[Book Review] Your Breakup, Your Blessing

A few days ago I received an email to review a new book: Your Breakup, Your Blessing: Breakup Self-Help — How to Live Before, During and After Divorce, by Karen R. Rivera.

This is a self-help book for women going through a divorce. On Amazon, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. It is very straight forward and offers some good advice and insights. However, I find that most of the info in the book can be found by just using Google, where there are thousands of articles written about this subject. I, myself, have written lots of posts on my blog on dealing with a breakup.

With self-help books like these, on relationship advices, I find that most women are seeking answers to questions that their common senses already are telling them — but breakups, especially a divorce situation, is hard to deal with, and sometimes you just need to hear it from someone else instead.

The main criticism I have on this book is that it starts off its first chapter with different types of abuses in relationships. I don’t think this is a good self-help book for general breakups or divorces, automatically assuming that relationships are always caused by some sort of an abusive relationship is not accurate.

Like most self-help books, this one is targeted towards a female demographic, but I think it is best suited for someone in a relationship like Kourtney Kardashian, dealing with an alcoholic womanizing baby daddy relationship… or Nicole Simpson, who was actually in a physically abusive relationship.

Thank you to the author for the opportunity to review her book, and I wish her lots of success with it.


50 Shades of Crazy

I finally got a chance to read this smut. Unbelievable. If I had the motivation to actually finish my book by its deadline so that it’ll be published, I could write better porn than this crap! They actually made a trilogy out of this obnoxious-ness… in book and film!

Alright, I had my fair share of crazy — where I’ve dealt with the crazy, and have even been the crazy. If there’s any ex out there reading this (or even a random guy using Google), here’s some insight for you, the clueless guy… the lacking in confidence guy, the dealing-with-this-crazy-shit guy… you know who you are. You are that geek who tries so hard to get the hot girl in all those teen-flicks, only to realize afterwards that you have all the confidence in the world (Revenge of the Nerds).

There’s the normal jealousy and insecurity that’s even cute and makes us feel loved, and then there’s the does-your-mama-know-your-ass-is-crazy. Yet many of us don’t know the difference.

What separates sweet possessiveness (as seen in the few insecure stages of love) with bitch-be-crazzzyyyyy? (I’m thinking of the movie Gone Girl here.) At what point do we say enough is enough?

When left unexplored and unresolved, possessive relationships can amount to feelings of misery, anxiety, anger, and even physical or emotional abuse — for women and men — hey, I’ve known a few crazy gals beat the crap out of guys who just took the beatings because they felt wrong to hit a woman back. I’ve always followed the mantra: Act like a man, get treated like one. So if women truly believe in equality, then expect to get punched in the face if you’re swinging at a guy. An even better mantra is: Keep your hands to yourself!

At first it can seem adorable and even flattering to be on the receiving end of your partner’s intense love and devotion, but after a while it becomes smothering and even destructive. Is your relationship supportive of your well-being, or a declination to your health and happiness?

Although it can be hard to admit flaws in a boyfriend, girlfriend or partner (except for me, I’m critical of everyone, ha!), it is worth getting real about your relationship for your own happiness. After all, you have to live with your decisions for the rest of your life. Essentially, if you don’t comply with what your partner wants, then comes the nagging, demanding, threatening, and/or emotional blackmailing.

Whenever you want to go out, meet up with a friend or family member, or even just take a break from them (because honestly, sometimes you just want to say I’m sick of looking at your face!), your partner wants to be a part of everything you do. Often they will discourage prolonged periods of going out and try to keep you confined to the house, typically in menacing or manipulative ways… like sex. Men use love to get sex, and women use sex to get love — (Mallory Knox in Natural Born Killers flashes to mind).

Your partner keeps an eye on every little thing you do to the point of stalking you (or when they’re really nutty — they stalk your friends, your family, even your freakin’ ex’s ex). This might include logging in to your social media accounts and checking your private messages, reading through your emails or text messages, checking your internet browser history, etc… I usually just snoop through the papers on his desk like a normal weirdo, ha!

