Agreements Tip #8: Write It Down

Two stylized hands clasping, forming a heart. Copyright-free symbol designed by Ravi Poovaiah, Professor, IDC, IIT Bombay.This is Tip #8: Write It Down, in my Agreements Workbook series.  Whether you write them in a fancy book or keep them in an online file, it’s a good idea to write down the Agreements that you make. Find out why and how in the entry below.

Questions or comments about any of these Agreements Workbook entries?  Feel free to comment below, contact me here, or on my FB Page, Love Outside The Box!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Do you want to pick my brain about anything to do with poly? Get my help in creating Agreements between you and your partner/s?  If so, you’ll be glad to know I’m running some holiday specials!  Contact me through the end of December 15th and make arrangements for sessions to be completed by the end of December. I’d love to help YOU design your own best relationships!

PPS:  I’m raising my rates in January, so you might want to call me Real Soon Now. ;^)

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YES written in a notebook in pen

Agreements Tip #8: Write it down

One of the common issues with Agreements is that once they’re made, we eventually forget about them.  When you make the Agreement, you’re certain that you’ll never forget. But human memory being what it is — i.e., faulty! — eventually someone is going to forget something. (In fact, that’s the first of the Five Reasons Agreements Fail: Just Forgetting! We’ll come back to those on p.___.) Having a written copy will also help to avoid arguments about “that’s not what I meant!” The easiest way to deal with all of this is to simply write down your Agreements.

Keep Agreements all in one place

It’s a good idea to keep them all together in one place, whether that’s in a book, or on a computer, or up on the web somewhere.  The advantage of using (for instance) a bound blank book is that you can physically sign the page, to indicate that you’ve both/all seen and agreed to this. Having only one copy, however, can occasionally be inconvenient.

The advantage (and to some degree disadvantage) of having the Agreements in an electronic form is that it’s easier to make changes when you need to update things. If you want to keep a record of the various forms the Agreement has taken, it might be good to keep the document in some software that has the ability to “track changes” or keep a specific record of the revisions.

Keeping your Agreements in electronic form also makes it super simple to share your Agreements with prospective sex or relationship partners, for instance.  I have found that this sometimes reduces stress in those initial disclosure and negotiation discussions, as it’s clear that what you’re asking isn’t something that you made up just to annoy this prospective partner, but in fact are Agreements you came to regarding any prospective interactions with new partners.  It’s also helpful when negotiating with someone long-distance… or just someone who’s extremely busy!

hands writing in datebook

Date the Agreements

Writing the date on the Agreements will help with several things.  First, it provides a record of exactly when you made the Agreement. If you’re using a Time-limited Agreement (see Tip #9, p. ___), that’s crucial information so you know when to revisit the Agreement.  It can also help to show your progress, as you keep a record of the original Agreement and each modification. Sometimes it’s great to look back and see how far you’ve come!

Include Related Information

It can be very helpful to keep related information all in one spot with your Agreements.  You might want to include things like:

  • Your List of Needs (see exercise on p. ___)
  • Quiz and personality assessment results (e.g., Myers-Briggs, 5 Love Languages, Enneagram, astrological charts, etc.)
  • STI testing results
  • etc.

Include any information that you and/or your partner/s might find helpful in making future Agreements, or in explaining the existing ones.


∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2012 Dawn M. Davidson]

Note that these entries are all rough drafts, and thus are probably missing things like references. If you know the perfect reference to add, feel free to suggest it! I always like to add to my resource collection.

[Next Entry: Time Limited Agreements (Tip #9) ]

[Previous Entry: Tip #7: KISSable Agreements (aka, Keep It Simple, Silly!)]

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