8 Signs Your Partner Has Too Much Emotional Baggage For A Relationship

Everyone has some emotional baggage from the past. It’s hard to make it through life without a few bumps and bruises. But sometimes that emotional baggage gets in the way of a healthy connection. So, how do you know if the person you’re dating has too much emotional baggage for a relationship?

It’s important to determine if your partner has done the work to heal their past or if they have too much emotional baggage for a relationship before you commit your heart. Disregarding the signs that they have too many unresolved issues will ultimately lead to heartbreak.

Plus, it’s more difficult to evaluate if your partner has too much emotional baggage for a relationship when the chemistry between you is strong. You may find yourself falling into the trap of excusing their bad behavior and ignoring red flags. Part of you wants to make the relationship work, so you overlook issues that you wouldn’t tolerate in a friend.

Beware of giving a stranger the benefit of the doubt. Instead, take your time before committing to exclusivity and most importantly resist the urge to justify any red flags.

Cultivate discernment through the dating process and you’ll be able to choose a partner who is an ideal match that allows you to weather the storms of life together.

What Is Emotional Baggage?

Emotional baggage develops from carrying unresolved issues from the past that get in the way of opening up to someone new. Issues that haven’t been healed create a toxic mix of behaviors and strategies that make it difficult to open up one’s heart.

Whether it’s unprocessed trauma from childhood, unresolved hurts and betrayals from past relationships, or a lack of communication and relationship skills, emotional baggage will sabotage any promising relationship.

Don’t let your desire for a relationship to work out get in the way of these unmistakable signs that your partner has too much emotional baggage for a relationship.

8 Signs Your Partner Has Too Much Emotional Baggage For A Relationship:

  1. Can’t Control Their Emotions

It’s normal to get triggered in life, particularly in an intimate relationship. Triggers from childhood wounds, issues around safety, communication, or personal space can all become flashpoints for conflict. When a person gets triggered their conscious mind goes offline, and they’re operating from a survival instinct of fight, flight, or freeze.

However, if your partner is unable to control their anger, or quickly escalates during every conflict, then they have too much emotional baggage for a relationship.

In order to maintain an intimate relationship one must have some level of emotional mastery. This includes being able to calm down when upset, able to take responsibility for their actions, as well as communicate with kindness. Using heightened emotions as an excuse for unkind communication, or to berate a loving partner is unacceptable.

Ultimately, you’re not responsible for your partner’s triggers, nor are they responsible for yours. If your partner verbally attacks you, or easily becomes upset, hurt, angry or offended, then they’re not good relationship material.

You can feel empathy and compassion for what your partner went through before you met them, but it’s not okay to excuse their bad behavior. An ideal partner has the tools to calm themselves down. They’ve learned how to master their emotional life and communicate with respect and kindness.

  1. Guilt And Regret About The Past

Everyone at some point wishes they could get a second chance in life and go back and fix a mistake they’ve made. However, if your partner is holding onto the mistakes they made in a past relationship and can’t move past them, then they have too much emotional baggage for a relationship.

Holding onto mistakes and wallowing in regret about what could have been keeps their heart closed to love. Whether your partner is stuck in guilt, shame, or regret, inside they probably feel unworthy of love. They may even fear that they’re destined to repeat their past mistakes.

Moving on from the past isn’t always easy, but it’s a necessary step on the journey to create lasting love. No one goes through life without making mistakes, and it takes effort to learn from them and move on. If your partner has unresolved emotional baggage from their past relationships, they’ll probably sabotage your relationship too.

Judgment is the biggest block to love because on some level all judgment is self-judgment. Plus it can cause them to unconsciously judge their partner. These unrealistic expectations will doom any relationship. Perfection is not required for love because love is not something that has to be earned. Every person is inherently loveable.

If your partner can’t stop talking about the past, often rehashes their previous relationship, or harbors regret for mistakes they’ve made, then it’s probably time for you to move on. They need to heal their broken heart and gain some relationship skills before they’ll be emotionally available for you.

  1. They Want You To Change

Your soulmate will love you for who you are, the good, the bad, and the ugly. They won’t ask you to change your appearance or behavior to fit some fictionalized vision of who they want to be with.

Twisting into a pretzel to please your partner will leave you exhausted and questioning your sanity.

Show up authentically. Share what’s important to you and your vision for a relationship. If your partner argues with you about how you feel or what you want, they have too much emotional baggage for a relationship.

If they’re asking you to change it’s a red flag that they’re attached to a fantasy idea of you than the real authentic you. A person who judges you or asks you to change isn’t really interested in a relationship with you.

Find someone who accepts you as you are and loves you warts and all. Develop a strong sense of self and you’ll be better equipped to pass on the person who’s trying to mold you into their vision of their ideal partner.

You can’t say or do the wrong thing with the right person. When you connect with the right person, the two of you will navigate through challenges together without demands or diminishing one another’s self-esteem and self-worth.

