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The Relationship Agreement for the Modern Nerd

"The Relationship Agreement" is a reference to the TV show "The Big Bang Theory". If you haven't seen it the show focuses on 4 nerdy physicists and their sometimes-nerdy girlfriends. The Relationship Agreement itself is the contract the character Sheldon drew up after he and Amy became boyfriend and girlfriend. It consists of 31 pages and contains such things as:

Section four: "Booboos and ouchies", which states that Amy must help Sheldon when he has a small injury, like a splinter.

Section five: "Handholding", which states that "Handholding is only allowed under the following circumstances: A, either party is in danger of falling off of a cliff, precipice or ledge. B, either party is deserving of a hearty handshake after winning a nobel prize. C, moral support during flu shots."



HOWEVER, that relationship agreement is really the result of Sheldon's paranoia about personal touching, egomania and his difficulty to emotionally bond with others.

What is really needed is a relationship agreement for modern people (including nerds) which outlines how a couple should treat each other and various expectations of how an ideal relationship should work.

Thus I have created (for fun) the following 31 Section Relationship Agreement for the Modern Couple

Section One: Communication

Communication is highly encouraged, but each partner should always be aware that space and privacy is sometimes required in instances where one partner needs to work, is feeling creativity, needs to think and so forth. Partners should refrain from calling, texting or emailing constantly and should make an effort to give the other person space after the initial "honeymoon" part of the relationship is over.

Section Two: Hugging

Hugging shall occur whenever saying hello and goodbye, when one partner is feeling sad or depressed or in grief, or when a celebratory hug is expected.

Section Three: Kissing

Kissing should occur within the first two dates. After that it is a free-for-all, although sometimes kissing will be refrained during an illness or infection.

Section Four: Booboos and Ouchies

Each partner shall be responsible for helping the other when injured, sick or infected. Exceptions: Zombie infection means the other partner is responsible for decapitating the infected zombie. Other exceptions include alien metamorphosis, mutations which threaten the safety of mankind, becoming a vampire and demonic possession.

Section Five: Handholding

Handholding should occur whenever a couple is walking together outside, watching a scary or romantic movie, feeling romantic or cuddling. Handholding may also occur when one or both partners are feeling troubled or grieving.

Section Six: Sex

Sex should occur by the 3rd date, no later. Three dates = Sex. Afterwards sex should occur on an at least weekly basis, more often if a couple is a committed relationship and are living together. Variety and kink is up to the couple to discuss and decide.

Section Seven: Birth Control

There are three standard methods of birth control. Choose at least one. A. The Pill; B. Condoms; C. The male pulling out before he gets close. Contraceptive methods should be discussed and agreed upon before intercourse begins.

Section Eight: Having Children

Having children should be discussed and agreed upon by both partners before any deliberate efforts to have children is made. Once the decision to have children has been agreed upon ignore Section Seven.

Section Nine: Existing Children

If one or both of the partners already has a child or children both partners have the responsibility to: A. Treat the children with care and respect; B. Properly discipline their children for misbehaviour; C. Take steps to insure the child or children are happy with the relationship (this does not include bribery, but instead should include emotional bonding).

Section Ten: Moving In Together

If a couple has been together for 3 or more months and if both partners have been sleeping together routinely the subject of moving in together should be broached. If both partners agree they should proceed to either: A. Move into one of their existing homes; B. Find a new home and both move in to the new place.

Section Eleven: Household Chores

Dividing up household chores should be openly discussed and decided upon. Its best to make a list and a schedule. Once the agreement is made each partner is responsible for their own chores and also the manner in which they do it. The other partner should refrain from nagging or complaining about the quality or quantity of how well or how often the other partner achieves their chores. ie. Dishes do not have to be up to "Aunt Edna's Spotless Standards" and partners should smile and bear it when eating food that is slightly burnt or "doesn't taste spicy enough".

Section Twelve: Cleanliness

Clean up after yourself. If you made the mess, you clean it up. Exceptions: If in the list of household chores one partner has agreed to make supper if the other partner agreed to wash the dishes, then ignore this section.

Section Thirteen: Personal Hygiene

Each partner is responsible for bathing at least once per day, washing their hands before and after meals, and brushing their teeth after meals, before sex and before bedtime. Exceptions: Quickies or when personal hygiene products are unavailable.

Section Fourteen: Cheating

Cheating will not be tolerated. Cheating = The End of the Relationship. Fini. Final. Done and over. If you cheated, confess and end the relationship. On rare occasions the couple may decide to stay together because they truly love each other and it is more complicated than mere infidelity, but otherwise cheating is an instant relationship breaker.

Section Fifteen: Lies

Little lies are okay. Such as lying about not giving the other partner a surprise birthday party. Big lies that ruin the relationship will not be tolerated. ie. "What do you mean you lied about not still loving your ex and that you've been hanging out with them lately?"

