Every new beginning deserves a clean slate. But like a slate, you can erase the chalk, wash the board down, and there might still be marks, scratches, vestiges of what was once there. It’s that baggage everyone keeps talking about.

The fact is, sometimes that baggage keeps you from making the same mistakes again, over and over, in life. Sure, you shouldn’t attribute negative aspects to someone new immediately just based on your past experiences. Everyone deserves a fighting chance. But, use your experience to your advantage. You haven’t lived, loved and lost for nothing. It’s the difference between going in blind versus with eyes wide open.

There is an art to managing your baggage, or learning from past experience and applying it to new situations. And it’s often very hard to cultivate. Habits and patterns can be hard to recognize and harder to break. But, if you focus on only mistakes, you’ll be paralyzed from moving on to anything new. Part of dating is learning about what works and what doesn’t and the rules are simply not the same for everyone.

Making your own rule book born from baggage is as close to a safe bet in the messy messy milieu of love and sex as you can get. Anyone can proffer any number of dating do’s and don’t’s. There are certainly enough strategies to play. Hiding behind dating cliches to escape baggage is a fruitless indeavor. One size fits all dating solutions never seem to hang right.

Make your baggage work for you instead of allowing it to weigh you down. Pack the essential lessons you’ve picked up along the way, and get rid of everything you don’t need to drag along. A simple carry-on will do. Sometimes the real lesson is knowing what not to take with you.


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