Baggage Claim

Ladies (and gentlemen, to be equal opportunity), let’s have a heart to heart.

Even if your relationship baggage is the Louis Vuitton Pegase collection, I can assure you, it ain’t cute.

I speak from a place of love and firsthand understanding, not judgment. I mean, if you’re going on a picnic, you just need one basket and a blanket. Don’t go dragging a shit ton of luggage, struggling to carry it all and asking for your love to help you yank them over rocky patches and hills on your way to the picnic. Talk about a buzzkill.

princeyo

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s hard not to have your past experiences pop up and flash in your face as your new relationship grows and develops. We’ve all got uglies that influence how we react to things, and we’ve got the instincts to expect what we’ve come to know as “relationship reality”.

If things are great, many of us wait for the other shoe to drop. If you’ve been cheated on, your damaged heart waits stealthily in the shadows for the moment the new guy’s eyes linger a little too long on someone or the night his phone dies to declare an “I told you so!”. You’re just gonna have to learn to “shush” that little fucker. The damaged piece isn’t the whole heart–it’s just a small piece.

I’ve talked to countless friends who trudge forward into a new boo situation armed with an arsenal. And I watch them blow it and create a culture in their new chapter that sets the foundation for failure.

I did it recently, and caught myself immediately.

My first instinct is to challenge the shit out of the new contender and find out just how much of a strongman he is. I wait for that “thing” I’ve been trained to respond to, and it’s the dumbest thing anyone can do in a relationship. When a challenge arises, the first thing I want to throw out is the damning question “Ok, so do you want out?”.

Just typing that makes me want to walk over to my full-length mirror, look myself in the eyes, and say “Really, Jen??”.

When a noteworthy, but certainly extinguishable small situational life fire emerged recently, I was directly discussing the matter with The Game Changer. The invitation to exit jumped to my lips and I had to take a beat and shut it down. Instead, I did the very thing someone with an actual beating heart and a soul that isn’t completely black would do: I jumped in and soldiered up to pledge my alliance in shutting down the situation.

I’m smart enough (now) to know what I don’t want to lose over something so trivial.

Ladies, if he wants out, he’ll be out. You won’t find yourself needing to open the door, because he’ll open it himself. What I can say is asking that question is the equivalent of opening it and letting the cold breeze wash over him.

If you’ve got someone standing in front of you who has the potential to make you happy, take the chance to find out what’s in the cards. Let yourself romantically go a little, and tell your bitter little damaged devil sitting on the upper right corner of your heart to STFU.

"It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door. I'll give you two. "  --Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany's

“It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door. I’ll give you two.” –Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Don’t let the negative words, or challenges to love for that matter, leave your lips. Even if you get past having said them, once they’re out, they’re just little pebbles you set on your new guy’s shoulders. Over time, these become as heavy as big rocks, and no quality man is going to bear that weight for too long.

I’m a little more direct than most with that little bastard inside that tries to ninja slice my joy, but you’re welcome to use my technique. As soon as a negative thought or slimeball statement pops up and tries to get launched into the atmosphere via your mouth, swallow it down and find the opposite stance on the matter.

Skip those pebbles out onto the water and then turn around and hug the person standing next to you on the beach. Don’t worry about tomorrow or six months from now. Enjoy what’s there today.

Chances are, you’re not giving him the credit he deserves.

Shoutout to Dena, my cupid-fearing sister from another mister. I see you, girl. 😉

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