PUBLIC OPINION > Relationship Contracts Are Kind of Sketchy

Living 2012/05/30 21:00:00
Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg made some kind of "relationship contract" with his wife, 27-year-old Priscilla Chan. We're not sure if it's an actual paper-and-ink contract or just a verbal agreement, but it bound him to spend at least one date and 100 minutes of private time with Chan each week, as well as a yearly two-week vacation. Now, that doesn't sound unreasonable, but the term "relationship contract" could be enough to scare some people off. We asked the public if they would agree to one.

Most people wouldn't, but it was far from unanimous. A good 41% of respondents said they would be comfortable with one -- provided the terms were reasonable, of course. Especially if you're, say, Mark Zuckerberg. It's easy to see why Chan might have wanted to ensure that she got to spend time with the founder of the largest social network on the planet. He has a lot on his plate, and it's probably very easy to get sucked into his job. Maybe that's the type of grounding he needs. But most people aren't Zuckerberg. One commenter wrote, "If he wants to make time, he will make time on his own."

Singles Resist

You've got to be in a relationship to agree to a relationship contract (unless you have a very unique case of split personality), and respondents in an unmarried relationship were actually 18% more likely than singles to agree to one. Oddly enough, married couples were not as likely, coming in at 42% -- which is interesting because, as many commenters pointed out, marriage is literally a relationship contract.

Midlife Contract

Younger people and older people were not very likely to agree, but there was a pronounced spike between the ages of 25 and 45. That actually correlates pretty well to the relationship status demographic, assuming young people are often single, middle-aged people are often in relationships, and older people are often married. It also suggests that younger married couples might be more willing to agree.

Drinkers Don't Mind

We suspected drinkers and smokers might be less willing to agree to a contract on the assumption that drinking and smoking could very well be prohibited by such a contract, but the opposite was true. But obviously, no one would happily agree to something they weren't OK with, so maybe the extra 12% of drinkers who would agree are actually eager to quit.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about relationship contracts. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • HProcks12345 2012/05/30 22:31:52
    those actually exist?!?!?! WTF?!?! I thought they were only real in the strange tv shows that i watch!!!

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  • jennifer.wales.104 2012/06/01 21:14:37
    People who start to lay down contracts like that are either very busy and need incentive to make time or are very controlling and might turn out to be the type of person to slap down a prenup if marriage ever comes up.
  • nverumind 2012/06/01 18:53:56
    Well the only reason this seems weird to most is because MOST get into relationships to simply BE in a relationship!
    A relationship should be an investment of one's self, heart, and commitment.
    If you dont have any of those things already emotionally contracted to that relationship than you should be in it.
    i would agree to one.
  • Calm down! 2012/06/01 15:27:52
    Calm down!
    People can't even stay married for 5 years now! Everyone is walking around always thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Why would this work?
  • Vortex Lord 2012/06/01 14:47:41
    Vortex Lord
    Wow! A contract!
    That sucks... I don`t wanna be stuck with a woman I won`t like at all!
  • L1 2012/06/01 06:56:05
    It doesn't bother me. Just about everything in life is a contract whether people believe it or not. I just rather not marry since I am not paying alimony to anyone. My hard earned works benefits are for me, thanks.
  • blackrings70 2012/06/01 01:09:27
    When you get to screw a "not too bad looking" billionaire you'll sign a damn "relationship contract" .
  • christina1117 2012/06/01 00:30:58
    Well I guess I'm on the NO WAY side of it.
  • METALheadMom 2012/06/01 00:18:03
    We are SUPPOSED to SET BOUNDARIES. People who don't, are spending thousands of dollars in therapy!!! That's the number one reason people go to therapy - because they didn't, or don't know how, to set boundaries.
  • Professor Wizard 2012/05/31 20:49:25
    Professor Wizard
    WHAT - - he didn't include any guarantees for sex in that?

    He's not as smart as everyone thought!
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/05/31 18:47:00
    Margaret Jacobson
    why not ?? pre nup !!, there are all kinds of agreements............WHY NOT !! If it works for them....IT WORKS !!
  • GLaDOS 2012/05/31 18:19:43
    I'm all for prenuptial agreements, so I don't see the issue with "relationship contracts." I think that people should have contracts for when they move in together, too. Cohabitation agreements, then move on to prenuptial agreements, should they decide to get married.
  • Catita 2012/05/31 18:06:46 (edited)
    contracts, sound so business like, you get married sign a paper and all of the sadden is contract, civil ceremony, another contract, buy a house contract with a bank, yikes. I don't like contracts and never saw getting married as a contract, just the union of two people who love each other and want to spend a life together.......but that was THEN now is different .....
    the only thing I know about contracts is just before signing them you HAVE to read the SMALL print. LOL.
  • Christopher Kirchen 2012/05/31 17:44:24
    Christopher Kirchen
    I think it would actually be a good idea; then neither person could screw the other over, because the terms of the relationship would be precisely spelled out, fidelity expectations, consequences, social expectations, opportunities for "alone time",(there comes a time when a couple no longer wants to be together 24-7 and such a contract would make allowances for that), or time with one's friends away from the significant other, and other necessary terms.
  • mandyinabox 2012/05/31 17:35:07
    hmm, mixed feelings...on the one hand, it shows how committed you are; on the other, it would feel weird signing a contract to signify you have a romance/love for a person. personally, i feel contracts are meant for, say, loaning money or contracting plumbing...how about a nice Soul Mate card/letter <3 (preferrably handmade )?
  • Anna E 2012/05/31 16:59:02
    Anna E
    lmao Most marriages are contracts or covenants. Up to the people in a non-married relationship whether they want one or not. We have one and we both agreed to the terms and we still stick to them.
  • Ruben 2012/05/31 16:50:23
  • Firefly 2012/05/31 16:43:49
    idk, seems to me