One key sign of a possessive boyfriend, girlfriend or partner is their tendency to remind you that you are the center of their world; so much so that they need no other friends or social connections because they have you… it’s when they display anger or resentment towards your friends, colleagues or family members — or the exact opposite, make “friends” with your friends, colleagues, and family — that the alarm bells should be sounding. I’ve never understood that need to be so clingy; you know, to extend the theory of six degrees by separation, and this from a woman that approves every random friend request sent — who the hell are those 250 people following me on Instagram and LinkedIn!?!

A dark and serious kind of jealousy seems to boil under the surface of your partner’s façade as they try to dissuade you from spending time with your friends, colleagues or family members. They might criticize, character-dissect, bring up old issues you’ve experienced, or even fabricate lies about those you want to spend time with, sometimes even turning you against those you care about. They might also make up stories about non-existent people and events to try to make you jealous; like, telling you someone asked them out, gave them a compliment, anything to try to make you feel as jealous as they do; they equate jealousy with love. This is the most serious and dangerous warning sign of an abusive or destructive relationship, because these behaviors are so hard to unmask or reveal.

In a possessive relationship, personal space is rarely a concept that is valued. If you have a possessive boyfriend, girlfriend or partner, chances are they will impose themselves too much on your need to have time, space and objects that are exclusively yours. To them, they need to know it ALL. What’s the name of your first pet, your best friend’s name, the make and model of your first car — dude, that’s how Russian hackers get your bank info! … Seriously though, they’re just crazy. (I’m thinking bunny-boiling Fatal Attraction.)

If you talk to a man or woman, they want to know why. If you get a phone call from someone, they want to know why. If you get a friend request from someone, they want to know why. If you get spam mail, they want to know why. And God help you if you innocently reveal any kind of attraction to another person! This might lead to severe guilt-tripping, emotional punishment, or even violence. (Think a young Mark Wahlberg in Fear.)

Going out? Better make sure that you get approval from your partner! The possessive boyfriend, girlfriend or lover will always openly invite themselves somehow to anything that you are a part of — oh, you’re going to a men’s prostrate club meeting, bring her along too because you are her world!

For some reason, your partner always seems to call or text you more than usual because you’re out, they know it, and wasn’t able to swindle their way into joining you. (Oh, I’m just texting you for the 50th time in the last 15 minutes to tell you how much I love you, miss you, am sniffing your underwear for the scent of you because you’re so great and I looovvvvveeeee you so much!) Every decision you make — your partner wants to be there. Period. Often you will even feel pressured to do what they want to do, even if the decision has nothing to do with them.

Your possessive boyfriend/girlfriend/partner has a way of diminishing your self-confidence. They might be emotionally abusive, gaslight you and make you feel as though you don’t truly know what is best for you. All of their jealousy, all of their paranoia, all of their controlling behavior… “it’s all just love”. Your partner justifies his/her toxic behavior by pulling the love card on you, thus paving an easy escape route to avoid responsibility and blame. In fact, you might have bought into the “love” excuse yourself, continuing to justify your partner’s destructive behavior because you are unconsciously too scared to face reality. Fear that this person is the best you can do, fear of wasted time and investment, fear of embarrassment in having to explain it all to others. Fear of being alone.

Possessiveness and any kind of controlling behavior in relationships is a clear sign of insecurity. And where does this insecurity come from? From the fear of abandonment, rejection and powerlessness. If your partner is possessive, it is very likely that they have a great lack of self-love and self-confidence, and this is because deep down, they feel that they need you in order to be happy, safe, secure, and successful. This is the main reason why you are their world, they have no motivation or ambitions of their own, and basically is riding on your coattails in friends, status, financial security, and satisfaction. They live by-carelessly through you. They are “successful” because you’re successful, and therefore they see themselves as successful too for being with you (For Colored Girls).

