Usually I wait several months before dropping my emotional baggage and feelings bombs on my new boyfriends, but with my current one, I chose to be transparent about my issues super early in our relationship. Before you think that I’m a total whacko, hear me out. I wouldn’t have it any other way again!
Around date four or five, I starting coming straight out with it all. Once it was clear that my boyfriend and I were definitely interested in getting to know each other better and actually date each other, I started to let my guard down. Most people think that this is super early especially since we didn’t really know each other yet, but my response to that is: how else were we supposed to get to know each other except by opening up? Usually people think that a relationship deepens with time in part because people take a long time to open up about who they are. But I believe that you can get super close with someone in a short amount of time if you’re willing to share who you are.
I wanted to find out how serious he was about me as early as possible. I also wanted to know how serious my boyfriend was about me. I was interested in meeting someone serious that could be in my life for more than a season. For that reason, opening up early helped me evaluate his intentions with me as early as possible.
I shared about my previous relationships and life story pretty openly. I wanted to cut to the chase. In previous relationships, I played coy and held back a lot about my past because 1) I felt like that is what you’re supposed to do and 2) I didn’t want to come on too strong. Those relationships failed anyway!
I wanted to give him a huge heads up that I’ve got a lot going on emotionally. I’m a ball of emotions even though my general disposition is pretty unaffected. Some people have told me that they wouldn’t know that I was battling anything because I tend to keep it cute and keep it even on the outside. I wanted my boyfriend to know that just because I don’t always wear my emotions on my face doesn’t mean that I’m not feeling anything at all.
I was tired of feeling ashamed of my baggage. For so long I felt like my emotional baggage made me a less attractive woman and that if I wanted to be in a meaningful relationship I would have to pare some of that back. But I became tired of truncating my experiences so that I didn’t come across as a handful. Part of being my authentic self is also being able to own my authentic experiences, and that’s exactly why I let it all out with my current boyfriend early on in our relationship.
It was going to come out at one point or another. I have a diagnosed anxiety disorder and my triggers are tied to some things that have happened to me in my past. I didn’t want to wait until a panic attack or an anxiety episode to explain where it all comes from.
It encouraged him to share with me too. My boyfriend suffers from depression and when I talked to him about my emotional baggage and my anxiety issues, he quickly opened up about his own. Yes, it was super early on in our relationship, but I was happy that we shared our experiences when we did because it allowed us to dig into the heart of matters rather than skirt around being vulnerable with each other until we were more comfortable. Jumping out of your comfort zone can yield the best results sometimes!
I felt more confident going forward in our relationship. Like I mentioned before, I used to feel ashamed of my baggage because I thought it made me look less attractive. But not only did I feel good about talking about it, I felt confident in myself and where we were headed. I think it is because he didn’t freak out and ghost me when I dumped it all out. I’d like to think that most people would not run away when you get real with them. If they do, at least you know they’re not serious about you.
It has helped me heal from some of those wounds. Making the first move on the emotional baggage helped me heal from some of the feelings and emotions I was holding onto related to my past. I didn’t have to wait until I had a freak anxiety attack to explain myself to my boyfriend which can sort of amplify everything. He didn’t have to coax it out of me. I lead with it, bravely and honestly. I owned my past and all of the baggage associated Because of this, I’ve been able to restore myself.