Dr. Harmony’s Sample Open Relationship Contract
The purpose of this contract is for the documentation of negotiated expectations between both parties and by singing this contract, both parties are agreeing to the commitment to these expectations. This is not a legally binding contract. With this are negotiated expectations that will be named below.
The Parties will be known as ________ and ________. Either party only in the event of breach of contract may terminate this agreement at any time before the above named date. On the above named date this agreement will be reviewed, renegotiated and rewritten, or terminated.
I __________________, do of my own free will, and being of sound mind and body, do hereby offer myself in consensual partnership to __________________, hereinafter referred to as Partner A for the period beginning ___________________ and ending ____________________. I __________________, do of my own free will, and being of sound mind and body, do hereby offer myself in consensual partnership to __________________, hereinafter referred to as Partner B for the period beginning ___________________ and ending ____________________.
Section 1: Contract Definitions
1.1. Requests A request is for one partner to do something for the other partner. There is no obligation for a request; it is simply a desire of one partner from the other.
1.2. Bid A bid is an action, behavior, overture, request, etc. for connection from one partner to another.
1.3. Rules A rule is a set of explicit or understood regulation or principles governing conduct within this contract.
1.4. Boundaries Boundaries are negotiated hard limits in this relationship.
1.5. Ritual of Connection A ritual of connection is a ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to an instructed order that are geared towards connection between partners.
1.6. Protocol A protocol is a system of rules that explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed in this formal contract.
1.7 Repair The act of reconnection and apology following conflict.
1.8 Love Mapping The act of connection through learning new things about one another and truly understanding who your partner(s) is.
Section 2: Basic Commitment Agreement
2.1. The partners commit to taking responsibility for one another within healthy boundaries. This includes but is not limited the partners’ survival, financial needs, health, and physical and mental well-being.
2.2. Both partners will do everything within their power to facilitate and support growth, education, and making life dreams come true. Partners agree to connect annually in order to discuss this particular topic and establish goals together.
2.3. Both partners agree to a sexually open relationship.
2.4. Both partners agree that there are no secrets in their relationship and that difficult conversations may be addressed in counseling or with one another.
2.5. Both partners agree that they will share their true feelings even if they know it may hurt the other partner. This is under the expectation that both partners agree that they are committed at this time to work through any and all issues.
2.6. Whereas both partners believe that family is important, neither will keep the each other from staying in touch with their family nor will unreasonably withhold trips for each other to visit their family. This expectation covers both chosen and biological family. Should either partner be concerned that a friend or family member may be toxic to the other partner or the relationship, they agree that they will discuss this, and if unable to come to an agreement, will reach out to a neutral party (counselor or elder in community) for arbitration.
2.7. Whereas the partners believe that friends and a social support system is important, neither partner will keep the property from staying in touch with their friends and family support system and will not unreasonably withhold trips or social time for either partner to visit their friends and support system. Should either partner be concerned that a friend may be toxic to the other partner or the relationship, they agree that they will discuss this, and if unable to come to an agreement, with reach out to a neutral party (counselor or elder in community) for arbitration.
2.8. The basic foundation of the contract is trust and commitment. The rituals and protocols are designed to help nurture our mutual trust and commitment.
Section 3: General Expectations of Partners
3.1. Both partners agree that at public events, they will check in with one another to make sure that they are both doing ok.
3.2. The partners accept full responsibility for informing each other of any real or perceived dangers or safety concerns. This can include interference from family or friends, work issues, legal, etc. Both parties agree to voice concerns to one another and accept one another’s influence on these matters.
3.3. Both partners agree that they will make mistakes and will kind to one another when communicating these errors.
3.4. Whereas both parties will be working outside the home, the partners agree to distribute household tasks through a negotiated role system. Please attach the system to contract. 3.5. If a partner is ill, it is the responsibility of the other partner to care for them. The ill partner will be clear on what those care expectations look like. If unsure, defer to making sure that they are able to 1) access medical care and 2) have all the items they need for self-care.