Section Sixteen: Relationship Shenanigans

Playing mental mind games, two-timing, giving the Silent Treatment and other shenanigans are all signs that you are immature and not ready for a committed relationship. Little kids give the Silent Treatment. If you can't communicate openly and honestly then the relationship is over.

Section Seventeen: Discussing Marriage

Discussing marriage on a serious level should only occur AFTER the couple is living together or has been in a serious long term relationship for over 6 months. Mentioning marriage while discussing relationships or someone else's wedding doesn't count. A marriage discussion will consist of spontaneously bringing the topic up and directly the discuss the possibility of both partners getting "hooked up permanently".

Section Eighteen: Relationship Hiccups

Arguments happen. Get over them. Don't keep bringing old arguments up again and again. Once the initial argument is done, regardless of whether it ended with an agreement at least come to an understanding that the other person does NOT have to agree with you. Forgive. Forget. Move on.

Section Nineteen: Relationship Interference

If family members, friends, etc. are trying to interfere in your relationship ask yourself the following: Is your partner genuinely nice? Do they treat you well? Have they ever physically harmed you? Does your friend or family member concerned you are in an abusive relationship? If so, take their advice and leave. If however you are being treated well and have no suffered any physical violence then your relationship is fine and your friend / family member is just sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.

Section Twenty: Being Virtuous

Both partners agree to focus on being nice, humble, generous to each other (within reason), to not steal or lie from the other, to not abuse the relationship in any way, shape or form, to practice self-control, be diligent and steadfast to their partner, be loyal and patient, and to pursue honesty and respect for each other.

Section Twenty-One: Lust

The only lust in a loving relationship should be for each other.

Section Twenty-Two: Insults

Both partners agree to not insult each other deliberately. If they do they should apoligize for their insults. Unintentional insults should be easy to forgive. Intentional insults should be discussed and forgiven within a reasonable time frame (holding it over the other person is Relationship Shenanigans).

Section Twenty-Three: Domestic Abuse

If one partner physically abuses the other (or a child) the relationship is over. Done. Leave as soon as possible and call the police. Even if you don't press charges, at least get it recorded in case it ever happens again to you or someone else.

Section Twenty-Four: Showing you Care

When one partner does something nice or special for you then you should show appreciation. Hugs, kisses, thank you cards, quickies, doing something nice for them in return are all acceptable means of showing you care.

Section Twenty-Five: Addictions

If one partner has an addiction (to anything) which is threatening the health of the relationship then the other partner is obligated to express concern, discuss the problem and if necessary do an intervention by getting friends and family involved. Patience and diligence is required and the addicted partner needs to make a serious effort to combat their addiction. If the addiction reaches a point wherein the relationship is falling apart both partners should consider ending it immediately.

Section Twenty-Six: Long Distance Travel

If one of the partners is going to be traveling or living farther away for long periods of time a deliberate effort needs to made by both partners to keep the flow of communication going. Daily emails, regular phone calls, Skype and other ways are communicating are all available. Failure to do so can lead to mistrust, miscommunication and sour the relationship.

Section Twenty-Seven: Humour

Both partners agree to have a sense of humour and not go overboard with sarcasm. It is one thing to be sarcastic and another to be outright insulting, bitter and even bully the other person by going too far. Even the most patient people with a sense of humour cannot be expected to endure constant insults and put-downs.

Section Twenty-Eight: Marriage

Marriage should be no different than the relationship with one exception: You can't just call it quits on short notice. Even if you encounter difficulties you are expected to try and work through them. Exceptions to this are: Domestic violence, abuse, addictions, cheating and huge lies.

Section Twenty-Nine: Break Ups / Divorce

Whenever possible try to break up in person. Breaking up via the phone, email or even text message seems cowardly but sometimes it is the only way if the breaker feels extremely umcomfortable meeting and breaking up in person. In the case of divorce you MUST do this in person (possible with a lawyer or police present in the event you are worried about domestic violence).

Section Thirty: After the Break Up

Try to be civil to each other. Being bitter isn't going to make you happy. Forgive and forget. It may take you awhile to stop feeling bitter, but try to remember that the feeling will go away given time and the sooner it goes away the sooner you won't remember their middle name.

Section Thirty-One: Getting Back Together

Hey, it can happen, but don't count your chickens until they hatch. Ask them how they are doing. If they respond positively and ask about seeing you again / mention thinking about you lately that is your cue to ask them out. If they don't mention anything like that then they're just not interested.

5 comments:

  1. I love it. I've been trying to find a full copy of the actual Relationship Agreement between Sheldon and Amy (I figured that the writers of the film would make one for publicity, not to mention the fact that they could sell it in PDF form, even if it was only for a dollar.), but I've been unable to do so.

    Thanks for your time and effort!

    -Gage

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some of this was funny some so very true. Good Job! :)

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  3. Dr. Cooper couldn't have said it better himself... but don't tell him I said that! lol :-D

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  4. IS this the full relationship agreement?

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