If you have a strong attraction to him, you can fall into the trap of excusing his bad behavior and ignoring red flags. Your brain keeps telling you that he must be your soulmate because of how strong your chemistry is together. If you can just get him to treat you better, then you will live happily ever after.

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The list usually includes being engaging, outgoing, fun to look at, good in the sack and drama-free. The reason so many reality TV shows feature somethings doing something things is because all you have to do is add a little alcohol and you pretty much have the soap opera that is life in your 20s. My second thought is more feminist in nature. But, why not date a girl with baggage? A girl with baggage has been through things; she has dealt with making tough decisions and overcoming great obstacles. The woman who carries past experiences with her has learned not to judge your past because she truly understands what it means to grow up and learn from past mistakes.

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One of the toughest things about dating is slowly uncovering the secrets in our past that we may not be not proud of or personality traits that may not work well together. It's not easy figuring out how to deal with relationship baggageespecially if you're still in the honeymoon phase.

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After all, it's so much more comfortable believing that your partner is this perfect person who's never been bitter about life or made any mistakes. But that's not reality. There are many different types of emotional baggage that your partner or you may tug along into the romance. Some people may act in a certain way because of things that happened in their romantic relationships. For instance, if your partner's been cheated on especially multiple timesthat can lead to anxiety and trust issues between the two of you.

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Or if your partner is used to being with someone who's constantly critical or even disrespectful, he or she may harbor insecurities, like never feeling good enough or feeling like a failure, Chlipala says. Others may have baggage stemming from their childhood experiences or family history.

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Although this may not be directly related to past romantic relationships, it can certainly affect future ones. Whatever it may be, just because one or both of you carry a lot of luggage doesn't mean your love is doomed forever.

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Here are ways to make your relationship work with a partner who has a lot of baggage:. While it may seem easy to just brush off issues that arise in your relationship as a result of emotional baggage, it's important to have those tough conversations, Chlipala says. Have consistent, open communication with your partner as much as possible — heck, even if that means getting meta and having a conversation about how to be communicative with one another. If your partner is struggling to move on from the past, take your time to really understand what's going on with him or her and be cognizant of what might trigger those emotions or difficult memories.

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And if you're the one with a lot of hangups? But there has to be balance," Chlipala says. Sometimes, what may appear to be red flags for emotional baggage are just false alarms. Everyone's bound to get insecure or upset at some point. But other times, red flags are indeed exactly that: Red flags. If you notice that your partner is always picking fights with you or constantly bringing up one particular ex, consider bringing it up and having a serious conversation about it.

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Identifying interaction patterns in your relationship could be the first step toward addressing any emotional baggage, according to Chlipala. And even then, " one person's interpretations of what their partner does or says could be rooted in their baggage, and then the couple gets caught up in a no-win cycle," she says. All of us are doing the best we can to become a better version of ourselves.

The next time you're talking about something that you know is difficult for your partner, make sure you're intentionally listening to what they have to say and vice versa.

Remember that communication is key

If you don't, you may accidentally push each other's buttons without even meaning to, Chlipala says. Know that cultivating a healthy relationship takes time.

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Love is more than just about saying three words, sharing a smoothie, and buying gifts. It's about showing genuine respect for one another and being supportive on both good days and bad days — no matter what.

Look for these 8 s your partner has too much emotional baggage for a relationship:

There's a reason why people say that " honesty is the best policy. For instance, if you learn that your partner once cheated on another person and if that makes you uncomfortable, say so. The fact that he or she cheated on someone else doesn't necessarily mean your relationship is over, but you should talk about any concerns you may have or details you'd like to know about the situation.

You want to see if compromise is possible where both people feel respected and honored. It's important to set aside time for real talk, but don't forget to focus on the good parts of your relationship, too.

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I mean, you got together hopefully because you make each other happy, right? And the truth is that everyone has baggage to some degree, Chlipala points out.

And once you've discussed all that baggage and talked so much about it until there's nothing more to say or analyze, keep it all in the past if you can help it. The whole point of dealing with baggage is to help both of you move forward, together. This goes hand-in-hand with being patient and understanding. If your ificant other comes clean about a cheating past, abusive parents, a creepy stalker ex or another major bombshell that you just can't seem to wrap around your head, practice active listening before you start making assumptions about the situation.

One of the worst things that can happen is over-reacting, Chlipala says.

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Get your partner's perspective on what happened and find out what stage he or she is at in the recovery process. Ultimately, this will better equip you to handle the information you've been told with time. Imagine what it was like for your partner to go through whatever it was that made him or her this way. And, in turn, ask your partner to do the same. One of the keys to making a relationship work is to find someone sensitive to your baggage and who can work with it," Chlipala says.

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If it doesn't look like you and your partner will be able to work things out on your own, there's absolutely no shame in seeking the help of a qualified therapist. It may take some research and a couple of initial appointments to find the right expert for your relationship, but it's worth it.

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These are the things I teach so they can have a happy relationship," Chlipala says. One of your top priorities, if not the top priority, should be taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Working through relationship issues as a result of baggage can wear anyone out, so be sure to stay healthy and do activities that make you happy.

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Surround yourself with other people who care about you. Whoever you're dating is just one part of your life, not the core of your identity.

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When it feels like things can't get any worse, remind each other of all the reasons why you decided to get together in the first place. Those reasons are hopefully still there and worth fighting for — you just have to keep things in perspective.

At the end of the day, it takes all parties in a relationship to make things work. More than anything, being able to unpack those bags will make your relationship stronger in the end.

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By Wendy Lu. Here are ways to make your relationship work with a partner who has a lot of baggage: 1 Remember That Communication Is Key.

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