Is It NOT A FACT that ALL Relationships Carry Some Form Of BAGGAGE?

What is actually meant by ‘baggage’ in a relationship? Mankind as a whole is from many diverse backgrounds, as we all are well aware of. This in itself, is what makes us unique; establishes who we are, how we think and how we view life, so, is it not a surprise that we all go into any relationship with preconceived ideas and outcomes as to how things should be. Are these preconceived ideas/outcomes the basis of what we classify as baggage in other human beings? Is it possible to truly have¬† common, workable ground between people of varied backgrounds or baggage?

Let’s consider the semantics of what we call baggage vs using the term rather loosely. Wikipedia provides us with several definitions of baggage, with one being, “intangible things (as feelings, circumstances, or beliefs) that get in the way-emotional baggage.” If we are to use this definition, then, it would be fair to say that yes, we all have baggage, even before getting into any relationships. With this thought in mind, are those who throw in the towel in a relationship, secondary to someone ‘having too much baggage,’ merely too selfish, immature and thus using this as a cop-out and/or are incapable of the normal give-take required in a committed relationship?

Could it be possible that some people are incapable of visualizing a relationship outside of their own baggage? They say that opposites attract, so, how exactly does that fit into the baggage equation? Are people attracted to these relationships because their baggage is something different, therefore alluring? Do we typically marry individuals whose baggage is similar or different? Does this concept muddy the ‘relationship’ waters even further?

Another twist.¬† According to a Feb 12, 2007 study performed by the American Society of Psychology, “Early Social Experiences Can Influence Adult Behavior in Romantic Relationships:” (Original Article: “Attachment and the Experience and Expression of Emotion in Romantic Relationships: A Developmental Perspective,” Jeffry Simpson, W. Andrew Collins, Sisi Tran, and Katherine Haydon, University of Minnesota; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 2.) “WASHINGTON–The way in which individuals think, feel, and behave in their adult romantic relationships is governed not only by factors in their immediate surroundings, but is also a direct result of their past relationships and personal attachment extending all the way back to childhood” (according to study reported in the recent issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).)

“The findings of this study supported previous attachment theories. Expression of emotions in adult romantic relationships can be related back to a person’s attachment experiences during earlier social development. Those participants who were secure and attached as infants were rated with higher social competence as children. Children who were socially competent amongst peers were found to be more secure and closer to their friends at age 16. Participants who were closer to friends as a teen were more expressive and emotionally attached to their romantic partners in early adulthood.”

“One encouraging finding, however, is that the study does not suggest that an individual’s past unalterably determines the future course of his/her relationships.” With that said (even though ‘baggage’ per se, wasn’t mentioned in the study) can we assume that one’s personal baggage will not totally determine their future relationships? If that’s the case, I would say that emotional baggage is common, does influence our relationships but doesn’t totally control the final say-so. It is simple to throw away the baggage, but people attached to the baggage are too valuable a resource to be merely discarded. Before developing¬† a relationship that you already know will have a negative outcome, seriously consider whether you can tolerate the baggage and if not, then be realistic and get out? With effort and hard work, I do believe that relationships possessing baggage can be successful!







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