Home Family & Relationship 1 in 5 Brits Keeps Gifts from Their Ex

1 in 5 Brits Keeps Gifts from Their Ex

Published: Last updated:
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Whether the relationship ended amicably or you’re dealing with your worst break-up, going separate ways with a partner can be tricky. But after we’ve removed all the photos and decided who owns what, what do we do with the gifts they gave us? 

According to new research from gifting experts at Getting Personal, one in five of us (19%) would consider keeping a gift from an ex, depending on the circumstances. In comparison, one in 10 (11%) think the circumstances are irrelevant, as they admit to always keeping gifts from previous relationships. 

An attitude that potentially comes with age and experience, as those over 55’s were the most likely to always keep gifts from an ex (14%) compared to other age groups. In comparison, divorced respondents (15%) were also more likely to always keep an ex’s gift compared to single respondents (10%) and those in a relationship (12%).

For those who think it’s circumstantial, the relationship ending on a positive note meant that they’d consider keeping an ex’s gift (20%), while a monetary value of over £500 was enough for nearly one in six (15%). Gifts that cost less have men and women divided, though, with 45% more men than women being open to keeping a gift between the value of £50–£99. 

Personalised gifts were also a factor, with nearly one in seven (14%) claiming they’d keep a gift from an ex if it were personalised. For those respondents aged between 25–34 (20%) or currently in a relationship (17%), this was even more of a reason to keep an ex’s gift. 

When discussing their attitudes towards keeping a gift from an ex, male respondents were twice as likely as women (11% and 6% respectively) to find keeping an ex-partner’s gift a “disloyal” act. Comparing the relationship status of respondents, however, those who identified as married (6%) found this less offensive than those in relationships (15%) or living with a partner (11%).

Breaking the research down regionally, the people of Leeds think personalisation (19%) and a monetary value of over £500 (19%) are the most important factors when it comes to deciding on keeping an ex’s gift, while Cardiff was the most offended by keeping an ex’s gift compared to other cities, with 17% saying doing so is “disloyal”. 

Commenting on keeping a gift from an ex, gifting expert at Getting Personal, Tara Butler, says: “Gifts from our partners can be incredibly intimate and personal, so it’s unsurprising our new partners can feel a certain kind of way if they know we’re keeping them after the relationship has ended. However, what is interesting is that despite this, many of us are still open to doing so, especially when the gift is personalised.

“Regardless of your stance, it’s important to respect that of your partner too. While they don’t necessarily need to flaunt the precious gift in your face, it’s their prerogative to keep memorabilia from previous experiences.” 

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd