Is It Ever OK to Keep Letters, Notes and Cards From an Ex If You Are in a New Relationship?

A new report says Jen Aniston drove Justin Theroux nuts with Post-Its from Brad. 

The rumor mill is busy trying to get to the bottom of why Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux split, and one new report says Jen kept Post-Its that Brad Pitt wrote her when they were married and this made Justin mad. Very mad

While it's fun to imagine Jen gazing at the writing on an old dusty Post-It with lint and dog hair where the sticky glue used to be, "Babe, Can you pick up some toilet paper?" (What else would you write on a Post-It?) It's hard to really think stumbling across a 2X2 yellow note would drive someone over the edge. 

Unless, well...you know. I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me

"[Justin] stumbled upon old Post-it notes Brad had written," the source told Us Weekly. "Sweet little Post-Its like, 'You looked nice tonight' or 'Miss you already.' These little notes supposedly had a big impact on their relationship. 'Jen assured him they weren't a big deal, but Justin wasn't thrilled…Justin had moments of insecurity like that."

Call it Post-It Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Anyway, little notes aside, they're broken up, and if a Post-It was the problem, these two have more probems than Ron and Sam ever did. Just picturing Jen and Justin alone in that beautiful Bel-Air house screaming and yelling over Post-Its Jen refuses to throw away. "Is that a POOOOST -IT?! WHAT DID I SAY?? NO POST-ITS!!! AGGGHHHHH!" But let's be serious here, OK? 

What "friend" of the couple's would go whispering to a tabloid...'It was the Post-Its. That's what did them in." Use your head, people. 

Theresa DiDonato, Ph.D. and social psychologist and associate professor at Loyola University Maryland, brings up a few interesting points when it comes to keeping a little love note from your ex, no matter what it's written on. (Unless it's from Brad Pitt, in that case keep it, frame it, and blow it a kiss every night, remembering the days you were sleeping with Brad Pitt.)

"There’s a fair amount of research on how the self changes and we integrate with our partner," she tells Personal Space. "Who you are expands to include your romantic partner and who they are."

So, she explains, that when you go through a breakup you go through a trauma to your self concept, you have to divide up who is "you" and what you want to maintain for yourself and who to push away from parts of yourself that are tied to your partner. Kind of like when people get a totally new haircut or color following a brreakup. 

"People experience and ask 'who am I now?'" DiDonato says. "If you think about the role our partners have in our lives, it’s also a story about who we are."

That said, saving a love note doesn’t necessarily mean you have feelings for that person any longer; it can be a memento to yourself and signify that time in your life.

"It can be a sentimental reminder of that time and who you were and a nod to yourself," she adds. "If you think about who we are at this moment, we are nothing if not our memories. Our stories of who we are depend on our memories."

And a bit of advice for the Justin in all of us - if you find a note or if your partner finds a note from an ex, don't be so quick to feel betrayed and hurt. 

"I would turn the question on them," DiDonato advises. "A parallel question is 'how many people have you been with?' But the real question is why are you reacting this way? I’m here and in this relationship with you. Ask what’s the real issue and where’s the insecurity coming from?"

What if they want you to throw the note away? You don't have to.

"Ask 'what are you not getting or feeling that you need me to throw it away?'" DiDonato says. "Tell your partner who we are now and our life now matters."

Again, an old letter or note can always be a sweet memory of who we ourselves used to be. 

If on the otherhand, your significant other is lying on a bed of Post-Its crying their eyes out and missing their ex, it may be time to get rid of the notes — and your partner. 

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Brad Pitt Jennifer Aniston Justin Theroux

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