Is it Rude to Return a Gift to an Ex?

Most people go through a breakup or two in their lifetimes. Sometimes those breakups involve the desire to return certain gifts to your ex-partner.

But, is it rude to return a gift to an ex? Or is it to be accepted and perfectly acceptable?

Read on below and learn the interesting answer to this serious question!

Is it Rude to Return a Gift to an Ex?

Returning gifts, unfortunately, are simply a part of life. 

As uncomfortable as breakups maybe when they happen, it is a good time to return any gifts that would be inappropriate to hang onto.

These sorts of gifts include expensive jewelry, pets, vehicles, and family heirlooms that have been given to you by someone under the impression that you would be together.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, returning a gift to an ex rates 3

The main reason that we’ve rated returning a gift with 3 points on our rudeness scale is that most gifts don’t need to be returned, and if you do so it is uncalled for (and rude) because there is no reason to return basic gifts (other than just hurting someone’s feelings).

It is not rude, however, but is the opposite (meaning, it is proper), to return expensive and extra-special gifts to an ex soon after breaking it off with them.

Even more, more people may keep gifts in attempts to hurt someone’s feelings or to cling to the past relationship, than those who return gifts (for the right or wrong reasons, period).

The bottom line is this: unless a gift was rather expensive, or was given under the circumstances that you must remain together (such as engagement rings, or family heirlooms).

Why isn’t it Rude?

It isn’t rude to give a gift back to someone once your relationship status has undergone a massive change. 

When your ex-lover gifts you something special, because they are in love with you, money is often not a factor in their gift-giving decision.

However, once that love is gone, or changed, in certain cases, the gift is no longer suitable for you to keep (and should be returned).

Common Questions

Is returning gifts to people rude?

Returning gifts to people isn’t rude so long as you are returning them for the right reasons. 

Further, you should return certain types of gifts with swiftness, rather than clinging onto them and making your ex ask for them.

For example, vehicles, phones, pets, and other expensive gifts should be returned immediately once a relationship is over.

Is giving gifts back to an ex proper?

Giving gifts back to an ex is absolutely proper, so long as it is purposeful. 

In other words, it is proper to return significant gifts like computers, smartphones, and vehicles.

There is no reason to return a pair of shoes, a sweater, or a video game that your ex gifted you.

What gifts should I give back to my ex?

The primary gifts that you should return back to your ex include vehicles, credit cards, expensive jewelry, smart devices, and other things that cost a large amount of money.

The bottom line is, if it cost more than your wages for a week, let alone a month, or more, you should return it to your ex (or at least offer to do so).