Dear Miranda

My new boyfriend has a lot of baggage, and it’s too much for me to think about sometimes. I never thought I would be into someone like him, but I can’t help myself. We talk, and things are good between us. He was always the one that I thought I could never have, but one that I wouldn’t shoot down if he were to ask me out. So here I am in a relationship with this guy, and when I forget the rest of the world, we’re great as a couple, and we can make this relationship work. However, there is all this reality existing outside of the relationship that I’m finding out gives me more anxiety and worry about the relationship than I think I can handle.

Help!

– Bag Lady

Dear Bag Lady,

Don’t take those bags upon yourself. Relationships are about helping each other out and inspiring each other to be their best — but if that’s pushing you down in the process, then you need to get down to business when it comes to how you help out your man.

Know this: there are some things that are beyond your control, that you can do nothing about. I’m not saying that you’re completely helpless; I’m only saying that if something has already happened, then there is nothing that you can do about it. Let history be; don’t dwell in it, because you cannot erase it.

Live in the freedom of knowing that you are now a part of a new chapter in his life. You don’t need to go back and reread the previous chapters, for it will not make you feel any better, nor help you in any way. I do think that it’s important to know what events made your guy who he is, but it’s also good to look at him as who he is now: as a grown and mature person. He has learned, or changed, or is in the process of doing those things, and you can’t hang onto the person he was. It’s not fair to him, and it will hurt you.

I understand that a lot of what has happened has ripples of effects in multiple areas of his life, like family and friends. This may make things difficult, because if you continue in the relationship with him, you will eventually be meeting and building relationships with these people too. Just know that you can’t change their opinions about the relationship or about you. Go in with the peace of knowing who you are, and with the intent of giving them a great first impression of you, and have faith in your relationship. Don’t let their judgments bring you down. They are only opinions, and you have the choice to let them affect you or not.

Being in a relationship is never easy. We will never understand the other person completely, because people are so diverse and unpredictable. That’s why things get messy: because humans are imperfect and selfish. So make sure that you keep a good, positive outlook on life so that you won’t get weighed down by all the bags. Help your man by showing him that there will be more of a life for him if he just unpacks the bags and moves on without them.

Sincerely,
Miranda