The logistics of a breakup can be as much of a nightmare as the actual breakup itself. Especially if you have an ex that won’t give you back your things.
Whether she’s actually a kleptomaniac, trying to get attention, or just trying to get revenge, an ex-girlfriend holding on to your things is a pain in the ass you just don’t need right now.
Tthere are certain cases where you should just forget about your stuff. If it’s a few pairs of clothes, is it really worth it?
But if your ex has your valuable possessions, it’s worth taking action to recover them.
It’s also important to get your things from your ex so she has no leverage over you in the future, and you can maintain no-contact and prioritize your emotional recovery.
Why she won’t give back your stuff
Assuming you have asked for your things back and been refused, it almost always comes back to control.
Your ex is looking to control you through your things. She may be trying to provoke a reaction out of you in order to get your attention. She may also attempt to use your things to re-enter your life at a later date.
You’ll see this all the time with BPD women. It’s also common in any woman with a narcissism disorder.
Combine the 11% number with a society that empowers women to act out negatively with little fear of repercussion, and yo
Of course, it’s not just these women, but be aware.
On a softer note, it is possible that she is sentimentally attached to your things and reacting in a negative way because she is emotional.
She could be entirely attached to a pet you two got together, even if you had agreed it was yours and not hers.
How to get your things back
One of the biggest mistakes I see men and women both make when they’re trying to get their things back: almost immediately trying to get their things back.
This isn’t advisable unless you’re at her house and in a position to get your most critical things before leaving. Otherwise, if things get heated, it’s best to just leave and then follow up later after things have cooled off.
Not only will you handle the situation better, but she’ll be less likely to give you pushback. You don’t want to wait too long though, the longer you drag it out the longer your recovery is going to take.
If you tried to get your things back right after you broke up, give this a try. Wait around 1-2 weeks, and then text her asking for your things back.
To avoid her potentially blowing up again, I would only ask for the big things of yours that you can’t replace. Things that you can easily replace are not worth risking your more important possessions!
If you do this right, 90% of the time there won’t be a problem. You’ll get your things back, and be on to no-contact. However, there’s always that extra 10% who want to make things difficult.
If she’s not cooperative, don’t force anything or threaten her.
When emotions are running high, you’ll get further by doing nothing then you will be reacting in kind. If she refuses to give your things back, don’t engage her further.
Don’t send any threatening texts or harass her for your things back. If she’s refusing to give them back, you’re only going to strengthen her resolve by berating her.
She might even destroy some of your things, which is exactly what you don’t want.
If she’s BPD or a narcissist, this is likely what she wants. Don’t play her game, just take a step back and let her cool off. Withdrawing your attention won’t push her further, and will give you a chance to collect your thoughts.
Handle this in a mature way, not by yelling back.
Work her circle
Her close circle of friends and family are your best bet if she’s refusing to give your things back.
Even if the relationship ended badly, reaching out to her parents is where you should start. Explain to them calmly that you just want your things back. Don’t blame her for anything, or even attempt to throw her under the bus.
Normally, this will be enough. I’ve had to ask the parents before, and boy, was it was awkward.
But it solved the problem without causing any further damage.
Don’t be afraid to her parents if you are being reasonable. They’ll often understand, as I’m sure many of them have been through similar circumstances.
However, if her parents aren’t an option your next best bet is her social circle.
If you two have any mutual friends, ask them to help you out. They’ll be the most useful, as normally mutual friends will want to resolve breakups with minimal drama.
Otherwise, you’ll need to go to her best friend. With her best friend, it’s going to be extremely important to tread carefully. You’ll want to treat her best friend the same way you would treat her parents. No matter what she says to you, stay calm.
This should resolve 98% of cases. If for some reason she still refuses, you’ve got a few more serious steps. Wait about a week, just to give her a chance before you move forward.
Is it really worth it?
If you’ve made it this far and she still hasn’t given you back your possessions it’s important to ask yourself: how badly do you want your things back?
Escalating the situation further is going to cost you time, and potentially money.
Unless she has something particularly valuable or sentimental, I would personally just give it a rest. You’re going to add additional stress to your already stressful breakup.
But, if you must, persist. If she has still refused to
At this point, save any conversations you have had with her.
Ask her one more time, as nicely as you can, if she’ll return your things.
If she refuses or threatens you, don’t attempt to contact her again.
At this point, it’s time to gather the trail of evidence that shows you have diplomatically tried to resolve the situation. At this point, your ex is guilty of conversion – a legal term that roughly means borrowing and keeping your property.
Once you’ve collected everything, head down to your local police station and file a police report. You’ll generally be asked to file a list of the stolen property. Depending on the evidence, and estimate of your property, the police may go investigate on the spot.
However, if they don’t, small claims court is appropriate.
You’ll need a lawyer and evidence/witnesses, otherwise it may prove difficult to validate your claims. And expensive. Are you sure your stuff is worth it?
How to avoid losing your things in the future
While I highly doubt any of you will have to take an ex to small claims court to get your things back, there’s a great rule to live by.
If it’s worth over $50 bucks or emotionally priceless, don’t leave it with your girlfriend.
If it’s cheap and replaceable, you won’t give a shit. She’ll lose that leverage over you.
Plus, what does it really say to her if all your nice things are over at her house?
Keep your important things at your house! Not only will you be better organized, but you won’t have to worry about this little wrinkle if things ever go wrong.
You should also be cautious about lending your things to women who you haven’t known long enough to establish a pattern of trust. I see guys get themselves into trouble with this all the time! She has to earn that right.
The same thing goes for women who behave erratically, or have extreme high/low mood swings.
Just keep your stuff next time!