In the beginning of any relationship it is lustful and exciting as you get to know one another, then you fall in love and bingo you are in a full-blown relationship. Then comes the next step of moving in together. The next decision is where do you live, who moves, who’s paying what, how big will the house be and how it will fit the both of you. This is the easy part as they are all easy to negotiate but what about the small print?
In long-term relationships, of course, there are agreements, many of which are unspoken. Many of which are invisible, until someone breaks them, and until this time they don’t give any thought at all of the relationship contract. The deal of a relationship contract is not about love, the love word does not come into it, it’s about the vision of the relationship. Do you agree on what the rules are? Do you agree on what the boundaries are? Do you agree on what is off-limits? Do you agree on the vocabulary you are going to use when you talk with each other? Most likely the answer is no, you just met, fell in love and decided to be together, and as you know relationships are expensive in many ways.
This would be like myself going up to a close friend and saying“Hey you know I really like you, let’s start a company together”. Of course my friend say “that’s a great idea”. We have no idea what the company is going to do, we have no budget, we don’t know where the company is going to be located, but we know we are going to have a company.
When a couple does not have a shared vision of the relationship they don’t know what to expect, and what they can rely on. It’s about learning and agreeing how to handle a situation. This is why a relationship contract is advised.
How to write a contract
A relationship contract is a document that gets written up and signed by (usually) two people within an intimate relationship. But, in truth, the contract is about having a very honest conversation. It isn’t legally binding. It isn’t a marital contract. It’s a relationship contract.
You sit down together and say, “Okay, what does being in a relationship mean to us individually? What’s important to us that we make sure we include in here? What can we put in our contract that would make you feel safe, loved, seen, and cared for?”
You write down/type up all of the things that each of you wants to include, print it off, and sign it. Then you have your very own custom-made relationship contract!