In the 20th Century:
Avoid anyone with baggage.
In the 21st Century:
We ALL have baggage.
For a long time, the ideal was marrying your high school sweetheart and staying together for life.
It’s the innocence: marrying the first person you kissed, going through milestones together, never even glancing at anyone else.
That’s not what tends to happen to high school sweethearts, though.
Over half of high school sweethearts who marry end up divorced. In general, marrying young (before the age of 20) drastically increases your risk of divorce.
The simple answer is that experience makes us better partners.
We live and learn. We make mistakes. We grow.
We find out what we like. We settle into who we are.
We bring that maturity to a new relationship, boosting its chance of success.
Today, innocence and inexperience are more likely to be red flags.
You want a partner who’s had some relationship experience.
He knows the ropes. He’s learned some skills. He’s a realist.
And the same goes for you.
Having relationship experience makes you a better partner.
You may feel that you have a lot of baggage. You may feel that you’re no longer a catch.
But you’re living in the 21st century.
And EVERYONE has baggage.
Even if someone has never married before or had children, they have a past.
They carry their own burdens. The have their own trauma.
And you can’t see that psychological baggage. You won’t see it until you get close enough to be hurt by it.
The 21st century catch is a person who knows their baggage inside and out—and is healing.
They know their hang-ups and triggers and sticking points.
They know they still have work to do. It’s a daily practice.
Because they’ve embraced their own imperfection, they’re compassionate and non-judgmental of others.
If a man judges you for your relationship history, know that he’s likely in denial about his own past.
He hasn’t even begun his healing journey. He’s stuck at the starting line.
Look for someone who knows he’s no better and no worse than anyone else.
Questions to consider:
- Do I feel ashamed of any part of my past?
- Do I feel that my baggage affects my attractiveness?
- How can I carry my baggage more lightly?