Re-establish your self-confidence and self-respect which might have been crushed or depleted in your relationship. For instance, explore self-assertiveness, how to love and take care of yourself, and if you are quiet by nature, learn how to discover your voice.

Set aside an appropriate time to talk with your partner. Open the conversation by letting them know how and why you appreciate them, and then merge into the problems you are facing with their behavior. Always talk in terms of their behavior. (No one likes to be called crazy; beware of the woman who adamantly denies it, because let’s be real, all women are to some degree crazy — sane is the woman who knows it.) This removes unnecessary blaming and negativity. Provide specific examples of what behavior is disturbing or upsetting you, and what you would like to change.

Be aware that your partner might get very offended, angry, dismissive, or upset. Prepare yourself for this beforehand to ensure that you keep your cool. Be very clear about what you want to change in the relationship. Remember, if you emotionally react, then the conversation is over once egos get involved.

If they agree to change, help them out by drawing attention to any possessive behavior in the future and setting “time out” periods where you sit together and talk about the progress being made. Possessiveness can’t be cured overnight. Give yourself an ultimatum if there’s no real effort to better the relationship from either side. If you can’t carry out these recommendations (e.g. due to abuse, egotism, financial dependency, etc.), it is best to consider ending the relationship, and build a support network for yourself.

Being in a smothering relationship can be really hard and stressful. Remove some of that stress and burden by letting go of unrealistic fears of being alone, starting over, embarrassment, etc. And if you have any advice… please feel free to lend a helping hand, there’s a lot of crazies out there!

Going Cold Turkey

These last few days my blog stats have been insane. I’m getting hits from Google, Bing, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook… even some Russian search engine I’ve never heard of. Thank you for reading, it’s really been motivating.

One thing that people always seem to seek out is advice on relationships, and I am definitely no relationship expert. A lot of things that people are searching for answers to are actually common sense, but I think sometimes they just need to hear it from someone else to really solidify it.

I’ve read so many breakup stories these last few days, and the ones that hits me the hardest are the women that just can’t let it go. I know it’s hard to let go of that last cling of hope, but you have to realize that the person isn’t coming back and most likely has moved on. I’m going to tackle the questions that seems to be on a lot of broken-hearted minds:

But maybe he doesn’t know how much I love him, and I should keep calling and texting him so I can convince him of my love? NO!!! He knows how much you love him, the problem is he doesn’t love you. Being a crazy lady isn’t going to win him back. No guy ever says to himself, Wow! She must really love me because she’s calling every second of the day, I’m going to text her right now and tell her how much I love her too!

If I could just see him again I know I can get him back. Sure, he might be determine it’s over on the phone, but I know he’ll want me back if he actually saw me again. The 100% honest truth is that he checked out long before the actual breakup. If you’ve been dumped, the pain is fresh and unbearable at times. Your world seems like it has come to an end. All those plans you had are gone. Over. Just like that. But the worse part is that he has had a huge head start on the healing. However long he entertained ending the relationship is also how long he’s been emotionally detaching himself from you. So while your wounds are fresh and painful, your ex has the advantage of not only being in the power position, but also having had a chance to wean himself off of you emotionally while you have to go cold turkey on the relationship. It’s a harsh reality, but the truth is that he was already partially or even totally over it before you even knew it was going down. And if you’ve ever broken up with someone, then you have a pretty good idea what he’s going through right now. Yes, breaking up with someone sucks. Yes, you do feel badly about hurting someone’s feelings. But the fact of the matter is that once you get past the initial guilt, the overwhelming feeling is relief.

