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Would you get rid of a gift you cherish that just so happened to come from an ex if your new man were bothered by it?

I was recently sent this question by a reader who is in the ultimate bind. She has a tennis bracelet gifted to her by an ex-boyfriend she was with for five years. When the pair split, it took time, but they eventually ceased all communication. However, one major thing that still ties the two together is that bracelet. Despite moving on to a relationship that she’s been in for a little over two years with a new man, the tennis bracelet is still shining in her jewelry box. She says that she only wears it on very special occasions.

The reader decided to wear the bracelet to a friend’s wedding recently, which she attended with her new man. It was a simple accessory to go along with her dress, and despite not wearing it very often, it’s a piece of jewelry that she cherishes. But to be clear, she says she values it not because of who gave it to her, but because it’s simply a beautiful ornament.

While sitting at the reception with her man, the woman got to know some guests who were assigned the same table. As they chatted, the bracelet caught the attention of another woman who was taken by it. The guest complimented our reader on her fancy bracelet, which she claimed was a gift. Noticing that she came to the wedding with her boyfriend, this woman proceeded to ask him, “Did you get it for her?” in an attempt to compliment what she believed was his excellent taste. Of course, we all know that he didn’t.

Our reader answered for him, telling the woman, “It was a gift from a friend.”

That should have been the end of that, right?

On the drive home, our reader’s boyfriend, still in a pretty good mood, shifted the conversation from the fun they had at the wedding and reception, back to the bracelet. He lightly asked her, “So, who gave you that bracelet?” Feeling caught in a corner after trying to use unsuccessfully the “my friend” excuse again, she hesitantly fessed up: “My ex.”

“Which ex?” he inquired.

“Mike,” she replied.

Mike was, of course, the ex-boyfriend who our reader had been with for five years. Upon hearing this, her current boyfriend got quiet. For a few minutes that is.

He eventually told her when they got home that the fact that she had the bracelet, an undoubtedly expensive token of love and affection from her ex, made him feel very uncomfortable. When asked why she still had it, she told him that she kept it because it’s a tennis bracelet for God’s sakes! It’s beautiful! Can’t that be enough?

To him, it wasn’t right that after two years of being together, she would think it was okay to keep such a significant gift from a man she had quite the serious relationship with. He told her that he would prefer if she got rid of it but he wasn’t making any ultimatums (as in, “Lose it or lose me”). So now our reader finds herself in a complicated situation. According to her, she has long moved on from her ex in terms of emotions. She will always have love for him, but she’s over him. She only keeps the bracelet because, well, it’s fabulous, and after five years, she thinks she earned it. And while she could rack up some major coins if she pawned it, for our reader, it’s just nice to have something worth so much in her possession. What’s the big deal?

I can see where this reader is coming from. Hell, I wouldn’t want to give up a fancy a** tennis bracelet either. But sometimes you have to make sacrifices to keep the lights on in a relationship. Considering that it’s something that her current beau has openly said makes him uncomfortable, he will only grow resentful over time if he knows she still has it. If I were in her shoes and saw a real future with this man, I would probably get rid of it. With the money she could reap from that bracelet, she could buy a brand new one or something equally as elegant, and still keep her relationship afloat. If the shoe were on the other foot and he had something from an ex that he held on to like baby’s first blanket, she would probably feel some type of way, and maybe even assume that he still held some sort of emotional attachment to his old flame. As sucky as it is to have to give up such a valuable item, such is life. It’s one of the things we do for love…

But what do you think? Is he petty for wanting her to ditch the bracelet? Is it weird that she kept it?

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