One of the most unfortunate things about dating as an adult (obviously our 20s don't count) is dealing with baggage.
His baggage. Her baggage. Single for 40 years baggage. Recently divorced baggage.
It's particularly difficult when the people involved want to be honest and forthright. I mean, let's be real, it comes up. What's the best way to handle it?
I think the easy answer is, "Not on the first date!"
I recently met a nice man, exactly my age, whom I got to know on a dating site. He's divorced with a child in grade school. I was excited that he's a serious Catholic and a family man.
We met for coffee, and conversation flowed naturally. But, before I knew it he was telling me about the difficulties, nay complications, of his divorce! Horrible accusations made by his wife regarding the well-being of their child. The sort of thing that you hope no man is capable of. And although he asserted his innocence and told me that he had been cleared of the accusations... I am still left to wonder what the truth is. Was he innocent or did he just have the better attorney?
See. The thing is, I don't know him well enough to judge his character or determine his honesty. At this point, he had even robbed me of that luxury.
In addition, he told me about something he had engaged in while in the military. Something I am sure many of our troops engage in, when they find themselves in countries where it's common. Something I would hope my husband would never participate in, before or after me. But there it is.
Would I have accepted this as part of his past if I had been given a chance to grow to love him?
Maybe. Maybe not.
In his defense, he said he felt he should put all this upfront, rather than date for a few months and find out it's a deal breaker.
I see his point. But my point is - give me a chance to get to know you and like you before you ask me to carry your baggage.
At the airport, once you've passed security - they remind you not to leave your bag with anyone you don't know - and not to accept items from people you don't know. They have your safety and security in mind.
Quite frankly, upon a first meeting we don't know one another well enough to even watch the other's bags while they go to the restroom!
What he did was like asking me to take his baggage before even clearing security.
At least then I could be confident there were no explosives or weapons.