I've been here when moving into a new place with a boyfriend. Suddenly they're aware that you've had a life before them, and feel like discarding any physical reminder of that will somehow erase your past.

The problem with that, is that your past is your past, and holding on to memories doesn't mean you're stuck on someone, it just means you value that time in your life for what it was.

Dear Keke and Kat:


My boyfriend and I are moving in together. Our place will be pretty tight, so there isn't a ton of storage space. We're deciding what we can keep vs what we can get rid of and going through everything. This is when he found out I have some stuff from my ex. Just a box with pictures, old cards, jewelry, things like that from a past relationship. He was pretty upset that I still had it. I don't understand why. We all have a past and we all have dated other people.


But he wants me to throw away all of those memories. He doesn't understand why I'd want to keep pictures from an old relationship and insists I must still be in love with him, which isn't the case at all. Just because I kept those things doesn't mean I'm not over the relationship. In fact, I'm totally over it. But those are memories from a time in my life that I don't want to just throw away, and I don't think I should have to.


We're kind of in our first argument while living together over this. Is it fair of him to demand this? Should I just get over it and get rid of the box?

Coming from someone who did throw away the old pictures just to end the argument, I don't think you should ditch the memories. Not to be negative, but chances are that you and this guy will eventually break up. Think about it- when you're dating someone, you're either going to stay together forever, or break up at some point. It's one or the other. And when you do break up, you're going to be mad at yourself for throwing away things that were important to you just to make someone else comfortable. I threw away all of my old pictures and cards, things from a really important relationship to make a new boyfriend happy, and broke up with him later down the road. Those pictures will never come back.

I think it would be smart to keep the box at a family members. Throw them in the garage or somewhere safe to store. You don't need to keep them in your shared place if space is tight, but a good compromise would be to keep them elsewhere. I'll never again get rid of anything important to me to please someone else.

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