Every one of us has emotional scars, hurts and baggage that we carry around with us from past relationships. Whether or not you like to admit it, your emotions are fragile and easily hurt, but they don’t let that hurt heal as easily. Once you have been emotionally wounded while in a relationship, it is all too easy to keep that memory with you and bring it into new relationships, projecting those feelings onto your new partner even if they have done nothing to deserve it. So, knowing that you have been hurt in the past, is it possible to fully heal and continue dating free of emotional baggage?
Psychological damage and unresolved anger take time and work to heal from, but it is entirely possible to work through your issues and fully heal. If you want to stop running away from love and approach a new relationship or improve a current relationship by addressing your emotional baggage issues, then you are ready to take the first steps toward healing and dating without letting the negativity in your past bleed into your present. Here are 7 steps you can take toward dating without emotional baggage.
1. Give Yourself Time
Even though friends and family will tell you to start dating someone new in order to get over a recently ended relationship, rebounding is not a productive reaction to a recent emotional wound. If you have been hurt deeply by someone you were dating, you need to give yourself the time to heal on your own or you risk putting unrealistic expectations on your new partner to provide the healing that you need when that is not their job and they are not equipped to help you in that way.
2. See a Professional
Therapy often has a negative connotation in the minds of people; however, it can be extremely helpful and cathartic to explore your unresolved issues with someone you can trust and who has been trained in emotional healing techniques. There is no shame or admission of weakness in seeking help through a therapist or psychologist. In reality, it shows a commitment to your own emotional health and the health of your current or future relationship.
3. Admit to Your Hurts
As long as you deny the past, you will never heal from it. There’s the saying for addicts that we have all heard, “Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery.” Well, it’s the same for emotional healing as well; admitting you have been hurt is the first step toward healing.
Forgiveness is key to healing the open wounds your heart has received. Until you can forgive the person who hurt you, you cannot begin to move past those wounds. Physcologytoday.com, a respected online resource that provides psychological insight, says that building up feelings of compassion toward those who have wronged you instead of letting anger toward them is what most psychologists will recommend on your road to forgiveness.
5. Embrace Religion
Many find that their religious beliefs and convictions help them move past emotional issues and resentments by allowing them to release their problems and feelings to God. If you believe that there is a superior being who is in control of your life and who can take away your pain, you can more easily move past those emotional wounds and on toward a healthy, open relationship.
6. Get To Know Yourself
Many times, we are not even aware that we are carrying around the emotional baggage that is stopping us from fully engaging in a healthy relationship. By taking the time to look back at your relationships, you will take an introspective journey into dating the way you have done it in the past and determine what your hurts are and how you are still affected by them, which will in turn allow you to discover in what ways you need to heal.
7. Confront Your Fears
Your emotional baggage from past relationships more than likely has a component of fear attached to it. You are afraid to be hurt again like you were before, and this causes you to carry that hurt around with you, sabotaging new relationships. The only way to be rid of this fear is to face it head on. Allow yourself the freedom to admit that you are afraid, and then let the fear go. By telling yourself that it’s OK to be cautious and not OK to be fearful, you will begin to move forward in a wiser, more mature direction with a new understanding of what you want in a partner and what you don’t.
There is no quick fix for emotional baggage, and these steps will definitely take time to result in change, but it is worth the effort and work that it will take to heal emotionally. Everyone deserves to feel confident and happy in their relationship, so don’t let your emotional baggage sabotage your romance and weigh you down – confront it head on and move past it for good.