Treasure Your Baggage

I've had two conversations with people in the last 24 hours who told me that they were trying to get over exes.  The process has captured their focus and is preventing them from seriously considering getting to know new people.

I think the idea of getting over someone is terrible and that we need to stop putting so much pressure on people to "move on".  Let's be realistic.  Unless the person you loved changes or you change, you're always going to love or at least be a little in love with them--and that's not a bad thing.  I just think most people aren't confident enough to be ok with the fact that the person they're with still has feelings for someone else.

But why wouldn't you?  That's totally natural.  If you were with someone for a long time, loving that person is always going to be part of who you are, and to be honest, if someone meets you and says, "Hey, I can't deal with you until you totally forget that person," then they're in a sense trying to deny part of what makes you who you are.  Hell, there's a part of me that still loves my high school girlfriend from like a dozen years ago--but it's not really active love.  It's just the kind of nostalgic fond memory of a time long since passed--a love for the innocence of the time.  The reality is that I haven't spoken to her in years and I have no idea what she's like now... but as far as that person that I knew in that moment in time, that feeling will certainly never go away.  It's part of who I am--I'm just not losing any sleep over it.

Of course, it's different if you're still actively trying to win back someone or get back together--but once you realize that's not happening, I'd be completely ok getting to know someone who has recently got out of a relationship.   Ending relationships cause a lot of introspection and self evaluation.  "Who am I?"  "What was I doing?"  "What do I really want?"   These are all questions that the end of a relationship brings that I want whoever I'm dating to be asking themselves in a pretty serious way.

If anything, actually, I'd rather be with someone who recently proved the capacity and willingness to love someone and commit to them versus someone who's last attempt at vulnerability is a long distant memory. 

What I'm saying is, don't be embarrassed over emotions in turmoil, or feel like it makes you some kind of relationship leper.  You are who you are at any given time, and if a new person doesn't accept that, just forget them.  We ALL have baggage.  Baggage helps us travel.  We take it with us to prepare ourselves for our trips, to hold on to valuable keepsakes that meant something to us.  You'd be crazy not to take baggage with you on a trip.  You shouldn't let it way you down, though, but don't pretend you don't have or need it either.   

I may pack light, but I have baggage, too.  Some of it is old and some of it is new, but I have no interest in anyone who can't deal with its existence.