Monday, April 19, 2010

Exchanging of Belongings (Post Break-Up)

Written by Lauren K. of Love Kudos

Exchanging of Belongings:
If you live in a swanky high rise in NYC, you are extremely fortunate with the belongings exchange process. Why is that? Because you can use the doorman to do your dirty work and never have to intentionally see your Ex again (if you don't want to). You can even black list them from seeing you in your building. On Sex in the City, Miranda was not only given back her belongings by a doorman, but was actually delivered the "break up" message by him. I think being broken up by a doorman is worse than by a text message or a post-it.

What do you think?

Getting belongings back from an ex can be really hard or it can be done very easily. This really depends on who did the breaking up, the proximity to the Ex, and what efforts you will go to getting your stuff back. I recommend that you be mature with the handling of your Ex's stuff and not dump it out the window or leave it unattended on the front door step for someone else to take.

Blogger Edi Kurnik says,
"If you were the one to break up with you girlfriend of boyfriend, and you have ended up hurting them a lot, chances are that you will not be getting anything back. Your things are probably in thousands of pieces, waiting in the trash to be transported to the city dump. If, however, you ex was the one to break up with you, things shouldn't be that hard. He or she will probably want to get rid of your stuff anyways."

Case Studies from Lauren K.:

About ten years ago, I accidentally (not on purpose) left a one of a kind strapless bra at a guy's house. We were never exclusive, but we did date for a little over a month. Well, Scott S.* decided after a weekend visit back home to Atlanta, that he wanted to get back together with his Ex. I accepted his decision to end things with me, but I wanted my bra back. He thought I was kidding when he offered to send it to me Fed Ex and I took him up on it. Well, a few weeks go by and no bra comes in the mail. Like I said before, it was a custom made "One of a Kind" strapless bra, so I really wanted it back. I finally had to be aggressive with the situation.

I called him back and asked if he could bring it to work the next day. I volunteered that I would pick it up at the front desk. Would you believe it, that when I showed up at his work the receptionist did not have a package waiting for me. I probably should have left with my dignity in tact at that point, but I was furious. I paged him and Scott comes with bag in hand and offers to give me a tour of his law firm. He shows me the conference room, his office, the mock court room, and then asks if I want to grab lunch. As good as he looked in his navy blue pin striped suit and Tommy Pink tie, I declined his invitation and scooted out with my bra in hand.

The doorman technique in New York is not completely foolproof. When I lived on the upper westside, I gave my doorman the book, The Bell Jar, that my fling Adam* had requested back. I felt like time had run its course and the chemistry just wasn't there on my end. When Adam picked up the book, the doorman asked him if he wanted to see if I was in the building, and he said, "Sure." Next thing I know, Adam is knocking on my door and then meeting my mother, who happened to be visiting me for the weekend. Awkward much, huh?

This next example is indicative of what you should not do when you want to get your belongings back.

I dated Max* for about three plus months and made the rookie mistake of giving him a key to my apartment. I lived alone and wanted to reciprocate his gesture of giving me the key to his house. Well, I ended up coming home a few hours earlier than planned from my family vacation and woke up to Max entering my apartment unannounced at 6AM. In my bewildered stupor, I thought he was there to surprise me, but when he was startled by my presence, I realized that he did not actually want me to be there at all. I had contemplated breaking up with him while I was on vacation, but made the decision to give it some more time.

Apparently, we were on the same wave length. Without making any eye contact with me, he starts gathering his stuff: a pair of running shoes, two pairs of scrubs, men's Kiehls moisturizer, and a goosedown pillow he had bought for sleepovers at my place. Perhaps, he should not have invested $80 in a pillow that he might not get back. Right? I asked him if he had met someone else and he said, "No." His reasoning for breaking up with me was that after three months, he did not feel like we were in love and on his timeline, he needed to feel that way by that point. I do think he cheated on me, but honestly, I was ready to give him the boot too, so I was not heartbroken at all. I really was just shocked by his cowardly behavior and how little regard he had for my feelings.

Statue of Limitations?

Someone recently asked me if there is a statue of limitations on how long you have to pick up your belongings after the break up, before they are no longer considered your property and I was somewhat stumped. Although there is not a definitive time frame, I think that after 3 to 4 attempts over several months of trying to get your Ex to pick up their stuff, you can do with it what you please. If you are trying to hold off on the exchanging of belongings as leverage to get them back, this is a bad idea.

Break ups are difficult enough as is, so try to make the exchanging of belongings as peaceful and expedient as possible is Love Kudos' recommendation.

If you missed the last blog on "Accidentally On-Purpose" Keepsakes and Rejects, click here.

- All pictures are not owned by Love Kudos. Credits to,, and

*Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of all parties involved.

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