Is your baggage getting in the way of a good relationship?
By Patia Braithwaite for BounceBack.com
On a recent trip to Tampa I left my carry-on luggage at the TSA check point, and I didn't notice until I was about to board the plane. Now, while some people might consider this a colossal mistake, I took it as a sign that maybe, just maybe, I over packed. If I can easily forget an entire bag, then perhaps I'm traveling with too much.
I think this (crackpot) idea translates to relationships as well. Throughout our dating lives we fill broken hearts and battle scars with armor and defense mechanisms. These defense mechanisms are commonly known as baggage. Sometimes these things protect us, but other times the stifle really great connections.
How do we know if our old baggage is getting in the way of our new relationships? Here are four ways to tell:
Are you comparing him/her to your ex?
If you are looking for flaws or pointing out the way that your new beau is just like your dead-beat ex, then there is still some hurt and anger lingering in your baggage. Leave comparisons behind at TSA, and move on.
You commonly use the phrase, "All MEN/WOMEN are…"
Generalizations are horrible little monsters that suck the hope out of your flourishing love life. Be sure to curb the urge to bash the opposite sex (or the same sex, for that matter). Try to meet every person with an open mind and an open heart.
You're waiting for something bad to happen.
So you've met a great new guy and he treats you well, but all you can do is wait for the day when you find out that he's actually a jerk. You are carrying old scars into your new relationship.
You can't open up.
I have found that if you cannot open up and share in your new relationship, you are probably still guarding past hurts. After every breakup it is important to take time and try to heal and learn from the relationship. While the hurt my never truly go away, you want to work to be your best self, both in a relationship and outside of one.
Have you ever found that your excess baggage has prevented you from having a good, healthy relationship? What happened, and how did you fix the situation?
Patia Braithwaite is a relationship and memoir writer. Check out her blogs at www.menmyselfandgod.com
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