Since airlines are charging for bags these days, traveling light is the only way to go. Baggage fees can significantly increase your costs.

And so it is in relationships. The more baggage we carry to a new destination – our new relationship – the higher our emotional costs and the more turbulence we will experience. Easier said than done.

Just how can we lighten our load, especially if we’ve have experienced hurt and rejection in former relationships?

Here are three questions to consider:

  • Have my past hurts led me to believe that inevitably all men/women will hurt me?
  • If yes, it may be hard to find a healthy relationship. Generalizing is something we all do to a degree, so it’s important to challenge this belief if and when it arises – e.g., Yes, I have had some bad experiences, but that doesn’t mean that all men/women are bad. It will take time to find a good match for me.
  • How do I cope with the fear of getting hurt?
  • We are all afraid. Embrace the fear and then let it go – e.g., Of course I am afraid to get hurt again after my last experience, so next time I am going to take it very slow and be more conscious of the person I am meeting.
  • What is the worst that can happen?
  • You may get hurt again but you have survived hurt in the past and, though it is awful, you do recover – e.g., If I never take a risk, I will never be able to really be loved; I can be more cautious about taking the risk.

Yes, you may have to kiss many frogs or frogettes to find the prince or princess. But remember, the special someone you are looking for is not going to come along every day. Persevere and believe.

In the meantime, work on creating the best “you.” When you love yourself, it is much more likely that you will find someone who feels that same way about you.

Share your stories and thoughts about “emotional baggage” when dating by leaving a comment in the box below.