Mine was a wedding dress. Sleek, satin and seemingly meant for me—or so I’d thought, when I spotted it at a vintage shop in Minneapolis. When the marriage ended, I held onto it. But the longer the dress hung in my closet, the more it felt…wrong. Why keep something that symbolized a relationship that had ended? Would I meet someone new, if I held on to the past?
I don’t see see such things as quite so black and white now, but I find the whole topic fascinating: When is it healthy to hang on to objects of affection, once the affection is no longer? Is it ever unhealthy? What do others do with these objects of affection?
If I hadn’t auctioned my dress off on eBay some years ago, I would probably consider donating it to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles. Yes, that’s a thing! And a glorious one, at that. If you haven’t yet checked it out, I highly recommend it.
Last month, I visited the museum with a few friends, Karina, Rayne and Erin, and interviewed the director, Alexis Hyde. We gabbed about the museum then took Girl Boner Radio listeners on an audio tour of a few of its most striking objects—including silicone breast implants, a dress from a stalker and pubic hair. Each item has a story—some are funny, some haunting, some heartbreakingly sad—and all speak to the power of love connections, even after they’ve fallen apart.
Learn what my pals and I think of holding on to relationship keepsakes, powerful takeaways from our tour and more! I finished the episode with Dr. Megan Fleming, as we shared thoughts for a listener who wishes lingering emotional trauma from her own ex-relationship would diminish. I’m so grateful for her question, as I’m sure it’ll resonate with many.