The Hardest Part of Breaking Up Is Getting Back Your Stuff
They say the worst thing to do after a breakup is to communicate with your ex. However, if they still have a handful of your belongings it becomes confusing as to how you should go about getting them back.
Do you contact him and have him leave them for you at his concierge?
Do you have a friend do your dirty work for you and collect your stuff?
Do you wait until some time has passed and you have moved on before you even make mention of your trinkets?
Do you make no mention of him even having your things so you can use that as excuse to contact him down the road?
It isn’t an enviable position to be in, but you have a few choices to make:
If he has your stuff...
Send him an email with a list of all your items that he has in his possession, and if you recall where you left said items, indicate that too to make it easy for him to put everything together. Request that he contact you once he has found everything so you can get everything at once without having to message back and forth each time he finds something else lurking around his car or apartment. At that point, you can decide if you want to grab them, or have a friend do it for you.
If you have his stuff...
Put all his items together and send him an email offering him the opportunity to pick it up at his leisure. Avoid giving him a timeline or being a b*tch about it. Tell him to email you when he is able to swing by and let him know you will leave it for him in your mailbox, at the concierge, or somewhere safe where neither of you need to see each other or interact. You may think you’re over him but once you see him again you may have questions you want answered, or may be overcome by emotion. Avoid this by making the pickup nothing more than a business transaction; one that works on his timing. The high road is always the best one to take.
If you both have each other's stuff...
If you want to avoid going to his place, I say give him the opportunity to pick up his stuff and you can request he leaves yours, too. If he then says you have to come to him to get your stuff, check in with yourself. The best advice I ever received from someone older and wiser is to let go of the idea of getting back your stuff, and accept that these belongings are replaceable. To just replace your DVD series or running shoes is a small price to pay—a much more reasonable price than the stress of back and forth communications, and trying to figure out and analyze everything he says during these interactions.
This will likely be your last course of interaction with one another. No matter what went on in the relationship, it’s best to be amicable and get your belongings back and return his in a way that you can look back at with grace, rather than embarrassment. If he tells you he can’t find your belongings, or refuses to give them back to you (without offering to replace them) realize that says more about his character than yours, and still offer back his items in a friendly way.
Jen Kirsch is a relationship expert, columnist and blogger. For quick tips and tricks follow her on Twitter @BlondeBronzed. Read her posts every Tuesday on Slice.ca.
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