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What To Do With The “Couple Pictures” After Breaking Up

This weekend, while hanging out with a friend who has recently moved and had a relationship end, we started talking about the pictures taken while in the relationship, and what should be done with them.

Depending on how long the relationship lasted, there could be anywhere from just a few to hundreds of photos with that person in them. Is it best to keep these reminders, destroy anything that is going to bring back the memories of that person, or edit them out of the pictures?

One of the factors to consider when deciding the outcome of these memories, is why the relationship ended. If it was a mutual decision to split (and try to remain friends, even though that isn’t always a good idea), it might be ok to keep these items. It probably isn’t a good idea to keep all of the pictures in their frames or on display though, as all that would do is make you dwell on the past and possibly hinder any chances of moving on.  If the relationship split was one-sided, and the pictures are just going to bring up bad feelings, it might be best to either get rid of them completely, or store them somewhere out of sight (and hopefully out of mind).

For me, this is a hard decision, as a lot of good memories were made, and cool places visited, but my ex is in the majority of my pictures from that time.  It wasn’t until I started going through my pictures that I realized in the last 4 years, I have rarely been in a picture by myself. I’ve changed out most of the ones I had in frames with pictures of friends and family, but some pictures (like those from vacations), are ones that I would like to have reminders of that better time. Maybe the best solution in this case is to take another vacation and just make new memories.

One of my attempts at cropping a favorite photo.

There are services out there, like this company, that can Photoshop a person out a picture, but it looks like it can be quite costly, and honestly a little petty to go through all of that work just to have only yourself in a picture. Also, with some of the basic photo editing programs, such as iPhoto, it can be pretty easy to just crop them out of the picture… that is if the photo will not look too silly afterwards.

Another possible solution would be to find a picture with someone else who can be “cropped in” and replace the ex, but then that’s pretty much lying to yourself about whatever event you are modifying the pictures from.

Obviously, in cases where a divorce has happened, it’s probably better to just forget about trying to change things in wedding pictures, and just put them into storage until a later time. It might be hard to explain why you have pictures of yourself in a wedding dress and no groom in the pictures.  Luckily, that isn’t a problem I have to face.

Is there a best method for what to do with these types of pictures? I think the idea of creating new memories and trying not to dwell on the past is probably the best option, but I guess it just depends on the person, and how their own post-breakup recovery process works.

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