real life

If your partner gave you this - would you sign it?

I love you, but let’s sign a contract okay?


Introducing the most romantic thing that will ever happen to you and your significant other: relationship contracts.

It’s like a prenuptial agreement, only you don’t have to be getting married. Oh, and it’s much less to do with money/assets/property and much more to do with things like who takes out the rubbish. And how many times a week you have sex.

According to CBS New York, contractual agreements are becoming increasingly popular with couples – both married and unmarried.

This from the news website:

“We’re seeing the evolution of so called ‘lifestyle clauses,’ which really answer the question, what do we want the marriage to be like? What types of activities are we going to be engaging in? Where are we going on vacation?” explained attorney Ann Margaret Carrozza.

Can you imagine that? No more casual conversations about whether Hawaii or New Zealand might be nice for a getaway in 2014. Instead, you’ll be pulling out your relationship contract and consulting it to double-check that you agreed upon a ski holiday, as long as the sex schedule remains for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

While some of you may currently be shaking your heads and wondering how this could possibly be a reasonable idea – apparently it has its benefits. According to sex therapist/counselor Gracie Landes, there can be “a lot of joy in having structure and knowing what’s going to happen”.

You want me to sign a what?

Right. So you know that your boyfriend isn’t ever going to come home and demand that you suddenly start unloading the dishwasher every night. Because that would be craaaaaazy.

Maybe the best thing about this entire concept is the fact that they’re not even legally binding – but claim to serve as “a symbolic way to bind couples”.

Can you just imagine explaining to your mum over a cup of tea: “No, he doesn’t want to put a ring on it, but we HAVE signed a relationship contract which symbolically binds us to having sex every Sunday morning.”

Like I said – romantic.

That said, I do love a fun hypothetical situation – so I spoke to the others in the Mamamia office to ask what they would put in a relationship contract if they had to sign one.

Rosie said that she’d ask for a head massage every night before bed, and Kahla said that she’d make it necessary to go out for brunch once a week.

Nicky, whose husband travels a lot, says that she’d like to make it compulsory for him to be in the same state for more than one week at a time. She also requires takeaway containers to be thrown away the same night as purchased, to avoid cockroaches.

As for me? Yearly trips to the snow, and I’ll vacuum the house every week as long as he does the bins.

What would be in your relationship contract?