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All seniors seeking a mate carry baggage in one form or another. Most senior baggage has to do with a former relationship. Should senior dating baggage ruin a potential relationship?

By Tom P Blake – Finding Love after 50

Can the baggage we carry from a former relationship be so overwhelming that it ruins a promising new relationship? That’s the question Jeff raises in today’s column.

Jeff explains: “I met a really nice girl who went through almost losing her house since her ex stole money from her to support his losing business. She has this thing about money which she thinks is evil and that we come from two different worlds and therefore it would not work. Is this a mindset I should avoid and move on?”

Jeff said he knows she likes him a lot. “I guess she must still have some fear of losing her money again. She doesn’t appreciate the good things money can bring to a relationship and that it can help other people.”

Most of us harbor resentment toward an ex who treated us poorly. But over time, can that particular resentment—baggage, if you will—ease enough so we can trust new people who enter our life? After all, the new person had nothing to do with what happened to us previously.

In Jeff’s situation, is he going to act like his lady friend’s ex, and try to steal her money? Most likely not. Should her fear of that be a deal breaker? That’s up to her. It would be a shame to toss away a nice man she likes a lot because she carries the baggage of fearing a loss of her money.

I harbored resentment toward my ex-wife after she cleaned out my house on Xmas Eve without letting me know. Did that mean that the next woman who entered my life would do the same? Of course not. Did I have to lighten up a bit and learn to trust more? Yes.

Did I have to be told, “I’m not your ex. Don’t put me in that category.” Yes. Was I finally able to get rid of that baggage. Yes again, but it took some time to get over that fear. I don’t dwell on it anymore, but I haven’t forgotten.

Or, let’s say an ex cheated on you. Does that mean every guy is going to do the same? No. Perhaps the best way to avoid that happening again is to be more careful in selecting a mate next time and to have open communication on the subject.

One man told me his new girlfriend broke up with him because he looked like her ex, who had treated her poorly. Wow, that’s letting baggage influence us to the extreme.

Blame, blame, blame. It’s easy to do when we get a raw deal. But each of us has to take some of the responsibility for what happened to us. Maybe it wasn’t our fault, or only 10 percent our fault, but we were still a 50 percent part of our former relationships.

If we want to move on to a new, rewarding relationship, we need to gain the maturity to let go of old baggage. For some, it’s easier than for others. Don’t let a potential wonderful mate slip through your fingers because of your own insecurities. Get rid of the old suitcases.

Yes, we will be careful so that what happened to us won’t happen again. But, by trusting again, love will become bright again—if we allow it.

Finding love after 50 is difficult enough. We don’t need to make it more difficult by carrying senior dating baggage.

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