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[Dilemma to Deal With] Should You Return Gifts After a Breakup?

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therWhen you break up with someone, should you return gifts after a breakup? It’s a tough decision. If it’s a gift that was given out of love and not obligation, it could be seen as an insult to their feelings if you decide to keep the gift. On the other hand, rejecting something that has sentimental value can be heartbreaking for both parties involved.

should you return gifts after a breakup
Should You Return Gifts After a Breakup?

It’s a question that many people are unsure of how to answer. When someone breaks up with you, should you return the gifts they gave? There is no universal rule on this, and it largely depends on your relationship status. If you have been dating for a while and were in an exclusive relationship with them, then the chances are high that their gifts came from both parties equally, so it would be best to keep those items and any other mementos like photos or cards.

However, if you were casually dating, there may not be much of a connection between you anymore. So, returning the gift could be seen less harshly than getting rid of something valuable that belonged to them since they didn’t give it out of love but more out of obligation. But if you were emotionally attached the answer to the question “Should you return gifts after a breakup?” may be different.

Should You Return Gifts After a Breakup?

After a breakup, it can be challenging to decide what to do with the gifts that you received. We asked men and women in relationships for their advice regarding what is appropriate to do with the gifts your partner gave you. Here’s how they responded to the question “Should you return gifts after a breakup?”

  • ” I don’t feel like keeping any of them, but I know that would make my ex-boyfriend feel bad. “
  • ” If you’ve been together for a while, then I think it’s polite that the gifts are kept. I wouldn’t want anyone getting rid of something that was given to me, especially right after a breakup.”
  • ” That is tough. Whatever is meaningful enough to you, keep them, but if they aren’t important to you, don’t worry about it. It’s not worth holding on to something that could end up just being a reminder of someone who hurt you.”
  • ” I would like to keep them and perhaps give them back when the person ends up dating someone else. That would be so funny.” ” I think they should be kept if they were given out of love and no obligation. If it was given out of friendship or pity, I’m sure you can get rid of them. I wouldn’t want anything that belonged to someone who didn’t care about me.”

What To Do with Gifts After A Breakup?

Here’s what to do if you are wondering about the fate of a gift that was given to you by your ex:

1. Take Things Slowly.

If you have broken up with an ex or if they have broken up with you, giving away their gifts immediately can be seen as a way of rejecting them and possibly be too harsh. Wait till you have had some time to process the breakup and your feelings towards them before reacting too quickly. This will also give you time to think about why they gave it to you in the first place.

2. Reevaluate Your Relationship Status.

Get a clear understanding of your relationship before they broke up with you or if they were the ones who ended things. If you were in a long-term relationship, then it is expected that their gifts to you will be kept until there was an actual reason for them to be returned or thrown away. However, if your relationship was not as serious and didn’t have any commitment, these items may not mean much to you, especially if they were given out of pity or friendship.

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3. Are The Items Worth Keeping?

Returned gifts may seem fake, but remember that it can be worse to keep something extremely valued and make you feel bad whenever you think about a failed relationship with someone who is not in your life anymore. If they are insignificant, you don’t have to keep them; however, if the items are worth keeping and given to you out of love, it would be rude not to.

4. Don’t Be Emotional About It.

After a breakup, emotions (both good and bad) can be running high for both parties involved in the relationship, so staying calm and level-headed is the ideal way to approach any decisions that will be made. Be sure not to make an impulsive decision you may regret later, especially if your emotions are involved. 

5. Think About What It Cost Them To Get These Gifts For You In The First Place.

If they were willing to spend money on things that were meant for you, then it proves that these things meant something to them, and they may have been seeking your approval, so keep in mind what they had to go through just for you.

6. Think About How The Gifts Make You Feel.

After a breakup, seeing or holding onto an item that belonged to your ex can be emotionally hurtful, especially if it was something that you two shared (i.e., a prom picture, the last gift they gave you before breaking up or even their own personal item such as a favorite shirt). If these items bring back positive memories, it may be wise to keep them around for at least a little while longer because letting go too early can make it harder for you to let go when you are ready.

Should You Keep or Return Gifts After Breakup?

