From a Male Perspective: Should You Keep Photos of Your Ex?

July 3, 2012  |  

Mutual breakups are as rare as natural black diamonds of Brazil. In most cases, one person is the frigid heartbreaker, while the other warmly laments over the broken union and the good times.  Certainly, there are individuals who have no problems with leaving the worn baggage of their previous relationships behind and upgrading to someone who will really love, cherish, encourage, respect and potentially walk down the aisle with them.

Conversely, there are some people who simply don’t want to let go of their ex-lover and would welcome the opportunity to remain friends, although there would likely be more pain and shattered promises that fill the earthly canvas like glass.  It is not atypical for such individuals to keep memories of their past lover around their homes, on their smartphones and social media pages and even nostalgically ponder what they once had.  Now, there are many things that you can do at the same damn time, but being in love with your new admirer while holding on to the unnecessary chains of your previous relationship can lead to disaster.

Is it okay to keep photographs of your ex-boyfriend when your love is under new management?  If you ask me, absolutely not!  Throw them away!

Several proponents have concurred that there is nothing wrong with retaining snapshots of ex-boyfriends. They believe that it is all about trust, and their new “boo” shouldn’t feel jealous or threatened if he is confident. And also, who has time to go through old photo albums (online and old-school) to weed out photos of past flames? Those are fair opinions.

Look, there aren’t too many men who would be cool with flipping through your iPhone or Droid and discovering that you have stored pictures, especially naked or half-naked photos of your ex-boyfriend.  If your new man is really putting everything that he can into the relationship–emotionally, spiritually, financially, and mentally–and you still have electronic and hard copy images of your last “boo” hanging around your home, there is a really good chance that he would be hurt. Although certain men would not admit that they would be insecure or torn inside by things of this nature, they just might be.

Let’s be real, how would you feel if the tables were turned?  Would you be fine with finding the “dime” that he used to date in his cellular phone?  Would you maintain your cool if you found explicit photos of his beautiful ex-lover in his bedroom, especially one from a past long-term relationship?

If you are really over your ex-boyfriend, do you need to see a picture of him every day or on a consistent basis, especially when you are in a new, serious relationship? And if you don’t look at them, do you need them at all? To cover all grounds, there are certain situations where photos may include shared children, which would be acceptable to most gentlemen to keep in the children’s room. And group photos with friends or family just might be fair game too. But if this is not the case, then it is essential to achieve closure on intimate relationships of the past to ensure that your new path is full of blessings and favor.  If you don’t want to throw away photos of your ex, it would be nice to store them in a box in an attic that you can look at 20 years from now when it shouldn’t matter to you or your future husband.  But at second thought, why would you and your spouse ever want to look at them?


More on Madame Noire!


Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • serra

    i asked my boyfriend to delete his exes pictures on his computer and he said sorry to keep them then deleted, becase of that i make him extra happy , the most imortant thing is to understand n respect eachother , give pleasure to your partner not only in bed.
    the feelings n presents are the most important souvenir that we have , if you dont get it then you able to have so many exes with thousand of pictures on your computer with new tech devices , dont be materialistic that my advice!

  • Maria

    I just found out that my boyfriend of almost 2 years still has his wedding photos of him and his ex! They divorced a bit over a year before he and I started dating. He recently cleaned out his bedroom and said he threw away everything he didn’t want anymore. I stumbled across the wedding album and framed wedding pics in his bedroom closet after he told me this. So, he knows they are there and is keeping them where they are hidden but very accessible! He has never said the L Word or anything close to me in the almost 2 years we’ve been together and now I’m wondering if that is because he is still in love with his ex. I don’t know what to do! I haven’t mentioned to him that I came across the pictures yet. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Wowzas

      You have been with a guy for 2 years? You guys live together? He hasn’t said he loves you? And why are you still with him?

  • Sierra

    I don’t mind if my current boyfriend has pics of his ex’s in a place that he only knows where. However, he has them on his smartphone (bc google synced them) & he also has pics on his Facebook page. You don’t need to dig for them either they are on the front page. It still has that he is in a relationship with her as well. I’m NOT jealous it actually makes me feel uncomfortable. I think there should be a limit to what is displayed and where. Also, put yourself in your current boy/girlfriend’s shoes. Would you be okay with it?

  • imperialgemini

    What this author is failing to mention is that these pictures capture memories and not all memories are bad ones. I am not discounting the author’s opinion and ultimately it all comes down to the couples in the relationship. However look at it this way; If you were with an ex for many years, that is a part of your life regardless of how it ended. The author says to put the past behind, but that would mean forgetting the good as well as the bad. Each part of our past has it’s lessons and should not be forgotten. Just because there was a breakup and there is no chance or desire of a reconciliation, does not mean you should forget those times when you were truly happy. If anything, in any new relationship you are in, you should be able to share those happy memories. Pretending that those times never happened is a deception on both parties of a new relationship. If you are too insecure to know all about your partners past and past relationships, then perhaps you are not ready for such commitment and responsibility. If you are afraid of telling your partner about your past and sharing that time, for whatever fear you may have, then you are hiding a part of yourself from the person who you are saying you trust with your heart.

