Why are we so afraid of getting into a relationship and accepting someone’s baggage? The older you get the more chances you have of meeting someone who has a past. Now I’m not talking about shadiness or violent criminal pasts. That is baggage you want to avoid. If it is an issue that is potentially harmful then that, of course, is a whole different subject. I am speaking more about family illnesses, divorces, kid issues, etc.
Way back when I was on dating sites (okay maybe only @ 3 months ago) so many profiles spoke of not wanting any issues. Since I am only interested in men I cannot speak for what we women write on profiles, except myself, but I would never say only baggage free men apply. Honestly, what rock are you living under Mr. Profile writer that you think you have no issues? It is absolutely ludicrous that anyone would even think that they are going to meet an issue-free person. I’m using the terms baggage and issues interchangeably. Another word often used is drama, and how I hate that word too. Many men will also write please no women that have issues with your ex. But sometimes your ex is a complete asshole and maybe you have no choice in the matter but to have a fractured relationship. A marriage is a union of two people and when you divorce there are still two people involved, especially when you have young kids, are co-parenting and you may have no control over the hatred or vindictiveness the other person has toward you. It doesn’t make your potential partner a bad person but it may make you seem like a very selfish one. Now before you call me out for saying the word selfish, I also know there are exceptions to every rule, I get that. I am referring more to discarding that person before you even have a chance to hear their side of the story or get to know them. They may be dealing with a lot and you have already closed the door on a potential relationship.
Baggage is not a dirty word. It is not shameful if you have baggage but yet in this age of dating you have to be careful and not let anyone know you have a past. Wake up! We all have a past, it’s called life! I always say it is the person with the most issues that complains that they don’t want any. I once wrote that we all have baggage, some of us have duffel bags and some of us have cargo trunks. Baggage doesn’t make you a bad person, it shows that you are human and make mistakes. Shit happens. How we deal with it is what matters most. And being human, not every day is going to be roses and unicorns, and if you think it should be, well then I also have a bridge to sell you too.
I met someone who’s Mom was dying when we first started communicating. We bonded over our family illnesses. He was caretaker to his Mom and spent a lot of time going back and forth to help as much as he could. He was honest and up front about his time constraints and how difficult it was for him and exhausting, both mentally and physically. Dating was hard and not a lot of women were understanding about what he was going through. After he told me about his situation I didn’t run away, I actually ran toward him.Running away would have been easier right? But I am happy that I didn’t. We have had many deep conversations about our family illnesses and how tired we are at times. I became a great source of support for him during his Mom’s illness and death and now he is doing the same for me as I face the unknown with my Dad. We had the talk about baggage, drama, issues, whatever you want to call it. We’ve grown closer since that talk. And with some understanding it has all been good, really good. There has been one or two minor slip ups, but they are resolved quickly with communication and of course, acceptance. Imagine if I had run away at the first hint of his issues instead of sticking it out, I would have missed out on a great guy.
It’s okay to have expectations and checklists, whatever you want to call it, but just make sure they are realistic too. You may be passing up someone great. I’ll take the person who has been through hell and back and keeps fighting than a person who claims they are issue-free any day. The people who fight in the face of adversity have scars that welcome your love, and your issues and your cargo trunks full of baggage. They welcome you, imperfections and all, and more than likely will stick by your side when things go wrong. I’ve been with the I don’t want drama guy and it ended badly. He never gave me a real chance or showed any understanding. And yeah, I’ll say it – he missed out on a great woman.
Of course you can only deal with and handle what you are able to handle. Sometimes it may be all too much. I get that too. My advice is not to stick with someone who harms you physically or emotionally, but rather to just know that shit will happen and don’t pass up a great person because of stuff they may be dealing with. Give that person a chance, they may end up being someone greater than you could ever imagine, or maybe they won’t, but you’ll never know if you just run away.