FAQ: When I meet a guy (or gal) I like, things go well until they learn about my (insert your baggage here) and then I don’t hear from them again.
Should I take care of (insert your baggage here) before I date again?
Should I not tell my dates about (insert your baggage here)?
How can I find someone who accepts me AND my (insert your baggage here)?
We all have baggage, things from our past that are still present in some way. This is normal and you truly need to accept yours and forgive yourself for having it and let go of shame for it. To the contrary, you want to leverage your biggest baggage for the biggest transformation, so embody that and do it now going forward.
Strategies and Tips for Dating with Baggage:
1. Truly accept your baggage: You gotta clean up your mindset around dating and your (insert your baggage here). If you have any shame about it the Law of Attraction will work against you. Forgive yourself for having baggage. Baggage comes from simply living life, is normal, and you truly need to accept yours and forgive yourself for having it and let go of shame for it. To the contrary, you want to leverage your biggest baggage for the biggest transformation, so embody that and do it now and going forward.
2. Get the support you need: It doesn’t matter what it is- debt, herpes, being overweight, being the single parent of a special needs kid, there are lots of possible reasons that make dating challenging that we point to for self sabotage, which is why relationship coaches are needed! So if you’re being held back by your baggage, get the support you need to move forward.
4. Become irresistable by turning up the volume on being the chooser: If you truly believe you are a catch (and you are), and deserving of love as you are, and that your future partner will be the luckiest guy (or gal) in the world to be with you, and you are open and accessible and authentic and truly interested in and fascinated with who you’re dating or meeting for the first time, you will be irresistible. Guys (and gals) love when a woman (or man) is fascinated with them and truly focused on them as worthy and attractive. We all hate self involved, entitled people who are judgmental in their attitudes, statements, and actions. Being chosen feels great for most of us, the exception are those who want to be the pursuer, but they aren’t worth your time (too macho, rigid, controlling, etc, unless you like that). More information and strategies for being the chooser is in the Conscious Dating book and we even have an online web app The Chooser Tool.
5. Decide upon Screening In vs. Screening Out: Each has it’s pros and cons. If you have herpes, for example, and you’re practicing Screening Out, you would be so up front about it that you have it in your online profile, as you don’t want to hear from anyone turned off by herpes, and there are plenty of single men and women who have herpes or are informed enough not to have a problem with it. But your responses will be far and few between. If you’re practicing Screening In you would wait until “The Talk” to bring up herpes.
6. Having “The Talk:” When you’re connecting strongly with a potential partner, ideally before having sex with them, is the time for both of you to lay your cards out on the table (meaning everything, not holding anything back) to decide whether to move forward and date each other exclusively, in other words, become a pre-committed couple.
The good part about waiting until “The Talk” to go over each other’s baggage is that you can truly connect as humans and determine chemistry and how you fit together without all the other stuff getting in the way, sort of like trying on a dress without looking at the price tag.
The downside of waiting until “The Talk” is that you’ve invested time and emotional energy into this person and if a deal breaker is uncovered for either of you it will be much harder, but necessary to walk away, sort of like looking at the price tag after you’ve decided you really want the dress and are tempted to buy it even though you can’t afford it and it will take years to pay it off.
If either of you get attached during this time and don’t want to walk away even with a deal breaker, that will sabotage and probably doom the relationship. This again is why a relationship coach is needed.
7. Normalize and make “baggage” one of your many screening questions: Screening is one of the Four Steps of Conscious Dating (Scouting, Sorting, Screening, and Testing, fully covered in the Conscious Dating book and briefly here) and is when you ask questions and get to know someone before and during your first date. Among the many topics that you ask about, share about and talk about, be bold enough to bring up “baggage.” As mentioned above, we all have baggage, so it’s reasonable and even a good idea to be up front about it when meeting someone and have a “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine” session. Of course, part of Testing is how this person reacts to your baggage.
By normalizing your situation as one of many things in your collection of baggage that you bring to a relationship, you remove your shame around it and stop shining a negative, harsh bright light on it that would cause just about anyone to turn away. Instead, it’s just a fact about you, not a judgment, and if you are actively taking care of your baggage on your journey towards living the life you want, that will be MORE attractive to the right person for you.
8. Leverage the Law of Attraction: Be authentic and fully express your passion in your life. Your soul mate is seeking YOU and if you are living your life to the fullest and expressing your passion and striving towards your dreams, the Law of Attraction will help you find each other. Simple as that. The hard part is cleaning up the fear, shame, and self-judgment that comes with your baggage, which again, is where a relationship coach is needed and helpful. Focus on positive movement forward, allow the yucky stuff to recede in the background and it will lose its power to hold you back.