Breaking up is never an easy thing to do, no matter what the circumstances are, and there are some occasions where a gift can be interpreted as something that was given to you out of pity or guilt. The level of significance these gifts hold for you after a breakup depends upon the following:

1. What Did Your Ex Give You?

It is important to know what kind of gift was given to you after a breakup because different gifts will mean different things. For instance, going back to the previous example of an engagement ring being returned, this type of item usually belongs in the “Do Not Return” category because it has more meaning tied to it than saying a simple bracelet that can be purchased through the corner store.

2. How Did They Give It?

With certain gifts, there is a clear intention that stands out more than others when trying to determine what kind of message was being sent, if any. For instance, if your ex gave you their prized possession and wrapped it up nicely, then the gift itself will mean something different from if they just threw it in your hands and said, “Here, this is for you.”

As silly as that sounds, gifts are not always given for obvious reasons, such as birthdays or holidays. On a much more serious note, if they gave you any type of item on an occasion that reminded them of your break up (ex: a Christmas sweater or a handmade gift that you two had planned on giving each other for Christmas), then there may be intentions of trying to get something back out of it.

3. What Are Your Feelings Towards The Item?

If you can’t help but feel good every time you see these items, then they might not need to be returned as soon as possible because it is a clear sign that they meant something to you and the gift itself was not an act of pity. If this is true, then you may want to think about hanging on to them for at least a little while longer, even if it means dragging them out every once in a while to remember happier times.

4. What Do You Know About Your Ex’s Feelings For You?

Keep in mind your ex’s persona during the relationship and try to picture them giving these gifts as a part of that personality. If they were genuine with their emotions, then the return date probably won’t be seen soon, but if there was anything questionable about who they truly were, then it may be best to return the gifts as soon as you can.

Read Also:  Top 10 Biggest Reasons For Breakups

5. Do You Care About Them Anymore?

If the relationship ended because the person had proven to be someone not what they originally seemed, then it may be wise to give back these types of gifts to remind them that they were showing their true colors during the last moments. However, if there was nothing suspicious about the relationship, you should retain these gifts because that person was being a good and caring friend.

Should You Keep Gifts After A Breakup?

It is never easy to get over a breakup no matter what the circumstances may be, and there are some occasions where it makes more sense to hold on to certain items for longer than others, such as engagement rings. If you can’t help but want something that belonged to your ex after a breakup, then try asking yourself the following questions before asking if you should return gifts after a breakup.

1. Do You Know Why They Gave It To You?

If you were given an engagement ring after a breakup, then the message behind this gift is clear; however, if your ex handed it to you wrapped in pretty packages, maybe there was more going on than meets the eye. It might not be wise to just automatically assume that this item came from a broken heart if they had been showing other signs that were a little less than stellar during your relationship.

2. How Do You Feel About This Gift?

If the item itself keeps reminding you of happier times, then it is probably better to hold on to these items for as long as possible because it could be used to remember all the wonderful times you had with them. If the gift itself makes you angry or sad, then it is probably best to get rid of the item as quickly as possible because that person has been completely erased from your life, and it is important not to keep reminders around.

3. Do You Have Any Memories Tied Up In This Gift?

There are some occasions where the first thing you think about when you see this item is not the good times that were shared with your ex, but instead, it was a certain event or situation that reminded you of who your ex was. This could be due to their lack of honesty, and it might not be wise to prolong the memories tied up in these items because bitter memories are not fun to think about.

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Should You Return Jewelry Gifts After a Breakup?

One of the hardest things for a woman to do after a breakup is to get rid of the engagement ring presented to her when she was going out with someone. If you were lucky enough to receive an engagement ring (or any other piece of jewelry) after a breakup, then it is important to try and figure out what your ex was trying to say with the gift. You may never find out what your ex was trying to say, so here are a few things that might help you decide whether or not it is time to get rid of the ring:

Should you give jewelry back after the breakup?
Should you give jewelry back after the breakup?

What Do You Send Someone After A Breakup?

