What’s reason #37??
Relationship advice for those of you that keep fucking it up because of your past emotional baggage…
Whether you realize it or not, we all do crap to sabotage our love life. Hell, we pull crap all the time that sabotages our career, our health, our mental stability, etc. But for now, let’s just look at romantic relationships and what’s going wrong there.
Why? Because I want to help you flip your crappy relationships around into long-term healthy relationships that satisfy your soul on all levels. Isn’t that what you’re seeking??
Ok let’s dive in…
How much relationship baggage are you holding onto right now?
If you’ve been through even 1 minor break-up with a significant other, you’re bound to end up with some baggage. It doesn’t matter how long or short the relationship lasted, and it doesn’t matter how young you were at the time either. But the more traumatic the relationship, the more emotional baggage you’re going to end up with in the end.
What do I mean by baggage? I mean all those false ideas you generate about yourself and about your relationships because of those failed romantic connections from your past.
Examples of relationship baggage:
- Your ex-boyfriend used to make jokes about that extra 20 pounds that you’ve been trying to lose. It made you feel worthless. You no longer felt attractive and certainly not sexy. And so you shut down. After he broke up with you, you kept all those thoughts of worthlessness about you and shut off any contact with other men until you lose that 20 pounds.
- You met your ex-girlfriend on a dating site and she ended up being a crazy stalker. After you broke up with her, you refused to go on any dating site because all women on there are crazy stalkers.
- You have a string of ex-boyfriends that all found lame excuses to dump you after short-term relationships. Your fear of abandonment makes you cling super tight to any new man, which in turn makes them flee. This cycle continues as your worst fear keeps coming true over and over.
- Your previous girlfriends have been really good at draining you emotionally and financially. They took and took from you without giving in return in the relationships. Now you fear that any woman that’s willing to give to you is trying to manipulate something out of you.
- Your last two boyfriends both cheated on you behind your back. So now you have a jaded view of men as all being lying cheaters.
This is all emotional baggage crap that people carry around with themselves. And there are a million other examples! We carry this baggage around as a means of protection because we all fear getting hurt… over and over.
The only good thing about baggage is the awareness that it can bring.
Awareness is one of the keys to a good relationship for you in the future.
Self-reflection is always a good thing if you can LEARN from it. Being hyper aware of yourself and your tendencies will allow you to reflect on your circumstances and hopefully self-correct when you are on a wrong path.
But I am not suggesting that you carry around your baggage as a badge on your chest; quite the opposite. I think you should be aware of your tendencies, and then drop that shitty baggage as fast as you can. And here’s why:
Your current and future partners are NOT responsible for your relationship baggage, so quit holding them accountable!
This is such a common relationship problem, that most people aren’t even aware that they’re sabotaging their relationships this way!
- You are not worthless because your last boyfriend thought you were overweight. It’s not your fault that he was a senseless asshole. Your worth is not diminished because of HIS lack of human decency. Quit letting HIM ruin your love life because you chose to believe his words. Quit holding yourself back from meeting new men because you think all men will have the same thoughts about you. It’s your emotional baggage holding you back, not the weight.
- It sucks that you managed to find a crazy stalker type girlfriend from a dating site. But assuming that all women on dating sites are crazy stalkers in just dumb and you’re shooting yourself in the foot by not giving it another try. You’re the one holding yourself back here, not the potential great women you could meet on dating sites. (But before you go back on the dating sites, check out all the info I have here to help you be smart with online dating.)
- It’s not your current boyfriend’s fault that you’ve got abandonment issues. Asking him to text you everyday and every night just to placate your need to know he’s still there is not healthy. It may drive him away because it’s holding him accountable for your crappy relationship baggage. Give him the opportunity to step up and prove to you that he’s there in his own way and on his own timeline. That will be more meaningful in the long run and is the type of man you’ve been seeking. So let it happen without forcing it on your timeframe.
- It’s not your current girlfriend’s fault that your previous girlfriends were draining to you emotionally and financially. So when she offers to do something kind for you, put your suspicions aside because it is unwarranted. Quit holding HER responsible for the manipulation of your exes.
- It’s not your current boyfriend’s fault that your ex-boyfriend cheated on you. And yet you keep treating him like a criminal suspect. He tolerated you snooping into his life for a while because he really liked you, but he didn’t do anything to prompt the suspicion. Quit holding HIM responsible for your ex-boyfriends’ behaviors! He’ll either leave you soon, OR worse… he’ll do something to prove your suspicions true.
Relationship advice for people with emotional baggage
(well that’s all of us isn’t it??)
The first step in flipping around your perspective on your relationships is to be aware of your baggage. Take a look at your past relationships and ask yourself these questions:
- What have been the common trends among them?
- How do you tend to react?
- They treat you how?
- How do you treat them?
- Why does the relationship end?
- How does it end?
- What do you fear in your relationships?
- What’s the worst thing that could happen when in a relationship?
These are great questions to help you identify your personal baggage. Take some time to really sort through your shit. Own up to your part in holding onto your baggage and how it has sabotaged some or all of your romantic relationships. And then here’s the key to your emotional health moving forward:
Acknowledge the fears in your relationship baggage, but don’t let that dictate your actions moving forward.
How do you do that??
Clean communication first with yourself and then with your partner.
Clean communication is all about being very clear about your thoughts, emotions, triggers, baggage, tendencies, and owning all of that shit as part of your process in an evolving emotional intelligence.
Do that with yourself first. That’s essential. Then when you are dating someone and getting to know them on a deeper level, it’s ok to tell your partner about your emotional baggage and what triggers it. Tell them that you are aware of your own baggage but that you’re working to NOT let it hold you back anymore. That’s honest. That’s called clean communication.
And what if that scares them off??
If someone is scared off by you sharing your truths with them, is that someone that you really want to be with long-term? And is this someone that you think could handle being a part of your life without being a judgmental asshole?
So let them go. And that’s ok!
You have to be willing to stick up for yourself… and even walk away if need be… because you deserve better.
And here’s where I get to let you in on a little secret: Once you start doing this, you’ll find that you attract a higher quality of person into your life. You hold yourself to a higher standard, and better people are going to start coming into your life. I kid you not.
And what about if you’re dating someone with emotional baggage?
If you suspect the person you are dating has some past relationship baggage that they are bringing into your relationship, then call them out on it. You can do this calmly and KINDLY and not be an asshole about it. You can point out your perspective on their actions and words and ask them what’s really going on. Ask them if that was a problem for them in the past. Play the role of a detective here to get to the bottom of the story. They may not be aware of their emotional baggage and how it’s sabotaging your relationship. But you could help them open up about it if they are so willing.