It’s a new concept for me, but I like it: The pre-prenup.
It’s a written document detailing specific commitments to a relationship that’s produced and signed by both participants. The New York Times reports that before they married, for instance, Priscilla Chan and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg crafted an agreement that included:
- one date night each week
- 100 minutes together each week that could NOT occur in Mr. Z’s apartment or at the Facebook office
- annual 2-week vacations outside the U.S.
No surprise that there are counselors and even lawyers you can pay to draft your relationship agreement, but professionals aren’t really needed, are they? Without legal structures like marriage or divorce involved, these deals will be hard to enforce by a court of law.
If you’re living with someone, or better yet, planning to move in together, a cohabitation agreement might avoid arguments later. The conversation that’s needed to delineate tasks and imagine life under the same roof will get rid of wrong assumptions. Does he assume you’ll handle the laundry? Do you even know?
No matter which type of document you design, chances are it’s the talking that will do the most good. Therapists interviewed for the Times story said “the process forces people to confront issues that ight otherwise fester.” One thing we know for sure: festering is never, ever good.