But what if he doesn’t realize the mistake he’s made? There’s no way he’ll ever find anyone better than me, who’ll love him as much as me. Listen up pretty lady, he’s moved on — but it wasn’t to become a monk or be a hermit. Even if he does realize that you were the best thing to happen to him since Astroglide, he’s trying his luck elsewhere. If there’s no one else out there for him that’s better than you, that’s his loss, and you’ll be the one that he stacks all other women up against. That’s actually an ego booster in my book. I have exs that I still keep in contact with, and while I don’t want them to be miserable, it does make me feel good knowing that they’re trying to find someone better than what they had (and you should too, especially if you think you’re the best he’ll ever get, because that means he’ll never find anyone that tops you).

Will I ever stop thinking about him and get over this? I promise you that it will get better in time, but the thing about time is that it takes actual time. In the meantime, work on setting realistic emotional goals for yourself. Try feeling different instead of better, and then encourage your ability to reach other milestones. Once you accept that it’s a slow process and you need the actual time to grief and mourn the loss, you’ll begin to heal.

But how can he just move on so easily? Walking away from a relationship is never easy. When someone does walk away, it means that they’ve fallen out of love, for whatever reason, have wanted out for a really long time, and finally got up the courage to do the deed. OR that there is another motivating factor in the equation — like, I’m sorry to say, another woman. Either way, the thing you have to realize with yourself is that while you thought things were great, he was working out an exit strategy. What this means is that clearly at some point the two of you stopped being in the same relationship. In his mind, things have probably been broken for a while, and what looks easy now is likely the result of him questioning his own needs and whether a future with you was really the one he wanted.

Alright, I’m just going to ramble on a few more things that should be a kick in the head to all you pretty ladies out there that’s tormenting yourself over a guy:

Sadly, it sounds like he doesn’t miss you— at least not enough to call you. The thing you don’t seem to grasp here is that you are broken up. You shouldn’t be calling or messaging anyway, because your status with each other has changed and contact with him won’t help you cut those emotional ties. And even if he does miss you occasionally, those feelings are superseded by his conviction that the relationship wasn’t for him. Even if he is thinking of you, he doesn’t want to be in contact with you — which should tell you that the breakup is for real, and that you should leave him alone and move on.

How can it just be over? Because it is. The relationship may have been perfect for you, but it wasn’t for him. People move on after a breakup — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The thing you have to remember is that it was over for him before he ended it, so he had a head start on the process of getting over it. Not only that, but people get over breakups in different ways.

Some like to do it alone, and others like to jump right back into dating. It sounds like you shouldn’t be holding hope for a reconciliation, so it doesn’t really matter what he’s thinking when he’s hooking up with his new lady. My guess is that since he was the one to move on, he’s not looking back.

It would be unfair to generalize and say that men don’t mourn the loss of relationships, but men do have a tendency to recover more quickly from the setback of heartbreak than women. The truth is that men and women are wired differently and tend to deal with their breakups in different ways. Men seem to be more sexually driven by nature and seek companionship more frequently and less selectively. So while a woman in the midst of heartbreak might not be able to even think of looking at another guy, a man might deal with the loss by getting back on the prowl, or a bucket of wings and a six-pack to heal his broken heart (especially during football season). Men also don’t really allow themselves the same indulgences during a breakup as women do, so they are socially conditioned to get past it faster or risk being seen as pathetic. Men are kind of dumb, really.

Think about it this way. Have you ever broken up with someone? Then you know that on all of those occasions, the common feeling was that you were over it before you actually got out of it. Being over it is, in part, what pushed you to end it in the first place. If you’ve been on the receiving end of a breakup, then you have to swallow the bitter pill that your ex is already over it and was possibly getting over it before you even knew you were in it. How much does that suck?

What sucks even more is getting hung up on the “what is he thinking and feeling?” shit. Does he miss me as much as I miss him? No. If he did, you’d know it by his actions. Is he seeing someone else? Maybe. Probably. Or at least he’s planning on it. Again — it sucks, but if you get real about it you’ll realize that knowing the answers to these questions still doesn’t change the fact that it’s over.

