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Explaining Baggage

A particular challenge of dating in and out of church circles is baggage. More specifically, deciding when and how to explain the particular baggage (meaning, your notable issues or challenges) you bring to the relationship. If you bring up your baggage too quickly, you could scare people off and repel others. Conversely, if you bring up issues too deep and late into a relationship—even after engagement or even marriage, the other person may feel you weren’t honest and open in the relationship. Therefore, when to open up about these issues matters. In addition, how you explain it matters too. If you are too vague or careful, they won’t know what you are referring to specifically. If you are too blunt, this could scare someone away. So, all of these issues need to be taken into account when you explain your particular baggage/issues/challenges to another.

Typical Issues to Explain: Some of the more common issues you may need to explain to a dating partner include the following:

*Important details of your past relationships or marriage—why it ended, both side’s roles in the equation, etc.

*How many children you have, their ages, their personalities, and any notable issues they may possess.

*Whether you are or are not open to future children, and if so, how many and when.