Advice: Pink in the sheets

Dear Mz. Pink,

I recently moved in with my girlfriend, and it was a great decision but she has memorabilia from her past girlfriends all over the place. She has pictures, movie tickets, decorations, stuffed animals and anything you can think of in her house.

I told her that I feel uncomfortable with the stuff, but she laughs and says I am overreacting. She says that not all of the stuff was hers and theirs. She said she would put the pictures up, but that I needed to not be so sensitive. She said I needed to trust her.

Am I being insecure? Should I not care so much about stuff? How do I deal with the stuff and with her?

Sign me Stuffed

Dear Stuffed,

You have every right to feel uncomfortable. It is an awkward situation. If you’re moved in then that stuff should have a home out of sight. I can maybe understand the decorations, but pictures, stuffed animals etc.? That stuff needs to go.

Like you, I would question why it was still there. That doesn’t make you insecure, but you have a right to know, especially if she considers the house half yours. She should hopefully consider everything yours since you are moved in.

Talk to her about incorporating more of you into the home. Tell her you know the home is hers, but she is sharing it with you now since you both made the decision to move in together. She should let you make some decisions in the house and if she doesn’t or won’t work with you then you should re-evaluate if you two should be living together.
Talk to her about the two of you getting a new place together. This may be an option for you two and that will give you both a clean slate. If she owns her home, maybe you two could paint a room or pick out new decor together to make the home feel more like the two of you. If she wonders why you want to do this, just tell her the truth: You want the home to feel like it belongs to both of you as a couple, not her and her ex.

As far as her ex’s stuff goes, she should be able to keep it, just like you should if you have any souvenirs from a past girlfriend. Just because she has it doesn’t mean she wants her ex back. Her past is a pail of her life and you don’t want to fight her on that because it will get you nowhere. Besides, everyone has a past. Some are better than others, but no matter what, they are memories and the more you fight them the worse the trust issues, jealousy issues and the relationship will be. There is nothing good that can come out of telling a partner what she can have and can’t have.

However, if she keeps the stuff out and talks about the memories constantly or you catch her going to the garage to go through the stuff she finally put up, then you have a problem. That’s when you know she is still hung up on her ex and you need to get your stuff and go. It seems to me that there may be some unresolved issues there with your girlfriend and her ex since she has pictures out and things that reflect good times they had together. The fact that she seems so nonchalant about these things also shows that she didn’t even think about putting her stuff out of the way even when you two were just dating.

If this is the case then you need to think about how long you two have been together, how long was she with the ex and are you a rebound? If your answers indicate that you could be a rebound then you need to call it what it is and move on. You cannot force her to love you and not love her ex. No matter how great you are and no matter how much you love her, it will not happen. You will end up being the beggar and hopefully you will have a little dignity and pride before you start doing that!

Get to the bottom of this and figure out what you want to deal with and how you are going to deal with it. If she is hung up on her ex, you need to come to grips with the situation and go — sooner, not later!

Mz. Pink

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