One of the greatest challenges I have found in dating over forty is the baggage everyone carries with them. How does your baggage affect your life and choices?
You might be thinking to yourself, "I don't have any baggage" or "My baggage isn't affecting my dating life". Are you lying to yourself? Of course you are! We all have baggage. It directly reflects the choices we make in our relationships. Think about it...How many times do you compare someone to your past relationships? How many times does a response you make to a situation remind you of 'old times'? Is your baggage holding you back? Is fear of repeating the past keeping you from going forward? How do we get out of this rut?
I know I have been asked many times what do I want...out of life, in a relationship, for my future. I always look back and compare it to my past. This is what I don't want, this is what I'd like to have, etc. How particular am I? Do I honestly know what I want? Are my decisions based on my baggage?
I have a dear friend who loves telling allegories:
You're standing on a river bank. The water is rushing past you. A bear is coming to eat you. You can't swim, but there's a floatie on the bank. Its not a new floatie. It has a few patches but looks sturdy. Which do you choose? The bear (fear of the future) or the raging river (life and a future) with a slightly used floatie (a friend) to assist you?
You may think the answer is obvious but if you have very heavy baggage from your past the choice may be difficult to make. Do you trust the floatie to get you through? Have you ever had a floatie you can depend on? Or do yo let the bear eat you to avoid a possibility of drowning? What if the floatie is exactly what you needed and the ride down the river ends up being fun? Which do you choose? The choice is yours.