Bring on the Baggage

Posted by Donna Arp Weitzman • November 04, 2015

As an eighteen year high school graduate, your accumulated life experiences yielded mostly an empty suitcase. Maybe a few perimeter scuffs, but your life ahead was yet to be fulfilled. Rosy dreams and potential loves loomed like the Prince Charming you knew waited in the wings.

Jumping ahead a decade, you look back smiling knowing fate is still on your side. A failed romance or two did nothing but add a few pounds to your pursuit of life. Now engaged to the perfect partner, he has shown little interest in your past. He’s certain he’s the one who’ll put down future experience tracks with you.

Years of squabbles, skirmishes and sparring matches added to your strife. Brushes with your parter often resulted in unresolved conflicts adding weight to your life’s luggage. Kids or not, life can become heavy from constant lifting.

Time to start over. The break up behind you, divorce done, you’re ready for a do-over.

Yikes, its hard to fling ahead with a fifty pound weight over your shoulder people often term, “your baggage.” This perceived weight is a pivotal point in your future’s fate. Do you hide your beleaguered bags beset with tattered belongings, or should you announce to world, “Bring on the Baggage, lifting weights makes us stronger!”

Even if you’re confidence rivals Oprah when throw your life experiences around your neck, there may be a few things you should consider as you enter the new dating arena yet again. Comedian Tina Fey once said. “Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions….do your thing and don’t care if they like it!”

However, with your first date scheduled. I propose that there are a few things that might cause any new soon- to- be sweetheart to sour too soon. Here’s my list to not-to-dos even when your baggage doesn’t weigh you down:


  1. Don’t discuss why your Ex was soooooo horrible. Even if your ex resembled Godzilla and you were the golden goddess of good; it would be customary for your dinner date to find your disastrous diatribe distasteful. He might wonder why you lingered so long with the loser, or just what you do to draw out dastardly acts of others? Leave your ex excommunicated while re-engaging.
  2. Leave your money woes away from your new Don Juan. Complaining about your financial status leaves your companion emotionally bankrupt. He may feel you need him to commiserate, which further complicates his confusion. “Is she really broke, or bitter,” he will question. This baggage may break his back, making him back out of any further relationship.
  3. Even though your kids might be saints, silence serves you best. Don’t make your kids the sole dinner subject. He may decide you’re searching for a surrogate father, or you’re too single minded. Never state anything about your son’s troubled status, such as always needing your money, or his constant camping on your couch. Detailing your daughter’s depression since your divorce should be squelched. He’ll discover these details during your courtship without you divulging your dilemma.
  4. Family members with mental issues, alcohol dependency, or the Alzheimer’s gene could kill the deal. Who knows, your newbies’ neurosis might needle his late nights and your family’s afflictions invade his serenity. Why let your Cinderella slippers be exposed to second guessing? During your evenings out early on, don’t unpack any family baggage. Leave it packed until you are sure he feels comfortable opening up the suitcases with you. Searching for compassion too early can squelch future commitments.
  5. Portraying your former spouse as still your soulmate is dating suicide. If you announce how amazing your former parter was, your new man might decide to bow out of this competition. Who wants to compete with perfection? Every event that you attended with your last lover should be long forgotten. If not, your latest lover may feel you’re emotionally tied to the past, and he doesn’t wish to be bound up in that web.
  6. Couching questions about his financial capability is not cute. Asking direct questions about his earning power can render you powerless. Let the conversation flow naturally while learning about him. Has he traveled; how does he spend his spend his leisure time; and what does he like about his job? These all point toward his lifestyle and help you decide if your interested in a foray into his future.
  7. Sex in any form—–how much you hate it; love it; need it; or expect it. Instead of stimulating your date, sex talk too early often stymies your situation. It is impossible to know his libido desires during your first date, and any declarations by you demands discussion that potentially could derail any next step. Avoid the topic and you’ve peeked his desire rather than delivering possible disgust on his part.
  8. How much you hate being alone signifies your needy nature—-never to be revealed on a first date. Rather, showing your independence shows your strength. No mentally healthy helpmate wants the luggage of your loneliness to linger in his lap. Be a tiny bit hesitant to be available at every opportunity. He loves knowing you like his companionship, but detests any requirement to fill your vulnerability void.

Even if you’ve avoided any terrifying trigger points for him, and you feel your experiences have made you more engaging, you will still be inspected. Although your bags may be real Louis Vuitton, your date will still review your resume. Its human nature and dating dictum. He will do it. And so will you.

So bring on the baggage, bare your soul, but be smart. Let your new lover uncover your experiences slowly like a lotus blossom, and your new love will likely live on this time around.

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