    if you're gonna marry

    somebody of such high profile,

    you should probably NOT EXPECT,

    let alone D.E.M.A.N.D. thier attention ~

    And if you DO, perhaps they should NOT

    marry YOU, since you kinda already KNEW

    who / what you were getting before you married !?!

    That said, NOBODY should get hitched unless they're

    ready / willing / able to devote love and attention accordingly...
  • Cookie 2012/05/31 16:03:49
    Why would anybody want to sign one anyway? If you get tired of somebody or just want to call it quits(for whatever reason),just leave the relationship.End of story.
  • stevegtexas@aol.com 2012/05/31 14:25:03
  • BOOGIE-WOOGIE-MUSIC-MAN-ROC... 2012/05/31 14:17:20
    Power and control equals divorce (sketchy,)
  • stevegt... BOOGIE-... 2012/05/31 14:28:14 (edited)
  • BOOGIE-... stevegt... 2012/05/31 15:05:33
    Peace treaties are set forth after a war...
  • Cookie BOOGIE-... 2012/05/31 15:59:41
    Been there,done that,and that's one of the reasons I've been divorced twice.
  • BOOGIE-... Cookie 2012/05/31 17:11:27
  • RowlandRicardo64554857 2012/05/31 13:49:48
  • ģhøṡτ øώl 2012/05/31 13:14:24
    ģhøṡτ øώl
    I think if you have to take it that far, then there is a certain level of TRUST that has already been violated. I mean really, this is just like a big banner implicating unmanageable personality disorders.
  • Lady Aiyanna 2012/05/31 12:09:34 (edited)
    Lady Aiyanna
    Yes, it would be a good idea. But it does have its bad side as the relationship becomes a business deal wherein one can sue the other if they have an indemnity insurance. None the less, marriage is a contract any way, a licence to have kids and give them a legal name amongst other things.
  • TKramar 2012/05/31 11:14:23
    Or the drinkers were too drunk to notice. Or care.
  • dvd 2012/05/31 03:39:16
  • VICTORIA 2012/05/31 03:04:11
    Well I've been gone for awhile- but some things never change. (Part of the reason I've stayed away from SH.)
    STILL, apparently- no one ever even bothers to read even the first sentence of text.
    " Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg made some kind of "relationship contract" with his WIFE,"
    and reacts only and emotionally to the title.
    And such poor analyses- of course people in a relationship are able to make a prudent judgement re: ......relationships- as opposed to single people.

    We don't assume the difference in demos regarding age because
    " , assuming young people are often single, middle-aged people are often in relationships, and older people are often married."
    because it's not true- and it's a matter of socialization- not marital status.

    I really believe SH is so conservative, and getting so far behind the times and movement of the progression of the youth- and America- that it will be a sidebar in 10 years.
  • BonnieDeutsch 2012/05/31 02:47:32
    Contracts of any kind usually need to be modified or even broken over the long haul, unless there is a time limit in place. To me, it sounds like a corporation, not a relationship.
    If you have to have a relationship contract, I wonder if you have a relationship !
  • Blackberry 2012/05/31 02:35:20
    It's the logical thing to do. As you see, some people love to spout sanctimonious platitudes, but ask people in the real world about breaches of trust and heartache. Life isn't a romance comedy.

    United under god? The last time i checked, it was two people that made a relationship, I didn't know god watched people have sex.

    Trust? Tell a battered wife she has to trust her husband.
  • patchulie 2012/05/31 02:31:28
    I think they would be a good tool for communication... Usually a breakdown in a relationship is when an expectation has not been kept -and it just spiral down from rhere
  • sonya.l.summer 2012/05/31 02:23:29
    If you are married and united as one under God
    why would need to sign a contract?
  • patchulie sonya.l... 2012/05/31 02:35:21
    Who is responsible for cleansing the bathroom, vacuuming dusting paying the rent, GOD?
  • TKramar patchulie 2012/05/31 11:21:38
    sounds like woman's work to me.
  • patchulie TKramar 2012/06/08 14:28:39
  • TKramar patchulie 2012/06/08 14:35:52
    both have their roles to fulfill.
  • patchulie TKramar 2012/06/14 00:30:08
    Clearly, you aren't married
  • TKramar patchulie 2012/06/14 09:21:08
    I am married. My wife stays home, and I work.

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