PQ 10.3 — Does everyone affected by the agreement have the opportunity to be involved in setting its terms?

a sinkful of dirty dishes. A pig-shaped wooden cutting board is propped up against the backsplash.
Image by Rick&Brenda Beerhorst / CC BY

PQ 10.3 — Does everyone affected by the agreement have the opportunity to be involved in setting its terms?

*

You’ve barely closed the door to your apartment when they drop the news on you.

“So we had a meeting while you were out,” one of your roommates says. “And we took a vote.”

You pull off your shoes, avoiding eye contact. What are they on about? you wonder.

Your roommate sighs. Clearly they expected you to say something. Have some sort of response. But it’s hard to respond to something when you don’t know what it is. So instead you wait.

“And we’ve unanimously agreed that from now on, you’ll be doing all the dishes,” they say.

“All the dishes?” you say. “But I barely even eat here! And there are two of you and only one of me. How is any of this fair?”

“Well, we voted, and it’s our agreement now, so just deal,” they say, throwing you a dish towel and pointing to a sink full of filthy plates.

*

Now imagine if that meeting took place before you even moved in with them. If that chore agreement was drawn up even before you answered the “roommate wanted” ad. And once you’d signed the lease and hauled your stuff up 3 flights of stairs into your new space, your roomie handed you a list of things that were now your responsibility. No discussion.

Pretty silly, right?

And yet, I’ve seen couples who are opening up writing up detailed relationship agreements in quite a similar manner. Dictating the behavior of future partners they haven’t even met yet.

*

Today’s post is about a big don’t. For a list of dos when establishing a relationship agreement, please see this post: Best Practices for Negotiating Polyamorous Relationship Agreements.

*

This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions & answers, please see this indexed list.

Liked it? Take a second to support Poly.Land on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

You may also like