Let’s be real. Everybody has baggage. Anyone who’s been single for a while has probably been burned by the dating game at least once, and sometimes the wounds leave a scar or two.
Normally, a little baggage doesn’t do much harm. You just have to recognize it and be sensitive to those issues that result. For instance, if your last man’s addiction to porn causes you to be a little paranoid when your new man is flipping through the Victoria’s Secret catalogue, that’s baggage. My advice would be to let the new dude know why that’s a bit of a touchy area for you. Hopefully, he’ll say the right words to reassure you, so you two can keep it movin’.
When it comes to meeting new people, part of the screening process is figuring out whether their baggage is stuff you can live with or stuff you can’t. Do you two have compatible baggage? If he’s been burned by gold diggers and now wants you to pay your half on every date, that might not be a suitcase you can carry. If his former fiancée threw the engagement ring in his face when she called it off, and now he doesn’t want to marry, that’s probably not going to match your luggage.
On the other hand, if his baggage is that his last woman was emasculating, and now he must treat every woman like a queen to prove he is indeed the man in the relationship, that might work.
I, for one, try to be very upfront about those sensitive issues that I’ve recognized in myself. I also try not to project the past into the future. Just like I wouldn’t want to have to prove I’m not a gold digger before a guy will take me out on a date, I try not to assume the anybody new I meet will behave like dudes I’ve met in the past.
That’s not to say baggage should be ignored. When dealt with in a healthy way, it helps you determine what you want and don’t want in a partner.
So, whether it’s a duffel bag or a full set of Louis Vuitton luggage with a matching trunk, own it, and be upfront about it. That way, you two can either decide to continue on your separate journeys with all your stuff in tow, or you may find the right person to help lighten your load.
Disclaimer: I’m not a psychologist 🙂