So you know that part of the movie where the leading ladies hopes for love have been crushed, she is at the prom/park/party/walking down the street and suddenly the man of her dreams finally figures out he loves her, calls out her name, they rush towards each other, then they hug, kiss and cry and the credits roll? Yeah, that is part of your relationship baggage. I grew up in the 80’s and was a connoisseur of John Hughes films: Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful to name a few, so I’ve lugged some of those models around with my myself. While I still love these movies they now simply hold a nostalgic place in my heart rather than a foundation for what I expect from love, romance and relationships.
Our lives give us the opportunity to learn constantly. Oftentimes we are learning when we don’t even know it. Remember that time you saw your parents slow dance in the kitchen, when your cousin told you about when she French kissed the neighbor boy, the first time you had your heart broken in high school, all those sappy love songs you heard and romantic comedies you watched? All that time you were learning and absorbing. All of those pieces were the raw material that helped form your concept of love.
You were putting together your concept of how to love and what relationships are “supposed” to look like. From that you created your own special brand of assumptions and expectations about how you would use all that information in your own life. The problem is you have probably dragged along some stuff you don’t need. You’ve kept all of those love role models and they have probably hindered your ability to really connect in the best possible way with the people you fall in love and have relationships with.
The good news is none of what you’ve collected along the way has been a waste of time, in fact all that knowledge you’ve absorbed, learned and experienced about love and relationships have provided you exactly what you need to find the right kind of love in the future.
To start clearing that baggage out all you have to do is take the first step and be willing to get your hands a little dirty, open up that musty emotional suitcase and get down to business.
I will leave you with three concepts to ponder to get your started:
Recall your favorite love scene in your favorite teen romance movie. Have you dragged any piece of that along with you to present day relationship?
When you come home from a long day at work what do you think should be greeting you when you come home? What kind of welcome do you get from your partner? Where did you get that idea?
How do you define a serious relationship? What rights and privileges go along with that?
This is merely a starting point and clearing out this stuff is going to clear a path to inviting healthy love into your life.