Because the idea of creating individual relationship contracts
has not been tried to any great extent,
we naturally ask some questions about such a social innovation.

     In the 21st century in the West,
we will see an ever-increasing diversity of personal relationships
rather than a return to the traditional patterns of marriage.
We will experiment with new forms of relationship.
What will such experiences show us about 'love'?

    A.  Will Contract Negotiations Undermine
    the Emotional Basis of Relationships?

     Many people believe that marriages should be based on 'love'.
And beginning a relationship because you have nice feelings about each other
does not seem compatible with contract negotiations.
In short, if you marry 'for love',
you are expecting all the details of living together to emerge automatically.
But eventually you will have to structure your lives together,
for instance, dividing the household duties in some practical way.

     Each of you might have assumed
that the benefits of marriage would automatically emerge.
But that will only happen if you work together to create those benefits.
Your relationship will probably run more smoothly
if you have discussed the issues raised by the 28 Questions of this book
before you agree to get married or to establish some other relationship.

     Romantic love is certainly a pleasant feeling while it lasts,
but it is usually an unstable basis for an on-going relationship.
If you plan to have a common household,
and especially if you plan to have children together,
you will need something beyond good feelings for each other
to organize your common life.

     Attempting to create an on-going relationship
on nothing but the emotion of romantic love is probably doomed to failure.
In the cool morning light of reality,
some pattern (which might be an implicit contract) is going to emerge.
Would it be better to negotiate about this pattern or just 'let it happen'?


The page above begins this section exploring some open questions about relationship contracts
---which is 10 pages in all---from Designer Marriage.

Return to the table of contents for

Designer Marriage: Write Your Own Relationship Contract

Created December 23, 2009; Revised

Return to the LOVE page.

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An Existential Philosopher's Museum

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