Landmines, Deal Breakers and Brass Rings

This essay is intended to help you with future “new” relationships.  I hope this information is considered valuable enough that you decide to teach your children to apply this to their future adult relationships.

Before beginning a new intimate relationship with someone, I have picked an appropriate time to have what I refer to as my, “Landmines, Deal Breakers, and Brass Rings Conversation”.

“Landmines” are things you know about yourself.  They can be any value, character trait, habit, and/or fetish, which you are aware other people may not like.  Landmines are not obvious (and sometimes we intentionally hide them).   Tattoos are a good example; some people dislike all tattoos and others just dislike certain types of body art.  A large number of clearly-visible tattoos might not be considered a Landmine (unless the racist ones are all hidden), however, someone with a few concealed tattoos should consider them a Landmine. 

Although identifying and sharing each others Landmines are crucial to a healthy relationship, the most important aspect of discussing Landmines is that it starts “The Conversation” on a positive note.  Each person shares something they are either embarrassed about themselves, or their past, or which the other person might find off-putting.  To decide if something is or is not a Landmine, I ask myself, “If I don’t share this, and—instead—they discover it in the distant future, could I be accused of being intentionally deceitful or lying by omission?”
Examples of Landmines:
  • Incarcerations 
  • Addictions
  • Diseases
  • Non-standard employment
  • Non-standard housing
  • Pet issues or allergies
  • Children given for adoption
  • Previous long-term relationships
  • Dangerous or risky behaviors 
               “Deal Breakers” are things you absolutely will not tolerate in another person.  Many non-smokers consider smoking or vaping (of any substance) to be a Deal Breaker.   At this point in “The Conversation,” each person takes turns explaining to the other the types of behavior(s) which—if discovered in the future—would cause them to terminate the relationship.  For example:  if someone quit smoking a while ago (and didn’t consider it important enough to be a Landmine) and then the other person told them that smoking was a Deal Breaker, it’s now a subject which needs further discussion.

Normally, people identify things they consider Deal Breakers based on their past.  If a previous significant other was a habitual liar, they may no longer put up with the smallest amount of dishonesty and—therefore—might consider some “white lies” to be Deal Breakers; along the same lines, if a previous significant other constantly acted jealous for no reason, they may now consider any hint of jealous behavior to be a Deal Breaker.

Examples of Deal Breakers:
  • Pregnancy
  • Watching sports on TV
  • Share love of pets
  • Must not Hunt or fish 
  • Share same Religion
  •  Have the same Personal Politics
  • Watch Pornography
               “Brass Rings” bring “The conversation” to a close on a positive note.  Each person explains at least one thing they would ultimately love to receive from the relationship, or from their partner.     This is the point where each person is expected to bare their deepest desire.  Selfishness is a must when explaining one’s Brass Ring(s).  It does not work if—after making it all the way through the Landmines and the Deal Breakers—someone claims their Brass Ring is just the happiness of the other.  

Examples of Brass Rings:
  • Clitoral orgasms
  • Enjoyment of specific sexual acts
  • Destination vacation
  • Financial security
  • Platonic love
  • Children

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