Guys may flip-flop and send confusing messages, especially when the potential for sex is involved. But if you really listen, they’re telling you everything you need to know by breaking up with you in the first place. Tell yourself the honest truth, he knows you’re still in love with him, but he hasn’t tried to get back with you, so what does that tell you? Here’s what I tell myself after a breakup — he’s dead, he got shipped off to war and got lost out at sea, he got married and has ten kids now, he’s dating Ms. October from Playboy, he’s got an STD, he was really a woman with a sex change… okay, maybe these are extremities, but whatever helps you to move on. If you’re convince that he broke up with you because there was someone else, then tell yourself that he’s with another woman and doesn’t want you anymore. You gotta do this cold turkey, it’s the only way.

Be happy …

Thank you to my readers on here (and people on my social media sites) for all the love… some hailing all the way from Okinawa, Japan even! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I was recently offered a position as a moderator for some sort of long-distance relationship website… needless to say, I passed on the offer (the irony of my life really kills me sometimes). There is something that I want to blog about, and it’s super important, depression. I feel it’s my civic duty to write this post for all of you out there nursing a broken heart.

I write my posts because I love writing, it helps me to vent. To me, writing is my outlet, my calm. Something to do when I’m in bed, wide awake, staring into the darkness. I try to relate to my readers with a tone that I would if in person, but that doesn’t change the real emotions that people sometimes feel.

Depression is no joke. If you’re in a situation where you can’t even get yourself out of bed anymore, seek help. The only person worth that kind of heartache is your own child(ren)… and if you have kids, be strong for them, no man (no matter how “great” you thought he was) is worth the energy taken from you being a mom to your child.

You know what a bad breakup is like? Like an addiction. People go to AA and NA meetings and have sponsors, well I’ll be your “Breakup Buddy” (it’s a sponsor that keeps you from being known as the “ex” to becoming label as the “psycho-ex” — because you are just too awesome for that kind of nonsense). But just like a real sponsor, I am not a friend. Sponsors in self-help groups are strangers who have gone through the same struggles you have, but they’re not friends and they’re definitely not professionals. If my blogging helps you to get over your heartache, I will type until my fingers cramp up… but there’s only so much that a sponsor/Breakup Buddy can do.

There are some breakups that really do seem like a crisis, and in those cases you need a professional who is trained to help you recover from your crisis. I worry about YOU (all the broken hearts out there), some of the stories I’ve read lately actually makes me want to be strong for YOU… hell, sometimes I wonder if we even dated the same guy!

Everyone mourns differently. There is no time frame for getting over grief. An end of a relationship is just like a death — I will talk you out of the weekend texting, sexting, emailing, Facebook stalking, blocked-number dialing… but YOU have to have the will power to actually not do it. Your ex is a drug. Sure you felt great when you guys were together, but now that he’s dumped you (I know “dump” is a harsh word, but I’m not a friend, I’m a stranger who’s decided to be your Breakup Buddy), you’re having withdrawals like a heroin fiend. You need to detox from the ex, the withdrawal period is hard, but you can’t recover until you have DETOX.

So I’m just going to hit you with a bunch of bricks here (you need a wake up call) because honestly your depression is making me depress, and I’ve got enough of my own shit to be depressed about. So here goes:

NO ONE dies alone. I’ve seen fugly-ass people with significant others. Have you seen Here Comes Honey BooBoo??? You’ll find someone too… they did.

He wasn’t a “great guy” — maybe he treated you good, but you treated him good too… so maybe you guys weren’t that “great” with each other; but focus on the things that didn’t make it so great: physical things that you weren’t attracted to — you brought it up for a reason, it was like the first thing you told me about him, so obviously it bothered you. The sex was lame and you had nothing in common. You didn’t like his family and you tolerated his friends, he made no effort to even meet your family. You and his mom got into a bitch-fest. He put his job and friends ahead of you, even though he was always number one in your life… I mean, I could make a list (and I already did, so now you finish the list of all the reasons why he wasn’t so “great” after all, and was just a nice guy instead).

