But you do not need to experience a breakup to begin forming healthier relationships.While there are no quick fixes, developing a clearer picture of your working models and how these might be affecting your relationships is a good starting point.
Luckily, HC talked to collegiettes and experts to find out more about the phenomenon! At its simplest, emotional baggage is the sum of all the negative experiences you’ve had in relationships (both romantic and otherwise) that you bring with you throughout life.
“The idea is that you’re forever carrying around this metaphorical weight on your shoulders of issues from the past,” says Jasmine Ryan, a healthy relationships and dating counselor at the University of Florida.
As a simple example, someone who had an unfaithful partner in the past may develop a working model in which other people cannot be trusted.
This may mean that he or she finds it more difficult to form stable, trusting relationships in the future.
Working models are the mental representations that we hold about ourselves and other people, and that develop through experiences with people we are attached to.
A working model might include expectations about our self-worth, beliefs about how other people behave in relationships, and ideas about what to expect from relationships.
These different styles are thought to be based on past experiences of relating to important people in our lives, particularly our parents.
The effects of childhood attachment become embedded in “working models” that influence how we form relationships in adulthood.
What traits, behaviors, or experiences with an ex (or exes) act as triggering cues in new relationships?