Romance is over when photos are stashed

July 31, 2012 at 12:04 AM

LONDON, July 31 (UPI) -- The point at which people put an ex-partner's photo away after a split is usually when they are emotionally ready to move on, a British psychologist says.

"It's not surprising that nearly half of us keep some kind of visual memento of past partners -- this goes for partners who were divorced or died as well -- a photo generates strong emotions as it unleashes memories of past attachment and times," Corinne Sweet, behavioral psychologist said in a statement.

A survey for Friends Reunited, a social network, indicated 21.6 million Brits have held onto photographs of former partners following a break-up.

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

But men may be hiding more from their partners than their mates realize -- 20 percent in a current relationship who have photos of their ex-partners said they have hidden photos of an ex due to fear of disapproval from their new partner, compared to 9 percent of women.

However, 12 percent of men said they kept photos of their ex-partners because they still have feelings for their ex, compared to 5 percent of women.

"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.," Sweet said in a statement. "Emotionally mature partners will be able to accept you have a past love-life."

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