Relationship Bombs

Ah, Relationship Bombs… you know, those big things (good and bad that make you “you”) that always feel like an explosion of information when you share them with others?

Let’s chat about them a bit today, dear internets.

Via:  Not that kind of bomb.
Not that kind of bomb. Via: amazon

I have friends with a history of drugs, abuse, eating disorders, PTSD, negative family dynamics, extramarital children, rap sheets, scary medical history, etc. You may call these things baggage or history or less than ideal. Or dealbreakers, though I would certainly hope this isn’t the case.

Because we all have relationship bombs we possess.

My question is… when is the appropriate time to drop them?


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I was watching the Bachelorette the other night and was confused by one of the gentlemen’s seeming need to talk about his past. I was thinking, what in the world could this information be to be pertinent in the third week of the show?

It must be something that would change the situation in that moment, right? Nope. It was about his family history… a tragic death in the family years ago.

I am not saying this wasn’t an important tale. I’m not saying it isn’t something that defines him and should be shared. But on week three? After no solo dates? (I can’t really remember… there are too many men on that show for me to differentiate one from the other vaguely attractive Ken dolls.) You don’t know if you click as a couple and you want to open up about personal tragic history? On National TV?

I couldn’t understand what bee got under his bonnet regarding sharing time being RIGHTNOW.

It felt like a ploy for drama, a play for attention and time.

At least in the way it was edited and presented.


(“Look at me!” says this turtle! Mostly it is cute and I wanted to include it.)

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When is the right time to drop these kinds of relationship bombs when dating?

If you have a pending court sentence, a child, are moving out of state in a week, or something that is currently an ACTIVE integral part of your day to day life, yeah, I think that’s pretty important to put out there early.

But I personally think that personal history is like a classic serial novel… intended to be told slowly over time, with character layers and depths revealed naturally as the plot moves along in real time. I know sharing, especially deep emotional issues, can create and strengthen the sense of intimacy and connection in a relationship.

But why don’t we let that happen gradually over time? Allow the plot to develop a bit?

Stop trying to force it.

Leave some stories for the fourth date, huh? 


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For me, my “bomb” is my family cancer history. I don’t see it as a negative, I see it as a defining aspect in my life… a POSITIVE defining aspect.

I typically don’t bring it up early in relationships of any sort, romantic or otherwise. It’s really not anyone’s business on a surface level. And it can be a MAJOR downer of conversation at dinner parties. It’s a part of me but not a part of my daily functioning. It doesn’t affect what restaurants I can go to, like if I had a major allergy, or places I am comfortable in being, as in some type of PTSD.

  • I have dated people for months and never told them.
  • I have had it take years for me to talk about with someone.
  • I have met someone and told them very quickly, because it came up organically or just felt right.
  • There are people who know because of the natural grapevine that any close friend group inherently is.

There isn’t some sort of societal norm for talking about these types of elements. It’s not like there is the equivalent to the dating “rule” that you should sleep together after three dates. (Which, for the record, I think is beyond insane.)

Trying to figure out rules for sharing your deepest self with others is crazy-town.

Or at least impossible from my personal point of view.


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Bombs aren’t always bad either. And if taken out of context, I think that distinction can be lost.

If you already understand (and care about) me as a person, dropping this information won’t evoke sympathy or concern. It will be another piece of the whole me. It will be a deeper understanding, not a new element.

And because you already understand (and hopefully care about) me, it won’t change how you see me. It will add up, make sense and just be another layer of onion in the onion that is me.

Because everyone’s bombs shape them. No matter how major or small, we all have them. Without bombs, we are just hollow shells filled with undetonated souls.


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Bombs, when dropped appropriately, don’t taint how a person sees you.

You are not lessened, you are not unclean, you are not damaged.

You are complete and beautiful in all that life’s bombs have made you.


And the timing for dropping them is just something you have to make your best educated guess at each time. Or you could just trust your heart. (gut? soul? instincts?)  Your heart is, after all, always rooting for the best outcome.

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