RELATIONSHIPS: Baggage claim

Everyone has had their heart broken – whether by family, friends, or boyfriends, we’ve all felt that crushing pain at some point. We’ve all cried and most of us have succumbed to at least one bad habit to make the pain go away. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think I’m better at relationships for having lived through the bad ones. However, problems arise when we drag issues from our past relationships into our current ones.

Starting a new relationship is hard enough without bringing in issues from your past. Making him pay for your insecurities is simply unfair.

My ex had issues with calling me his girlfriend. He didn’t like labels and he didn’t want me to meet his family because (or so he said) our relationship was about us and not about what his family or friends thought. I let that relationship go on for over a year and it didn’t end well. So as I walk into a new relationship should I be afraid that we haven’t put a label on it only a month in? Probably not.

We don’t make a new friend pay for the mistakes of an old one so why don’t we afford the same kindness to the men in our lives?  Why is it that we feel like it is somehow fair to judge new men on the behaviour of past ones? We live in a state of perpetual fear that we confuse for educated guesses.

The problem with treating relationships like a continuous learning process is that people are individual and unique. People aren’t formulaic; memorizing the habits of one man does not mean you understand all men.

That emotional baggage we insist on lugging around puts us at a disadvantage, turning us into needy, tearful, women. Even the best man can’t handle the burden of his own sins in addition to those of the men who came before him. Just imagine if you had to suffer for all the mistakes his past girlfriends made. Not a pretty picture is it?