Are You Dating With Toxic Trash or Heavy Luggage?

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While single, women, men too, should focus on becoming a better person and changing those things, within themselves, they want to either strengthen, decrease or stop altogether. The biggest mistake men and women make is hopping from relationship to relationship and dragging a big proverbial hefty trash bag behind them that is full of all the toxic mess from every relationship they have ever been in. Not dealing with the reason(s) why the last relationship didn’t work out isn’t going to make the next one a success. Likewise, not tending to that emotional baggage will, in turn, create more frustration and show an unhealthy person mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Men and women who deal with their emotional baggage, sort it, learn the lessons and discard what has not been useful to them, are being responsible in their own emotional and mental health. Instead of becoming a relationship hopper, stop, reflect, release and heal from those things that caused the last relationship to end. Take a long, hard look at yourself, admit the mistakes you made and how these mistakes led to the relationship ending. Being honest with yourself allows you to discard those “issues” you’ve continuously stuff into the compartments of your soul and mind. Those issues will keep you from growing and becoming a better person for yourself, any person you meet and the man or woman you will eventually date and marry.

I remember my father telling me not to become calloused towards men. At 18 years old, I had no idea what he was really talking about; however, now, many years later, I understand wholeheartedly what he meant. People make mistakes because of what they know and how they saw relationships modeled for them throughout their life. They then take on the behaviors shown in those relationships and act them out in their own relationship. Had I become calloused towards men, I’d be a man basher, miserable, maybe a bit depressed, blaming and continuing the victim role. ALL of that, will keep you miserable, depressed and a target for a mentally and emotionally unhealthy person to bring their stinky garbage to your door and into your life.

The mistake most people make is blaming the other person for everything that went wrong in the relationship and not owning your part. NEWS FLASH…You are not perfect and are apt to make mistakes too! Don’t take on the attitude that you are the best thing to have ever happened to anyone because, really, you’re not. That doesn’t mean you’re not a decent person who is smart and capable of sustaining a healthy, loving and fulfilling relationship at some point. No, it means that we are all human and make mistakes that can have life altering consequences. I wouldn’t tell you something that I, myself, haven’t done. A healthy mind, heart and soul are a breeding ground for love to take root, grow and be shared with others. So admitting your faults, we all have them, is essential to learning the necessary lessons from your past relationship(s) and being open to potential suitors and the love you so desire.

When my marriage ended, I wasn’t an emotional mess as people thought I should have been. What people didn’t know was that my marriage was emotionally dead and died years before the break up happened. Despite that, there were lessons I still needed to learn so I’d not make them again later on down the road. I had to take a look at myself in the mirror and admit those things I’d allowed myself to not only do, but accept for years from my ex-husband. Then, taking it a step further, I had to sit and think about the reasons I allowed myself to remain in an abusive relationship for so long. It took a lot for me to admit that I was afraid to be alone or that I actually believed what my ex-husband had told me for years, “I’m the best that you can do.” “No man is gonna want you because you’re a crazy bitch and have kids.” I had to be painfully honest with myself to not end up in another situation that mirrored my marriage. Only then, when I stopped to reflect on what I had allowed to happen vs. taking the victim role, was I able to heal from the pain I felt from years of mental, sometimes physical, emotional, verbal and financial abuse. Although my ex-husband was not a good husband, I allowed him to abuse me out of my own ignorance of what I thought my role was as a woman, wife and mother.

I say all of that to say this, when you find yourself in a season of singlehood, instead of running from it, embrace it as a chance to become the best version of you humanly possible. The process hurts, however, is well worth the time spent working on yourself. Relationships are hard work, and become even more challenging when we drag our garbage into each one of them. Imagine the people who have heaps of emotional garbage from every unsuccessful relationship they had. Now think about how not sifting through that garbage can cause any future relationship to stink from the inside out. Now, envision a man or woman with poor emotional health and how the next relationship ends worse than the preceding one. The issue is very clear, the person cheated him/herself by not spending time alone to reflect and release all of the toxic baggage from the last relationship. How, then, can a person expect anything different if they have not invested the time to become different?

Another thing to note is that being by yourself is hard. By design, a man and woman are attracted to each other, the man pursues the woman, they date and after awhile, they begin a relationship. In each other they find much needed companionship. We were created to be a companion to someone. Yet, how good of a companion can you really be if you keep making the same mistakes you’ve made in the past? Not taking care of yourself, on every level, can have lasting negative effects in every area of your life. Carrying around the hurt and pain from past relationships can cause the seeds of bitterness and resentment to take root. When they take root, they affect your attitude, perception about men or women and can make you a very cynical and undesirable person to be around. If you don’t like your own company, why, then, should anyone else? I can’t stress enough, spend all the time you need to become the type of person you’d want to be in a relationship with. There’s no set timeframe and you will know when that time has come to an end. I promise you, the next relationship just may be “the one” you’ve been waiting for and are now in the place to receive it. Be blessed.

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