Breakups are never easy to get over, and sometimes you find yourself feeling bad for hurting the other person even when they hurt you first. This might be due to guilt or just because you want them to know that you do care about them even though your relationship is coming to an end, but then again, there are times when sending a small gift may be the best decision. A small, thoughtful gift might be the last thing that person remembers about you when trying to move on with their life, so here are a few things to think about before sending any package:

What Should You Send Them?

There is no need to be crafty when sending your ex anything after a breakup because they should feel the sting of your decision to part ways. That being said, it might be nice to take a look at some of the things that could be sent for one last hurrah:

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Scented Candles:

This is one of those gifts that you can find anywhere, and they are very easy to use as well. If you decide to use one of these candles, you should write your name and number on the back of the candle to contact you if they ever feel like getting back together.

Message T-shirts:

If you know what their favorite band is, then it might not be a bad idea to purchase a t-shirt from that artist and then have them call you after they get it. This is a great way to stir up some feelings about the past and perhaps make them think that their relationship with you was meant to be. Avoid any shirts containing dirty words or an explicit message, though, because this will only serve as a major turnoff for your ex.

A Few Old Love Letters:

Some old love letters you might have written to your ex are full of sentiment and emotion. If you feel like sending any of these, it will certainly let them know what they mean to you even after a breakup.


Sometimes memories can be painful, so it is best to hold on to them. If you have various photo albums that show the good old days of your relationship, sending any of these is a great way to send a message without saying anything at all.

A Gift Card:

Although it is not advisable to use this as an apology for how you treated your ex in the end, there are times when a gift card is exactly what your ex needs to get them through the day. If you are worried about finding one that might be appropriate, consider getting them something that will make them smile, like flowers or a teddy bear. These gifts should help ease some of the pain, and maybe they will even call you for old times’ sake; only time will tell.

Taking Back Gifts After A Breakup.

It is not very often that breaking up with someone while still dating them will yield a present in return, but sometimes you end up getting something back when you least expect it. Here is what to do if your ex is thinking about returning gifts after a breakup.

What Should I Do?

If your ex forgave you for your mistakes or felt bad about how things ended, then giving a small gift is not such a bad idea. Sometimes your ex may even see this as a good opportunity to try again, so always be sure to think about why they might have given you something in the first place.

When Someone Returns Your Gift After A Breakup.

If you give your ex a gift that they do not like because of how it makes them feel, then there is no reason they should have to return it after a breakup. That being said, it might be a good idea to purchase something else for them before the breakup occurs so that they can avoid hurting your feelings with their honesty and avoid returning your gift altogether.

When someone returns your gift after a breakup.
When someone returns your gift after a breakup.

A breakup is best to keep your cool because this might turn into another date. If you feel like there was more than one reason why they gave you the gift, then go ahead and return it without any hesitation, but if it is something that screams I still love you then maybe think about calling them up for one last hurrah before moving on.

How To Get Your Ex Back After A Breakup With No Contact?

If you’ve already tried and failed to win your ex back through social media, or if they are ignoring your phone calls, then it might be time for an even more drastic approach. The best way to get the attention of someone who is in the process of moving on is just to let them go and wait for them to come back. The truth is that if your ex wanted you in their life, then they would be doing something about it, not ignoring your calls or changing their social media status.

By walking away from the situation, you will prove to the person that there is no hope of reconciliation, and eventually, they will call you when they are in a position where it is the only thing they have left to do. If your ex has blocked your number on their phone, then re-register under a different name and start calling again. Eventually, your efforts will pay off, and you’ll be back in the picture once more.

Also Read: Soulmate Reunion After Separation


If you’re still unsure if you should return gifts after a breakup or how to deal with gifts from your ex after a breakup, here are some helpful points. Whether the gift is something they wanted for themselves and doesn’t remind them of what happened or not, they don’t feel guilty about returning it. If, however, there was more than one reason they gave it to you in the first place or if the gift says I love you on it, then maybe think about giving them one last call before moving on.

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Leslie May
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Leslie May

Hi, I am Leslie B. May. I am a relationship expert with several years of experience. I run this blog to support people with different types of relationship problems and issues. In addition, I help people to get rid of psychological problems with simple but descriptive guides. Moreover, I love to write about tips and suggestions about relationships and help people decide wisely.