There is so much discussion about the emotional baggage we all carry and how it impacts our ability to date and form healthy, intimate relationships. After a certain age, emotional baggage simply can’t be avoided. With the years come the inevitable experiences which affect our emotional outlook. This is life, let’s deal with it like adults.
There are three categories of emotional baggage that hamper our dating and healthy relationship-forming efforts. The first two are rather obvious, the last is the most insidious and the hardest to overcome.
1. Time… Kids, career, enthusiasms are all part of a type of emotional baggage because we spend so much time on things that only serve to distract us from trying to reach our relationship goals. This is lifestyle emotional baggage. As for kids, they are not emotional baggage – unless someone states clearly “my kids come first” – it’s the lifestyle surrounding child-rearing that becomes the baggage of time. While I’ve covered this before, it must be repeated often – if you want to date and form a relationship, you must make the time for it. Ditch the time baggage, now.
2. Previous relationships… I’m still astounded when I hear stories about the first few dates where a person brings up a previous relationship. Here’s the firm dating guideline: If you feel compelled to bring up an ex – in any way – then you’re not ready for dating. There’s some serious emotional baggage if a previous relationship becomes the topic of conversation during the first phases of dating. Stop it right now. If you continue, seek therapy or get your emotionally damaged butt out of the dating scene until you stop talking about previous relationships. You’re welcome.
3. Political correctness/social expectations… When dating, we too often take seriously the whispers of social expectations and political correctness. A woman wants the man to take the lead but that’s counter to the “you go, grrl! You’re in charge!” social expectations. A man wants to take the lead but his social programming of the sensitive new age man (SNAG) results in excess – and unnatural – emotional expression and asking “so, what do you want to do?” when he actually manages to get a woman’s interest in a first date. Here’s the first lesson: Going on a date is not a political statement in order to right social wrongs. It’s simply two people hoping to make a romantic connection. Here’s the second lesson: Political correctness has no part in the intimate and extremely personal nature of two people connecting emotionally and physically.
TL;DR – Lose the baggage