  1. Your Thoughts And Feelings Are Discounted

Someone who’s always trying to convince you that you’re wrong or downplay your feelings has too much baggage for a relationship. This type of person is incapable of having a healthy relationship dynamic.

Their goal is to make you feel insecure and not trust yourself. This puts them in a position of power over you. A healthy relationship is between two equals who respect and value each other.

The right person will respect your opinions and want to know how you feel. They’ll care about whether they’ve upset you or hurt your feelings. They won’t try to control you or how you feel. They’ll communicate with kindness and compassion.

Emotional connection and intimacy are created when both people feel safe to share their thoughts and feelings. A partner who loves you also values you. The right person will hold space for you and your emotional life. They’ll allow you to feel all your emotions without taking it personally or downplaying your experience.

  1. Defensiveness

Defensiveness is a symptom of someone who can’t take responsibility for their actions and is unable to look at their behavior and admit that they did something wrong.

Your partner has too much emotional baggage for a relationship if requests or suggestions are treated like criticisms, or if your partner is behaving as if they’re beyond reproach. Furthermore, if they’re constantly shifting blame to you, rather than take responsibility it’s time to move on.

Everyone makes mistakes in relationship and it’s normal to get triggered. An emotionally healthy individual takes responsibility for their behavior and apologizes when they behave badly. They may offer to make amends to repair with their partner.

A healthy relationship requires each of you to own your mistakes and apologize when necessary. A person who’s unwilling to apologize isn’t interested in changing, instead they’re committed to justifying their actions and deflecting blame.

Notice how your partner responds when you make a request or give them feedback. Can they hear you? Or are they overly sensitive to your feedback? A partner who’s curious about you and interested in making you happy will be a better match in the long run.

  1. They Have Unrealistic Expectations

If your partner expects you to be everything for them, lover, best friend, constant companion, and therapist, it’s too much to ask of one person; they have too much emotional baggage for a relationship.

It will be impossible for you to measure up to their unrealistic expectations. You’ll inevitably let them down, leaving them feeling disappointed in you. They’ll constantly be measuring you up to some unspoken litmus test that you can’t help but fail.

The person with unrealistic expectations is constantly looking for something better. They’ll bail at the first sign of conflict between you. They won’t like it when you suddenly have needs and desires that don’t match with theirs.

Falling in love feels magical, but it doesn’t suddenly solve all your problems. Healthy partners realize that part of a thriving relationship is the ability to navigate the differences between you and to be forever curious about your partner.

  1. They Can’t Handle Conflict

Most people are conflict-avoidant. It’s common to dislike drama in your relationship. Constant conflict can be a sign that the two of you aren’t compatible.

However, conflict is a natural part of two people in a relationship together. After all, you’re in a relationship with a completely different person than you. You each have different strategies for dealing with stress. Navigating the differences is one of the keys to long-lasting love.

Conflict can be a doorway to a deeper connection when it’s expected and handled consciously. You both have to be willing to work through the challenges that arise for a stronger connection to occur.

If your partner shuts down in a conflict and refuses to discuss the issues, then they have too much emotional baggage for a relationship. Avoiding conflict and negative emotions is a sign of someone afraid of doing the deeper work together.

Making the effort to work through conflict will bring the two of you closer together and create a bond that can’t be broken. Being willing to talk about the hard stuff is a sign of someone who is emotionally mature. This is the type of partner you can weather any storm with.

  1. Your Boundaries Aren’t Respected

The bad math of a Hollywood romance movie is: 1 + 1 = 1, that your partner completes you. This is not a healthy equation and sets the stage for a co-dependent relationship.

You are a whole and complete person who will be in relationship with another whole and complete person. The two of you will create a third entity—the relationship. The equation for long-lasting love: 1 + 1 = 3, is also bad math but it clarifies that two whole people come together to create a third entity: the relationship.

Someone who dislikes boundaries will jump into exclusivity before they get to know you. They may love-bomb you and rush into sex declaring their love over-enthusiastically. If you set clear boundaries through the dating process you’ll scare away a person like this, they’ll go find an easier target.

A healthy relationship has a respectful boundary where you end and your partner begins. If your partner won’t accept a boundary you’ve set they have too much emotional baggage for a relationship.

Setting and keeping boundaries will steer you clear of a partner who has too much emotional baggage for a relationship. If you have trouble with boundaries or tend to merge quickly in the dating process we can help you. Book a complimentary Soulmate Strategy session with us for guidance on how to stop falling for people who have too much emotional baggage for a relationship.

About the authors

Love Coaches Orna and Matthew Walters

Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches and prolific writers about love. Finding love, keeping love, healing from heartbreak, bringing in your beloved and more. They have been published on MSN, Yahoo!, YourTango, Redbook, and have been featured guest experts on BRAVO’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER with Patti Stanger, and as guests with Esther Perel speaking about love and intimacy.

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