How to “Define the Relationship” in No Uncertain Terms

Dear Guy I’ve Been Sleeping, Texting and Having Occasional Meals With,

This letter confirms the arrangement between yourself (the “Heretofore Hookup”) and me (“Me” or “I”), related to your contribution(s) to The Ill-Defined Thing That’s Been Going on Between Us.

At the signing of this contract, the Heretofore Hookup hereby authorizes Me to refer to The Ill-Defined Thing That’s Been Going on Between Us by the following name(s):

• An Official Thing, Boyfriend/Girlfriend (pursuant to gender identity), For-Real Dating Now, Actually Together (the “Relationship”)

The Heretofore Hookup and I may subsequently agree in writing or via spoken agreement to include and incorporate other names, e.g., a Power Couple (ironically), Partners in Crime (ironically), Two Peas in a Pod (ironically), to be subject to this letter.

SECTION A. With respect to that which is outlined above, Heretofore Hookup agrees to:

(a) like Me, support Me and listen to Me whine about pain or discomfort of the emotional or physical variety, from benign (“a small patch of my pinkie is numb” or “a Smash Mouth song has been stuck in my head for two days!”) to serious (“my vagina feels like it’s on fire” or “I feel deeply depressed”)

(b) accompany Me on mind-numbing errands with genuine or well-feigned enthusiasm

(c) parse the difference between when I would like to be told I look great and when I would like actual feedback, and act accordingly

(d) tell Me stuff he or she wouldn’t tell other persons, such as how he or she feels about his or her dad and what he or she heard about a mutual friend (if juicy)

(e) immediately like and occasionally comment on all of my social media activity in perpetuity. Heretofore Hookup will also grant Me first right of refusal on any and all social media posting that features Me from his or her account

(f) not only tolerate but encourage my current idiosyncrasies, including but not limited to my affinity for concurrent tooth-brushing, my violent rage when the fitted sheet comes off the bed, my desire to nibble on his or her earlobes

(g) empathize with and listen to my problems instead of trying to “fix” them

1. Unless that problem is cleaning my cat’s litter box

(h) join or be supportive of my short-lived, biannual health kicks which may or may not involved ordering non-dairy entrees (to split) or attending a single yoga class

(i) willingly offer small tokens of affection such as holding my hand, playing with my hair, taking care of that itch on my back, dressing as my twin or buying me tampons

(j) respect Me and my occasionally bad opinions

(k) have sex with only Me

(l) love or pretend to love my family.

In return for the above, Heretofore Hookup is entitled to the same treatment from Me.

SECTION B. Heretofore Hookup acknowledges and agrees that s/he has received good and valuable consideration in exchange for the covenants contained within this release, including but not limited to mutual exclusivity, mutual adoration, mutual toleration of “bad days” (within reason) and mutual exposure among friends, family and social media followings.

Heretofore Hookup shall not end the Relationship, break his or her commitment of exclusivity or request injunctive relief unless the following takes place:

(a) I fail to uphold that which is outlined Section A

(b) I sustain a sexually or emotionally romantic relationship with some person(s) other than Heretofore Hookup

(c) I don’t break my habit of waiting too long to take out the trash (in bathroom, bedroom, living room or kitchen) within a reasonable amount of time

(d) I start posting sunset platitudes on Facebook or spoil a finale (any)

In return for the above, Heretofore Hookup is entitled to the same contingencies from Me.

SECTION C. Year-on-year renewal of the Relationship is also contingent on the following recurring activities, which both parties are responsible for upholding:

(a) Periodic and individual consultations with key stakeholders of both mine and Heretofore Hookup’s (namely moms and best friends) for confirmation of continued approval

(b) Quarterly alignment meetings on current needs being met, areas of improvement and KPI evaluation (relationship satisfaction, sexual fulfillment, frequency of rough patches), with an outcome in the mutual affirmative desire to renew

(c) Biannual off-sites, including one location of my or Heretofore Hookup’s choosing.

Heretofore Hookup shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless Me, my family and my friends against any claims, actions, demands, liabilities, damages and judgments, including the days I act a little cold due to stress arising out of or relating to the Relationship and above enumerated behavior.

Accepted and agreed to by:

Heretofore Hookup

Heretofore Hookup’s Name


Legalese overseen by the one and only Matt Little, famed user of buzzwords in inappropriate situations.

Collage by Emily Zirimis.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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