    Why would either person deny their significant other the memories of the past whether in picture or video. That being said, there should be some good taste. Photos and videos of your ex in the past should not be displayed in the present. They should be archived in some fashion.

    As a personal opinion, I would agree that sexually oriented pictures should not be kept. One does not keep or view these pictures for nostalgia. If it is a picture of you and your ex hiking through a national park in Malaysia though, why not preserve that memory?

    All this being said, there will be those who are obsessed or keep things in the hopes that they may one day get back with an individual. If you hold on any hope of rekindling an old relationship, you should never get into a new one. For those people, perhaps destroying those items is the answer for them to move on.

  • mark

    I’m on the fence about it. You can’t erase your past and experiences you had with other people. You may have learned and grew as a person due to those experiences. Pictures capture a moment in time. Is it an accurate picture of events, probably not, but a photo captures that particular moment at the time of the photo. keeping a pic for memory sake seems ok as long as you are not pining over it every day. As you get older those pictures become catalysts for reminiscing and remembering experiences from days long gone.
    But, I do see the point that holding on to pictures may reflect feelings a person could be holding on to. It’s a fine line and the decision to keep some pics is not easy.

  • Pingback: You’ll Never Know Till It Happens To You « Really Nathalie?()

  • PosterGirl

    In regards to the last line… to remind myself of how good I’ve got it now.

  • Nehemiah53

    From a male point of view if a girlfriend is keeping photos/momentos of her ex, it is a turn off to me, if she keep them for a while it’s a sign that she is holding on to someone else emotionally and I am not “the man” and it’s time for me to be moving on and find me a women who will let me know thru her action that “I am the man”!

  • KamJos

    Ooh I LOVED deleting photos of my ex. DUH-LETE boo boo.

    • Jamie Luella Backlin

      Ripping them up, THEN burning them is WAY more satisfying! Deleting is cool too. Me’s done both! ^_^

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    I know I shouldn’t keep them, but I still have them of my ex. I still guess love so I guess throwing them out it just something I can’t do even if I didn’t love him anymore. . . .

  • There is really no need to keep the pictures… Even if you are in a new relationship or not. Having constant reminders of the person you once were in love with or had strong feelings for isn’t really a good way to get over that person.. That’s if you truly want to get over that person.. and that raises a big eyebrow esp if you are currently in a relationship

    • Nehemiah53

      Right if you keep the pictures you are still holding on for some reason!

  • Ladybug94

    Well Anthony, what I’ve found is most men want you to throw away old photos/momentos while they secretly keep their old photos of girlfriends in a secret place.

    • Hawaiian Breeze

      I was just going to say something very similar.

    • Nah, I threw my old photos away. Only ones i have of my ex are in my college yearbook. Do I cut up my yearbook pages?

    • BootyButt

      I happen to agree. “Most” men do.

  • Sweet_yams

    I once threw away pics of an ex, since I was in another committed relationship with someone new. Months later my ex passed away, and I began to regret throwing those pics away. Luckily we live in a digital age and some pics were online, but most werent 🙁

  • Separationisnatural

    Holy Crap! It is NOT OK. I was almost in the clear when id gotten engaged. Had gathered up all my photos of my ex and was getting em ready for trash but left them on my counter face down by the way and my nosy finance at the time but now husband picked them up and saw them. I was completely mortified! He was damn near to tears later when he was telln me he’d seen them and my husband is very strong alpha male. Sistahs if ur serious about ur new courtship and u know its headed towards marriage throw those old photos away. Its very hurtful to ur new guy, even if he doesn’t say it.

    • Nehemiah53

      You are right it can be a deal breaker or he will remember and it will be trouble going forward if he is not sure he is the man. Remember insercurty cause some good men to cheat.

  • GalaxyEmpress

    I still have pictures of my ex and I am not getting rid of them for anybody. As long as they aren’t out in the open what’s the problem???

    • Hey

      And you ‘re holding onto them because . . . . . .

      • GalaxyEmpress

        Because….. I can

    • you need to ask yourself what is the real reason why you’re holding on to them? You have no problem keeping them yet you don’t want them out in the open? LOL. stop fooling yourself. I hang pictures of my family and friends on my wall in the open, so why not do the same… I mean after all there’s nothing wrong with it right?

      • PosterGirl

        For me, I keep pics of my ex so I can laugh at them with my husband. I’ll tell him about all the stupid ish Ex would pull and he’d look horrified. “I don’t do any of that!” he’d tell me. “Nope, you don’t. And that’s why I married *you*.” I’d reply. To this day, I still chuckle as I look at those photos.

  • IllyPhilly

    They are just pictures. Unless she goes into the bathroom and kisses them saying “I miss you so much baby.” I think it’s okay.

    • ok


    • GalaxyEmpress