Have you ever considered entering into a relationship contract? Although not legally binding, it serves as a catalyst for honest conversations between two people in an intimate relationship. It goes beyond the covert social contracts we often build in our lives. Instead, a relationship contract prompts a discussion about individual expectations, desires, and needs within the relationship.
Why Have a Relationship Contract?
People who have created relationship contracts report numerous benefits. Honesty is at the forefront, as it allows couples to be transparent about what is important to them. By establishing clear expectations early on, couples can avoid fights, frustrations, and resentments that stem from unspoken needs.
Another advantage is gaining awareness of your partner’s needs. Sitting down and discussing what it means for each person to feel loved opens a window into their physical, emotional, and sexual needs. This kind of intentional dialogue fosters a deeper understanding of one another.
Communication is also greatly enhanced by having a relationship contract. By explicitly stating desires and boundaries, couples can maintain open and honest communication throughout their relationship, fostering a safe and trusting environment.
Clarity and alignment in mutual intentions are crucial to relationship success. By discussing topics that are often contentious, such as sex, money, children, and religion, couples can find common ground and avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and tension.
Moreover, a relationship contract allows couples to consciously choose their journey together. It’s about arriving at relationship milestones by making intentional decisions rather than sliding into them by default. Regardless of how long a couple has been together, crafting a relationship contract is an opportunity to anchor their commitment, communication, and growth.
What Are Your Intentions?
Before embarking on this endeavor, it’s essential to identify your primary intention for creating a relationship contract. Clarify whether you seek safety, security, alignment of values, or simply wish to embark on a playful exercise with your partner. Communicating your intention will set the stage for a successful brainstorming session.
What Should You Include?
The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can include in your relationship contract. Some common areas to consider are:
- Date nights: Establishing when and how often they occur, who plans them, and what they should consist of.
- Individual responsibility: Each partner takes responsibility for their own health, happiness, and personal development.
- Independence and intimacy: Balancing alone time, time with friends outside the relationship, and separate vacations.
- Facing disagreements and avoiding threats to the relationship.
- Commitment to radical honesty and open communication.
- Dividing household chores.
- Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and major milestones.
- Vowing to be transparent and avoid keeping secrets.
- And many more aspects unique to each couple.
Consequences and Flexibility
It’s important to remember that a relationship contract is not a rigid set of rules but a set of intentions and guidelines. There will be times when certain aspects cannot be upheld, and that’s okay. When breaches occur, remind yourselves of the agreement and make a conscious effort to get back on track. The contract serves as a compass, guiding you to maintain a loving and fulfilling relationship.
People and relationships evolve over time, so revisiting and updating your relationship contract is crucial. Ideally, this should be done every 3-12 months. Regularly reviewing the contract ensures its relevance and prevents it from becoming stale.
Start Taking Action
If this sounds intriguing to you, why not share this article with your partner? Embark on the exciting journey of creating a relationship contract together. Start by brainstorming and discussing your expectations and desires. Once you’ve finalized your contract, print it out and sign it, symbolizing your commitment to each other.
Remember, a relationship contract is a tool to enhance your connection and cultivate a deep and fulfilling partnership. Embrace the power of open communication, honesty, and intentionality, and watch your relationship flourish.