The Contract of Love

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That experience helped us to think about love not as luck or fate, but as the practice of really bothering to know someone, and allowing that person to know you. Being intentional about love seems to suit us well.

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In the past, expecting a relationship to work simply because the people involved loved each other had failed me. I spent my 20s with a man who knew exactly what he wanted and how he wanted to be. All I had wanted was for him to love me. We were together for almost a decade, and in that time I somehow lost track of my own habits and preferences.

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If I wanted to split the grocery bill, he suggested I buy only things we both liked. If I wanted to spend weekends together, I could go skiing with him and his friends. And so I did. I made my life look like his. I was in love, and love meant making compromises, right? But what if I had loved him too much?

It was such a joy to find that my time was mine, along with every decision from what to cook to when to go to bed. I resolved that in my next relationship I would love more moderately, keeping more of me for myself. When I met Mark, he fit into my life so easily it surprised me.

How To Write A Relationship Contract (With Examples)

My friends liked him. My dog, Roscoe, yelped with happiness at the sight of him. But when we started talking about living together, I was wary. I worried that the minutiae of domesticity would change us into petty creatures who bickered over laundry. More than that, I worried I might lose myself again, to a man and a relationship, overtaken by those old ideas about how love conquers all.

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Mark had his own reservations. We spent weeks anxiously enumerating the pros and cons of cohabitation. We liked the idea and realized we could take this approach to living together.

The Contract of Love

These scripts that tell us what love should look like are so ubiquitous they sometimes seem invisible. In my last relationship, I had spent a lot of time worrying about whether we were moving up the escalator. Instead, I picked fights, about money or chores or how to spend the weekend.

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  4. That risk, though, is real. Additionally, had these contracts existed in his company, HR would have had an opportunity to weigh in and let the executive know the consequences if things went wrong.

    Your employer can't make you sign a "love contract", but your job might be at risk if you refuse.

    We need policies and tools that deliver ways for people to be honest about workplace relationships, so those relationships can be managed. Just like Romeo and Juliet, prohibiting such relationships will end in disaster. Kluger advises a culture of transparency when it comes to relationships between employees. A consensual relationship contract provides employers with a management tool.

    The contract can be brief, he says, simply a signed document stating that a couple is in a consensual relationship with a promise to inform the employer if their status changes. XpertHR provides a sample contract. Logins required. The notification of a status change is critical, Kluger says, because that can protect employers from claims and allow the employer to manage any behavior that could be construed as harassment after a relationship ends. The company can fairly say that it was never notified, Kluger explains. However, although a contract offers a management tool to employers, employees may resent the notion of such contracts and view the process as an invasion of privacy. While consensual relationship contracts can be a good idea for both employers and employees, employers cannot force or compel employees to sign such contracts, says Zoller.

    Love Contracts: Good or Bad Idea? February 11, Mark Kluger.