If the ensuing relationship gets past a fling into serious romance, we find out more than we care to know about the person who was oh so charming. At some point we'll discover we've bonded with their matching luggage. The person brings baggage into the relationship that fits what we brought along for the ride. Our damage dovetails together perfectly with theirs. Those incessant inner conversations speak to each other with instant rapport. It's no wonder the voices said "go for it" in unison. They saw potential partners in the other person's inner torment. Here are the three pairings I see the most often:
- The most common pairing I encounter is matching blatant insecurities. People desperately cling to each other our of their own neediness, inadequacy, or inferiority issues. They cannot get enough of each other or give the other any breathing room regardless of how it looks to other. Their misery loves the company of the other. Companionship is an act of desperation with no end in sight. Neither can get enough of the other to silence their inner voices and feel confident with crutches.
- The second most common combination of baggage joins hidden with showy insecurities together. Daddy's Little Princess will pair up with a father figure. A momma's boy will find apron strings to cling to on a mother figure. A tyrant will work a deal with someone who's baggage easily plays the henpecked husband or servile wife. The over-powering character is equally insecure while disguising their personal misgivings with bravado, bullying or self-righteous opinions.
- The least common pairing in my experience matches two rivals together. Both need to be right at the other's expense. Both compete with the other to be on top of the argument, vindicated and in control of the conversation. Both have baggage that's well suited for intimidating, overpowering and attacking others. Both feel comfortable when the other is on the defensive. Both like a heated argument to vent their frustrations and keep the other on their toes.
If the exits are sealed, the relationship will hit bottom. Both will have nowhere else to turn but within themselves -- to face their baggage and resolve their inner voices. They will stop pointing a finger at the other and point three fingers back at themselves. They'll realize they can take partial responsibility because the other is equally at fault. They will discover they really do have matching luggage, inner torment and urges to destroy the relationship. They are primed to get over their past history right then and there. A teachable moment has been created by providing no escape from facing oneself in the mirror.