You need to be on the same page with your partner if you want things to last long-term. That’s where a relationship contract comes in. Putting your expectations and goals down on paper has a number of benefits—here are just a few.
- It lets you know if you’re both dedicated to your relationship. To create a relationship contract, one of the first issues you need to discuss is where you want things to go. If you’ve thrown your heart into things with your S.O. and see a future, you want them to reciprocate. Do you want to marry eventually? Are you against marriage but for a long-term relationship? These are the things that can make or break a relationship. You need to have the talk anyway, so writing it up into the contract is one way to open up the discussion. If you can’t agree on this very important issue, scrap the contract and the relationship and move on.
- You can set joint goals. Along with having the talk about the future of your relationship, you can set goals to work on together. If you see marriage in the future, give a timeline of when you’d like to tie the knot. If you’re going to have kids, you can decide where you want to be in your careers before you try. Discuss your career goals to make sure they align as well.
- It prevents some future arguments and disputes. Since you’re going over all the big issues for your relationship contract, you get to know each other’s ideals and feelings on important subjects. From there, you can negotiate on these situations before they become major issues in the future. If you find you just can’t agree on some things, it may be a good time to reevaluate things.
- You get to learn how to handle major disagreements. In the middle of a heated dispute, we’re not our logical selves. We say the most hurtful things when we’re upset with someone. With a relationship contract, you can make a plan for when arguments happen. Instead of hurling insults and raising your voice, you can go over your agreement. Whether you decide to cool off and separate for an hour to analyze the situation or to talk it out then and there, having a plan for conflict resolution is important.
- It can ensure that you make time for each other. Between work and other engagements, quality time can become somewhat elusive. You need to make time to keep your relationship feeling fresh and a relationship contract can help with that. You can set a weekly night to go out for dinner or you can meet each other every day during your lunch break—whatever works for the two of you. With it written in a contract, you’ll feel more obligated to stick to making time for each other. This keeps the two of you connected and intimate.
- Dealing with money will be a no-brainer. Money is still such a taboo subject between people, even the strongest couples. If you’re in it for the long run, you have to talk about finances—especially if the two of you are living together or plan on it in the near future. You need arrangements for paying bills and plans to save for your long-term future. You need to discuss your credit scores and you need to even talk about how you’re going to finance a home in the future. A relationship contract can really help ease some of the tension surrounding financial topics.
- Signing a relationship contract will help build trust. Creating a relationship contract strengthens your bond. It can help with relationship anxiety or any insecurities either one might have and it means you’re both motivated to make your love last. It might not seem romantic, but maybe it’s the most romantic thing you could do.