The ex factor: 43% of Brits keep photos of former partners following a break-up

Why we can NEVER let go of our exes, no matter how happy we are

43% of Brits keep photos of former partners following a break-up

One in five men hide these photos for fear of their new partner disapproving

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UPDATED:

12:09 GMT, 26 July 2012

No break up is easy. From the memories you shared to 'your song', it is hard to forget about a former lover overnight.

While millionairess Tamara Ecclestone has tasked bodyguards with ridding her home of every trace of her love rat ex-boyfriend Omar Khyami, new research shows that not all of us are that strong-willed.

The new study, by Friends Reunited, shows many of us can’t bring ourselves to be so cut-throat with the latest findings revealing that 21.6 million Brits have held onto photographs of former partners following a break up.

Will Katie finally have taken down her poster of Tom that she kept on her wall as a teenager

Will Katie finally have taken down her poster of Tom that she kept on her wall as a teenager

Women are more sentimental than men, with 61 per cent claiming they keep the photos as they highlight a part of their life they don’t want to forget, versus 56 per cent of men.

But men may be hiding more from their partners than their other halves realise.

One in five men (20%) in a current relationship who have photos of their ex partners say they have hidden photos of an ex fearing disapproval from their new partner, compared to only nine per cent of women.

Men also seem to have more weighing on their conscience, as 17 per cent said they ‘sometimes feel guilty about keeping photos of their ex partners’, compared to just 11 per cent of their female counterparts.

Jennifer Anniston has struggled to find a permanent lover since her split with heartthrob Brad Pitt

Jennifer Anniston has struggled to find a permanent lover since her split with heartthrob Brad Pitt

They may have good reason for this, however, as more than one in ten men who keep photos of their ex partners (12 per cent) admit they still have feelings for their ex, compared to only five percent of women.

Corinne Sweet, behavioral psychologist said: 'It’s not surprising that nearly half of us keep some kind of visual memento of past partners; a photo generates strong emotions as it unleashes memories of past attachment and times.

'The main reason people hide their photos (especially men) is probably due to a fear of their current partner’s jealousy, or of evoking comparisons in terms of attractiveness and sexiness, etc.

Emotionally mature partners will be able to accept you have a past love-life.

Does Madonna treasure this romantic snap of her and Guy Ritchie taken in happier times in 2008

Does Madonna treasure this romantic snap of her and Guy Ritchie taken in happier times in 2008

'The point at which people are able to put an ex-partner’s photo away (after a split, divorce or death) is usually the time they are emotionally ready to move on.

'Yet, it is totally understandable for people to keep photos to remind them of previous loves, as, indeed, these images do form part of our life stories – whether for better or for worse.'

The majority of us (48 per cent) keep these
snaps in old photo albums, but others (31 per cent) stash them in cupboards and
drawers, or in the attic (12%). Nine per cent of men say they purposely
keep the photos in hidden files on their computer.

Matt Bushby, Head of Friends
Reunited, said: 'We all have photos from our past we want to keep;
whether we want to share with others, or remain private.

'Old photos are
often the best – they bring back memories and blasts from the pasts,
even if we think we’d sometimes prefer to forget! The new Friends
Reunited site is the one place you can search, collect and save
treasured personal memories, especially old photos that have a special
place in our hearts and you make them totally private if you want too!'

CLINGING TO THE PAST…. TOP REASONS BRITS HOLD ON TO PHOTOS OF EXES

It was part of my life/growing up that I don’t want to forget

They bring back good memories

I don’t like throwing any photos away

They remind me of a special event

I look good in the photos

They make me laugh

I still have feelings for my ex

I think we may get back together one day

So I can use them against him/her one day