My Dating History Is Messy But All My Baggage Makes Me A Much Better Catch

We all have baggage, but I would say I have more than most. I’ve been in a lot of relationships and made a lot of mistakes. That being said, I’m not ashamed of my past. In fact, I think that my experiences make me better equipped for love now. Here’s why:

  1. I’ve learned the hard way. I might have a good deal of pain and heartache in my past, but my mistakes weren’t in vain. I’ve grown strong and figured out what I need and want from love, relationships, and guys. That’s all I can really ask for out of life. I don’t want to continue to make the same choices, so I’m very conscious and discerning. It benefits anyone new that I date.
  2. I’m more careful now. It takes a lot of work for me not to fall back into my old patterns, but I know that it’s worth it. I have a high awareness of what I’m doing and why, and I constantly take measures to change my behavior. I want to have only healthy relationships from now on. The man I end up with may not immediately realize how much effort I put in but he’ll definitely reap the benefits.
  3. Everyone has baggage — the important thing is handling it well. I could just shy away from dating at all because I’m worried that my baggage makes me entirely undesirable. The thought has definitely crossed my mind, but I’m only handicapping myself if I do that. I should let a man decide for himself if he wants to make the effort to be with me or not. I’ll never find love again if I block myself off entirely. I have to deal with it and learn to function in a relationship, and that will make me an awesome girlfriend.
  4. I try extra hard to be functional now. If I didn’t have so much crap in my past, I might be lazy about trying to be a good partner. I might not realize all my issues or deal with them but instead let them screw everything up for me without even realizing it. I’ve been that girl before but I’m older and wiser now. With all this experience under my belt, I feel more than prepared for any relationship difficulties that may come my way.
  5. I understand the value of communication. I always thought I was a great communicator, but it turns out that talking a lot doesn’t mean I’m good at communication! I learned that the hard way over a number of years. Once I recognized my weaknesses, I was able to start working them out. Now I want more than anything to establish open and honest communication with my partner. It’s perhaps the most important element of a good romance.
  6. I never lie, no matter how hard it is to tell the truth. Sometimes it feels easier to lie, but it’s always a mistake in the long run. I’ve lied and I’ve been lied to, and it never ever worked out. I know that now and I refuse to make that mistake again. I also won’t stay with someone who I can’t trust. Life is too short and honesty is too important. It might be scary but I find that it makes for a much better relationship.
  7. I make a huge effort to always be considerate of my partner. I always think about how what I’m doing is affecting the person I care about. I’ve not done that in the past at times, and I’ve definitely been on the other end of some inconsiderate behavior. That experience has led me to always tread carefully and make sure that nothing I do is harmful or insensitive. I only want to have a positive effect.
  8. I don’t judge the baggage of others. I think the most effective way that my baggage has helped me become a better girlfriend is by teaching me not to judge others so harshly. I used to be fairly judgmental in my youth and nothing was ever good enough for me. I couldn’t deal with the flaws and problems of others because I simply wasn’t equipped. Now I approach my relationships with as much compassion and understanding as I can because that’s how I want to be treated.
  9. I’m very understanding and sensitive. I consider my tough times to have been a blessing in disguise. I’m so much more in tune with the struggles of others than I would be otherwise. I feel deeply and I’m highly empathetic. I know that my past has taught me to have patience and try to understand where other people are coming from, and that makes me an awesome partner.
  10. I’ll listen to anything and be as supportive as possible. I don’t blow people off and I understand the value of someone sharing information that makes them feel vulnerable. I’ll always do my best to make that person feel as safe and comfortable as possible in that moment because I know all too well what it’s like to be in their shoes. I think this really adds to my worth as a partner.
  11. I try that much harder to get over my own issues and be better for them. Because I feel that I’ve accumulated so much baggage, I work diligently to make sure that I don’t bring it into my current life. It has no place in any new relationships that I develop unless I can somehow use it to improve them. If I can’t, then I need to shed it and move on. I want to be a great girlfriend to whoever ends up with me.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at