Relationship Contracts – What Are They?

Although they sound like legally binding agreements, the “relationship contracts” we are talking about are really just a way to clarifying expectations in a relationship. By writing down basic things like who will take out the garbage each week, you then have something you can discuss and refine as your relationship progresses.

Having something in writing also helps stop arguments. Relationship contracts remove the ambiguity and the blame. They make things clear and above-board.

Being madly in love with someone can be very different from the day-to-day negotiations over who does what. It can help separate the romance from the practicalities.

What can relationship contracts include?

It is up to each couple to discuss what they want to include. But here are a few things that most couples include:

  • chores – who does what around the house and when they have to be completed by
  • quality connection time — how often will you have date nights and what will they typically include
  • alone time — how much alone time do each of you need and how do you want that to be provided
  • finances — who pays for what and how does it fit your longterm financial goals as a couple.
  • sex — how often should it occur, when and what should it include. This can help make sure both partners receive satisfaction from it and that isn’t a one-sided even. You can still allow for it to happen spontaneously sometimes, but as we all often get so busy, having it in the routine can help ensure that it happens regularly and that you feel connected as a result. Otherwise, you can end up just feel like you are roommates. You don’t want to end up in a sexless or loveless relationship.

Make sure you schedule regular meetings to review the relationship contract and to discuss what is working and what isn’t.