Clutter is a huge problem for many of us, and it gets in the way of having happy, healthy, and fulfilling relationships. While we try to keep much of it hidden, clutter has a sneaky way of finding its way into our lives and wreaking havoc when we least expect it! As much as we push it back down, it keeps pushing its way to the surface and makes itself known in conflicts with others in our lives and turmoil within our own minds. So where is all this clutter coming from? Well, we create more of it every day we are alive. It is how we deal with it and what we do with it that is the key to not allowing it to rule our relationships and thought processes.
Past relationships are a big source of clutter that prevents us from having good relationships now. I am sure you are a lot like me in that you were hurt really badly by someone you were in a relationship with. Did you work through the inner turmoil that it left in your head? Did you jump right into a new relationship without processing the pain? If you jumped into a relationship, more than likely there will be some residual effects of the prior relationship. I once went out on a date with a very nice man who could not stop talking about his ex-wife very negatively. I am a firm believer in second chances because I realize not everyone is as comfortable as I am on a date, so I gave him a second chance. On date number two, he did the exact same thing! If this ever happens to you, run for the hills!!! This guy seriously needs to get over the anger he feels toward his ex-wife before he steps into a new relationship. His anger toward his ex will play a part in any relationship he has until he deals with it. And trust me, you cannot help him!! This is something he needs to take care of himself.
Another type of relationship clutter is how a previous partner made us feel about ourselves. I am sure everyone knows at least one women in a relationship with a man who insists she look a certain way. This creates insecurities for the woman and eventually she may even believe she is not good enough without looking that way. As women, we all feel insecure about our looks at times. We do not need help finding fault with our looks! If you ever start dating someone who comments on your looks and it is not a compliment, go the other way! If you are happy with you, do not allow anyone to take that away from you! Each and every one of us deserves to be loved for who we are – not who someone wants us to be!
We all have friends who seem to have it all. It seems like life and relationships just flow to them and they never have to work at anything. More than likely, they have things in their lives we do not see, but we think it is all a bed of roses for them when their reality may be quite different. This may make some people feel insecure or feel like there is something wrong with them because their lives are not like this. Don’t believe the hype! You never know the real story unless you live it. Do not compare yourself to your friends because we all travel different roads to get to our destinations. While we mostly do this to ourselves, there are times when our friends can be brutally honest and make us feel very insecure about ourselves. As women, our friends are very dear to us, but they can also hurt us in ways they many times do not even realize.
Family and Our Individual Histories
While most of us have families that are a source of comfort and peace, others may not. Even in the most ideal family situations there is a family dynamic that can create havoc in our minds and affect our future relationships. It goes without saying that traumatic childhoods involving abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, violence and a myriad of other things will definitely create mental clutter for the person who has lived through it. If you have been through trauma as a child, as I have, my suggestion would be to deal with that prior to trying to date. While I am no expert in this field, I know from personal experience the mental clutter this creates and the problems that arise as an adult seeking a “normal” relationship. The fact is that even if we seem fine to our peers, many times there is a lot of mental clutter we have that stands in the way of happiness and finding Mr. Maybe. In fact, many times we end up with Mr. Wrong because of this kind of clutter. For this reason, as I suggested before, we need to spend time alone and really deal with these issues. Even with good family relationships, people sometimes take on roles in the family that carry over into their dating and love relationships (caregiver, problem solver, etc.). The result of us not dealing with the clutter is that we end up going in circles and never getting to our destination in dating. I challenge everyone to look into their own lives and find that clutter that is holding you back from getting to your destination in dating! We need to get off this wheel!!!