Friday, September 9, 2011

Dating & Mating #7: Leave the Excess Baggage

We all carry emotional baggage.  The journey through childhood cannot be made without bags and adult life is a series of picking up extras.  When starting a new relationship the healthiest thing you can do for yourself, and the future of a new relationship, is to shed excess baggage.  If you cannot shed it then claim it, up front.  Be honest and forthright and explain to your new #1 what it is you are hauling around.

Excess baggage is most often packed with unmet expectations and unresolved anger brought on by thoughtless behavior and bad decisions; either our own or someone elses. Some bags are much larger than others but all of them are heavy and all of them, unless sat down, will adversely affect a relationship. Long term dating will eventually reveal excess baggage initially detectable through red flags.

Men and women carry their baggage differently. 

Women are generally more open and free with their emotions.  They expect friends, male and female alike, to be able to read their expressions and non-verbal signals accurately.  They are more willing to take, and abuse, prescribed medications.  Women will quietly and slowly allow their anger to turn into bitterness.

Men are much less likely to share their emotions and use a brooding silence as their primary, non-verbal signal.  In order to carry the heavy baggage men tend towards self-medication with alcohol, drugs and irresponsible sex.  Anger is expressed in outbursts that can be violent and destructive.

Few want to introduce their excess baggage because we THINK it will be a deal breaker.  If they know they won't like me.  If your baggage is a deal breaker your partner has a right to know before entering a committed relationship.  You are wrong to withhold information and you lose trust if they find out from anyone else but you.

You have only your baggage to lose.
Excess baggage should be resolved for your own good but especially for the good of ALL your relationships.  Help begins by asking for it.  Start with this book: Making Love Last Forever and then begin a study on the concept of forgiveness. 



  1. Oh we talked a lot about this to our son and future daughter-in-law before marriage...making sure they both understood that each of them had baggage they would bring into their marriage.

    Yes we all have baggage to lose and try to not pick them back up