of giving him the things he wanted, reaching a point where she smashed the gifts and sent his mother the video tape of their destruction. “I was stubborn enough to not let them enjoy the one thing they wanted after we broke up.”
While some did not personally go through a similar situation, they witnessed it happening to their closest friends.
“Before my friend was about to break up with his girlfriend, he sold the wallet and the watch—both of which she had previously given to him as gifts—on an online marketplace and told her they got stolen,” M.S., 24, said.
As for E.T., her friend’s breaking up with her boyfriend was a source of happiness. “She gathered all of us [her friends] and brought all the gifts he had previously given to her and asked each one of us to take whatever she likes,” E.T. explained.
From the other side, some shared decent stories of their gifts’ fate after their breakups.
“I keep them in my closet. They never fail to make me smile by bringing back so many sweet memories, even if there some heartache which comes along all the time,” M.N., 22, stated.
Walking the same line was R.K., who keeps all of her ex’s gifts in a box in one of her room’s corners—away from eyesight. However, she gives them a look every now and then as a reminder of her maturing process and of how much she has gone through.
Other people decide to erase all the traces of their failed relationships, except of the traces their memory is carrying.
“I put them in a box and left them in front of his house. I don’t want anything to remind me of him,” H.B, 26, concluded.