Under “Sex and Intimacy,” for example, we wrote that we agree to be monogamous because, right now, monogamy suits us. Our contract isn’t infallible, or the solution to every problem.But it acknowledges that we each have desires that deserve to be named and recognized.This time I wanted to be more intentional about looking outward as much as we look in.The terms range from the familiar (“We will take care of each other when one of us is sick”) to the fanciful (“If we’re both sick, it’s all up to the dog”).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.
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.I wasn’t even sure what I wanted, but trying to figure that out through conversation seemed terrifying.Instead, I picked fights, about money or chores or how to spend the weekend.Many of us don’t notice the ways romantic love acts as an organizing force in our lives, but it is powerful.
Some use the term “relationship escalator” to describe the way we tend to follow familiar scripts as we proceed in a relationship, from casual dating to cohabitation to marriage and family.
We agree to split the bill when eating out with one exception: “Special meals (date night, celebrations, etc.) will not be split so one person can treat the other.”It was important to me to eat breakfast together because this was something my family did growing up, so we put that in writing.