At a long-ago birthday party, my cartoonist friend Peter gave me a framed piece of his artwork. As he handed it over, he said, "This is for you, so no matter what happens with him, it's yours." At the time I thought it was weird. After all, my boyfriend and I were never ever going to break up.
When my boyfriend dumped me a few months later, Peter's painting was the first thing I packed.
More from YourTango: Power Women: 4 Must-Know Dating Secrets Of Successful Ladies
Though The New York Post recently ran a story about couples signing "pre-prenups" before marriage is even on the table, most cohabiting, or even co-existing, couples don't bother. I mean, if it's legalities you want, either get married or go down to City Hall and register as domestic partners. The Frisky: How To Properly End An Engagement
And besides, without kids or shared property, what's the law going to do for you? Gifts are one thing, but what of the random detritus that gets left behind? Is Johnny Law really going to help you get your Ramones shirt back? Probably not. So most couples figure this stuff out themselves. The Frisky: 6 Lessons From My Last Breakup That Are Getting Me Through This One
Kendra, a project manager from Brooklyn, worked out a unique solution with her college boyfriend. "We used to buy expensive records together—collectibles, mostly bootlegs—and would take turns being the one with 'custody,'" she reported. "The agreement was that if we broke up, whoever had custody had to make a recording of it for the other person." The Frisky: Do You Have to Return the Ring If The Engagement Ends?
But sometimes you just want the other person—along with any reminders of them—gone. "As this one ex was explaining why we he didn't feel like he should have to pay for half my abortion, I just grabbed a shopping bag and went around the apartment, throwing his crap into it," my friend Justine tells me. "I didn't want any follow-up visits from him." The Frisky: MERRIme, A New Web Comedy About Online Dating