And what if you weaken and call or text? So what? Many recovering addicts fall off the wagon, the point is to keep trying… keep enduring with the struggle until you eventually get to the one week mark, two weeks, and hopefully you’ll get a one month chip. I’ll confess, I’ve fallen off that wagon plenty of times. I would tell myself that I wouldn’t contact a guy, I’d make big X marks on my calendar for every day that I succeeded, but there would be times when I couldn’t fight the urge and I ended up texting or calling him. And you know what? I’ve NEVER felt good after I made that call or send that text, and you won’t either.

Don’t get drunk, high, or rebound on sex to get over him. It won’t make you forget. Afterwards, you’ll probably feel worse… and don’t give up one vice for another. You know, I recently smoked two packs of cigarettes… I don’t even smoke at all! And that shit cost $7 a pack… in Iowa!!! (Imagine if you were nursing this heartache in NYC instead — you’d be broke and depress!) After I finished the second pack, I said, F*ck this! I don’t smoke. If anything, I picked up smoking because of him and his big-ass hookah. Why should me, my house, my car, and my clothes stink when I’m not even a smoker anyway?

You wanting to smoke or drink the guy away isn’t going to do it. All it’s going to do is leave a dent in your wallet, and a possible real addiction (not the metaphor)… and it can only go down hill from there. You know what I tell myself? He was good to me, but I was good to him too, but maybe he just doesn’t know a good thing when he sees it. You think you want him back because he broke it off, but really how great was this guy? He doesn’t seem that great to me.

If you’re going through hell, keep going!!! At least you know you’re still living. Having any hope for an ex that long ago is just not healthy — no matter how great it plays out in your head, he DOES NOT want to see you. Do not manipulate any “chance” encounters, accidental bumpings, or coincidental meetings… you’re not fooling anyone, and it’ll only make you feel pitiful about yourself to have to sunk to such lows for a man that doesn’t love you.

Yes, even if he did love you at one point, it’s irrelevant because he doesn’t love you NOW. If it’s meant to be, love will bring you two back without forcing some awkward meeting because you just happen to be by his house, his job, his favorite Starbucks. I’m going to say this, and it’s going to hurt like a motherf*cker, but HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU. If it makes you feel better, tell yourself he doesn’t love you anymore, but it doesn’t change the fact that he just plain out doesn’t love you, whether it’s “anymore” or not.

Take all the time you need to deal with your grief, but you should still be able to function, and if you’ve come to the point where you can’t even take care of yourself anymore — seek professional help.

(Ugh, I swear this whole week is giving me diarrhea or some shit.) You won’t end up alone, that wasn’t the only nice guy out there. How do I know? Because I can list off like ten nice guys I’ve met every time a relationship ended. Unless you’ve been hit with the ugly stick (and even then there’s still hope!), you’ll find another nice guy again, and maybe this nice guy will be a great guy instead. You know what song you should have on repeat? — When a Man Loves a Woman, Percy Sledge. That’s the kind of man you want, the difference between a nice guy and a great guy.

If you are truly, in all of your being, just not able to accept that it’s over — then wait like six months (or longer), and see if the feelings are still there and see if he wants to try again; but in those six months date, go to work, find a new job, do something you’ve always wanted to do, see a friend, go skydiving, whatever… just do something that accomplishes your life, not his.

Start by dating again. Try Plenty of Fish, it’s actually a great site to meet someone. I’ve met like twenty people of there, some I’m still friends with, others I’ve never seen again. I will tell you, I hate dating. I really do. But there’s nothing like the first flirtations and excitement of dating someone new, and missing them, and the anxiousness waiting for their call or text… it might even make you happy again.

Getting Your Stuff Back Post-Breakup

I think one of the most awkward things that you have to do is ask for your things back after a breakup… it’s like, doesn’t the person have the common decency to give you back your favorite pair of shoes, you know, the ones that cost $200.

