Most people don’t think of relationship contracts unless they’re getting married and not everyone signs a prenuptial agreement. I remember signing a certificate. My partner and I were young and didn’t have much equity between us to worry about.
Polyamory contracts are becoming more common and entail a lot more than financial issues. It makes sense. Choosing to explore any type of non-monogamous relationship can face various interpretations. Most of us grow up being told, “if your partner really loves you, she will never want another” and “if your partner has sex with another, your relationship is destined to fail.”
Even those with polyamory experience, who know these statements don’t apply to their chosen lifestyle, may feel emotionally threatened at the possibility. A contract is a guide which partners can negotiate together that will create more security for them both. These are also becoming popular for married couples, who are new to polyamory.
Some online examples of poly contracts are as complicated as polyamory itself. The Proposed Agreement and Statement of Expectations goes into detail in the areas of conflict, health, other partners, and the treatment of others. The Polyamory Contract is a good example of one couple’s specific criteria they have discussed and agreed upon.
I’m wondering if poly couples think these are helpful or if they only add fuel to the fires of fear and insecurity. I felt anxious just reading them. If you sign one and don’t live up to every stipulation, what are the consequences?
What are your thoughts on polyamory contracts? Do you think they are beneficial to a relationship?