Are you ready to date in 2020?

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Relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr (on Twitter @drpamspurr and at shows us how to deal with our own emotional baggage.

In a recent post, I wrote about how to spot some of the signs that the person you’re dating may be carrying excess emotional baggage. As I said at the time, we all have emotional baggage! But sometimes its extensive and scuppers new, potential relationships.

To coincide with the new year, now is the time to think about your own potential baggage and whether it might be clouding your judgement as a Single when you meet new people. And if it might hamper forming a new relationship if that’s what you’re looking for.

Here’s a baggage check for you:

*Unexpressed anger – Inwardly, do you feel angry about the way you’ve been treated by a person you’re dating? Do you fantasise about getting back at them? It’s crucial you learn how to express yourself from today. 

Because otherwise these thoughts will fester and impact in a negative way this new relationship. And if you express angry or unhappy feelings in a tactful and confident way, you too might sort things out.

Run things past a friend for feedback – for example, anything like how you feel angry about the past, when you were hurt by someone, how you responded then, etc. 

Getting such things out in the open is important so you don’t jeopardise your dating now. Unexpressed anger can come out in various ways with a new date - even things from past relationships – and they’re blameless for what’s gone on in the past.

*Insecurities – Many different types of insecurities affect how ‘dateable’ you are and these insecurities result from baggage. They can include anything from feeling unlovable to worrying about your weight and fearing going to bed with someone for the first time because you don’t see yourself as ‘good enough’. 

Such baggage is quite easily identified by listening to your inner voice, e.g. is it on a loop saying: no one will ever love me (feeling unlovable) or no one will be attracted to me at this weight (weight issues).

Once identified, build your general confidence and work on challenging these negative, insecure thoughts. Because they’re ‘written’ all over your body language when you’re with a new date and that isn’t attractive. 

When love’s hurt you in the past, pick up yourself and your dating confidence.

  • Every day, do something new to prove you can do what you set your mind to. Keep it simple like going somewhere new at lunch and finding somewhere new to visit.
  • Focus on the fact that how you’ve been treated in the past doesn’t reflect on how your future dating endeavours will turn out. Remind yourself you can make better choices starting from today.
  • Stop that negative voice in your head. Each time you have a negative thought, e.g., "no one's attracted to me," substitute with a positive like, "there are lots of reasons why someone would be lucky to have me!"
  • Find your lucky mascot - one client of mine once remarked how Kate Winslet had become her imaginary lucky mascot. She admired the way Kate got through her divorce some years ago with dignity. Store a photo of your mascot in your mobile and each time you look at it remind yourself you can be that way too.
  • Learn to love your inner self by nurturing your inner child. Choose a favourite photograph from when you were a child, study it, and tell yourself how much that child deserves happiness. Remind yourself of this when feeling anxious about being out on what can feel like the big, scary dating scene.
  • Improve your body language. Maybe you need to pull up your posture, stop fiddling with your hands or hair, or just give good eye contact. When you’re standing tall and not fidgeting you feel more positive.

Finally, there’s nothing wrong, once you’ve had a few dates with someone, to open up about little insecurities. As long as you’ve gained some trust with that person – and they’re treating you well – it can help you unlock that emotional baggage and dump it!

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Follow Dr Pam Spurr on Twitter @drpamspurr  and at

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