Now, don’t be petty after a breakup and demand every little thing you’ve ever given him back. One, that’s just immature — gifts were given because for all purposes, you had intended for the person to have it forever. So be the classy person that you are, and don’t ask for a gift back… not even that TV you got him for Christmas (hopefully he got you something just as nice). And two, there are some things that you just have to cut your losses with, like your favorite mixed CD.

During a breakup, I try to avoid all contact if possible, except for the dreaded request of wanting something back. When a relationship is over, I never give an ex back his stuff. I figured if he wanted his worn out t-shirts, he wouldn’t have left them behind. I also don’t give them back their things because I think it’s just plain childish. It’s like, you’re trying to hurt the person by showing you don’t care anymore, so here’s all your stuff back that you’ve ever given me because I’ve move on… only, if you really feel that way, why not just throw it in the trash instead???

However, there are some things that are expensive or of sentimental value, and I do believe that you have every right to get those things back. These things should not be a gift, and should be very clearly defined as yours — like your Vera Wang handbag, why the flak hasn’t he returned it yet!?! I would ask for it back.

A phone call is always the easiest method, I think. Don’t beat around the bushes. Be civil and straight to the point. Your agenda is to get your Jimmy Choo shoes back… but don’t call him up demanding your socks, your makeup, your pajamas that you got from Walmart. If there’s anything that he has of yours that can be replaced by Walmart, cut your losses… and who are you kidding anyway, it was just an excuse to talk to him.

This is a tricky one for a lot of people, because sometimes after a breakup there are certain expensive gifts that the other person wants back. I’m a believer of a gift is a gift, end of debate. But, if you really feel strongly about getting something back from your ex, then ask him nicely for it, don’t demand it… and if all else fails, take legal action (however, in the long run it’s not worth it, and most judges will agree that a gift is a gift).

There’s been two incidents where I’ve asked for something back from an ex… I’ll tell you the first one. After a breakup with an ex-boyfriend, I realized that I had left a ring at his house. Now, this ring was actually from a different ex. A few days after we broke up, I realized that I’ve left my ring at his apartment.

I pound on the ex’s door demanding my ring. He claimed he threw all my things away. So I went down to the courthouse the next day and filed a small claims case against him for my ring. My claim asked for $5,000 (the ring cost about $300), but I figured the added $4,700 was for him being a dick. I got my ring back… only to have it stolen when I moved to NC (the irony is too much, I tell you!).

I would never ask an ex back for anything that I gave him, just as I would never expect an ex to ask me back for anything he’s given me… honestly, it would hurt my feelings because despite however the relationship ended, it would mean that none of it was real. I know some people throw out everything that reminds them of their ex, but I’m a sentimental kind of person, I like having fond memories.

From the guy’s perspective, I think the only gift he is entitled to is his engagement ring; but if he’s not asking for it back, then by all means keep it (I totally would!) — besides, it’s the ring he picked out for you… but if he wants it back, and you don’t want to give it up, try to explain to him how important it is to you that you keep it (besides, what’s he going to do with another woman’s engagement ring anyway!?!).

If there is something that you want back from your ex, I’d say wait a week or two when you’re no longer emotional, and to give him/her time to send your stuff back on their own. You don’t want to wait too long, because honestly if a guy called me up a month later asking for his leather jacket, I would flat out say to him, It couldn’t have been that important if it took you a month to ask. But don’t hold someone’s things as hostage in the hopes of getting back with them, and don’t throw your ex’s things out to hurt them or seek revenge.

If he/she hasn’t returned your stuff on their own, then pick up that phone and make that awkward call. Only you can decide if it’s worth getting your stuff back or dealing with the regret of contacting the ex. Hopefully, if he’s the great guy he thinks he is, or she’s the great gal she thinks she is, you’ll get your stuff back. Good luck!