Are Your Past Experiences Hurting Your Relationship? 5 Tips for Dealing with Emotional Baggage

forgive-yourself-for-cheating-mainEmotional baggage is something that can cause a lot of problems in your current or future relationships. Rather than learning from past experiences and mistakes made, it is all too easy to find yourself dating someone with the same flaws as the person or people you have previously dated.

In other cases, you may fall in love with someone who is the complete opposite, but you find yourself unable to trust them due to how you were treated in the past.

However, if you don’t let go of this emotional baggage, you will be damaging your relationship instead of moving forward and leading a happy and healthy life.

Here are some tips for dealing with emotional baggage.

Learn What You Want and Don’t Want

After leaving a bad relationship, it is a mistake to go into a new one without having first dealt with what that bad relationship has taught you. It is a good idea to reflect on mistakes made, the qualities you didn’t like in your ex, and the qualities you are looking for in someone new.

Learning from the past will help you to recognize when something good is happening, creating the foundations for a healthy relationship.

Let Yourself Feel Your Emotions

We are often taught from a very young age not to cry or feel sad when something happens. We grow up with a tendency to try and avoid negative emotions at all costs.

However, it is extremely important to let yourself experience your true feelings. If you try not to let yourself get angry or have a good cry, you will often find that it leads to more suffering. Trying to numb your feelings may help at that moment, but you aren’t fixing the underlying problem.

If you find it hard to deal with your emotions, there are all sorts of solutions you can try. One method is spiritual healing, which can help you to discover what is blocking your mind from healing itself.

Cut All Ties with Your Ex

A lot of people like to hold on to the past and keep that one line of communication open, but this is the worst thing you can do. If you still have your ex’s number in your phone, you risk calling or texting them in a moment of weakness when you are feeling vulnerable.

But this is obviously not a good idea if your relationship was toxic. Delete their number, unfollow them on social media and erase any sign of them around your house. Only once they are completely out of your life can you truly move on.

Realize That Everyone is Different

Moving on with a new relationship also means you need to stop comparing your new love interest with your old. Remember that everyone is different, and not every scenario is going to play out how you imagine.

For example, if your ex spent a lot of time out drinking with friends, and perhaps this led to episodes of infidelity, this does not mean your new partner will do the same after a meal with their work colleagues.

Stay Positive

Last but not least, you might need reminding that the best thing you can do is maintain a positive outlook. Addressing that you are dealing with emotional baggage but taking steps to move on at the same time is something that deserves credit. Stay positive and know that things will only get better from now on.

Your past experiences should remain just that, in the past. Take these tips on board to move on with your life. 

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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