Section 4: Build Love Maps
4.1. Both parties agree that they will strive to learn new information about each other on a regular basis. This is done through daily dialog and unplugging at least 30 minutes per day for partner focused connection.
4.2. Recreational intimacy is important for connection, thus both parties agree to plan two dates nights each per month and will establish a regular schedule for date nights.
Section 5: Share Fondness and Admiration
5.1. Both partners agree that nurturing commitment and love require an active process thus; both parties agree to mindfully express gratitude regularly for their partner’s behaviors, seek outside professional help during challenging times, and commit to working towards repair during difficult times.
5.2. Everything both partners say and do is a reflection of one another. In a larger scale, it also represents the family as a whole. This means that the partners must be mindful of their behaviors and sharing of personal information or relationship conflict to others. This includes, but is not limited to, participation of disrespectful talk about one another to friends or on social media, participation in gossip, and inappropriate behaviors while intoxicated in public.
5.3. Both parties agree to share with one another their admiration for one another weekly through verbalization, text, email, love letters, social media etc.
Section 6: Turn Towards Bids Instead of Away
6.1. Both parties agree to learn how one another makes bids for connection and to let each other know when the other partner misses a bid.
6.2. Both parties will work hard to turn towards as many bids as possible.
Section 7: Building Positive Perspective
7.1. Both partners agree that they have each other’s interest at heart and will give one another the benefit of the doubt when there are communication errors and mistakes. However, should there be a question of poor intent, they agree to ask one another for clarification prior to assuming poor intent.
8: Managing Conflict
8.1. Both partners understand that they will get flooded and upset when they are triggered. The color code system of Green, Yellow and Red will be respected and used when either partner suspects that they or their partner is flooding. However, the topic must be readdressed within 24 hours or with the therapist. It is the responsibility of the partner who called red to follow up on the topic. The follow up may be in writing if it is more comfortable or face-to-face.
8.2. Both partners agree not to start difficult conversations in front of others; past 9 pm at night or while the other partner is ill or hungry.
8.3. Both parties agree to listen to the other’s opinion and accept their partner’s influence on matters, even when it is difficult.
8.4. Both parties agree to not call each other names and avoid contempt, defensiveness, criticism, and stonewalling.
8.5. Both parties agree to attempt a soft start up when having difficult conversations.
Section 9: Repair
9.1. Following conflict, both parties agree to attempt to turn towards repair attempts.
9.2. Repair will vary based on the conflict and needs of each partner and may include: • Special date • Alone time • Letter of apology
Section 10: Create Shared Meaning
10.1. Both parties agree to check in at least quarterly and discuss life goals, needs and plans.
Section 11: Make Life Dreams Come True
11.1. Both parties agree to support one another in their life dreams and work as a team to make them come true.
11.2. Both parties agree to share life dreams with one another and discuss meaning behind them as they come up.
Section 12: Open Relationship Addendum
12.1. During NRE, both partners agree that they will check in with one another to make sure that they are both doing ok weekly.
12.2. Both parties agree to respect their metamours and limit contact during date nights.
12.5. Both partners agree that they will give each other first right of refusal to important events.
12.6. Both parties agree to a hierarchy where they are primary partners.
12.7. Both parties agree to safer sex precautions with the use of barriers such as condoms and dental dams. New sexual partners will be required to get STD testing prior to a sexual relationship starting.
12.8. Should either partner discover an interest in another person, they will discuss it with the primary partner prior and the first date will be a group date.
12.9. A calendar will be made public for all partners so that dates, appointments, special events are noted when scheduling dates.
12.10. All parties agree that should there be conflict, that they will work to resolve the conflict respectfully and if there continues to be a struggle then, they agree to attend therapy to resolve the conflict.
12.11. Disclosure of private relationship topics will be discussed prior to sharing with metamours.
12.12. Both parties agree to avoid triangulation and will not discuss primary partner conflict with metamours.
Section 13: Signatures Partner A_____________________________________ Partner B_____________________________________