Would you ask your boyfriend or girlfriend to sign a “relationship contract?”
More and more couples are doing it! The contracts lay out everything from PDA rules, to off-limits fighting styles, to non-negotiable personal quirks.
Couples who sign on the dotted line say the contracts encourage boundary setting, fair fighting and compromise. But some items in these contracts seem kind of arbitrary.
Like, one couple negotiated how much time can be spent watching news, limited sports viewing to one game a week, and stipulated that one partner must call the other every day and stay on the phone for at least 5 minutes.
But therapists say these contracts can be GOOD for couples, because they lay the groundwork for a healthy relationship by setting expectations.
Licensed marriage counselor Lisa Thomas says negotiating difficult situations upfront, before they become a problem, can give your relationship a stronger footing. So hash out things like money, how to resolve conflicts, and chores – and revisit it every once and a while and revise it. The contracts aren’t legally binding, but they can help couples stay on track, because both partners know what’s expected of them.