I have joked a lot with friends about creating a Dating Contract the last couple of years, but in all seriousness, I am starting to think that before we start dating someone seriously, we may want to agree on some ground rules. Way before you even get to the exclusivity talk and ask for an STD test, I think in today’s day of modern technology, we may want to establish some ground rules while playing 20 Questions. Here are my top 10 items to discuss:
1. Any personal information disclosed on dates will be kept strictly confidential;
2. Neither party shall post anything on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media regarding their dates without the other’s approval;
3. Neither party will post any pictures of the other in any social media without the other person’s express permission;
4. You will both do your best to be honest and not mislead one another, especially in terms of what you want in the relationship and where you see yourself heading in the future;
5. Details related to a bad-break up will only be discussed with immediate family;
6. Neither one will create any public scenes– no tears, anger or display of any drama while outside;
7. No drunk driving or engaging in other behavior that risks the life of the other;
8. No threats, disparaging remarks, or engaging in conduct that could create a loss of business or risk someone’s employment;
9. Requests for no further contact will be immediately adhered to without need for involvement of attorneys or the authorities; and
10. Immediately upon the termination of the relationship, all personal items will be returned to the other, and any pictures on either party’s social media that has the other’s image shall be removed, deleted from public view and shall not be shared with anyone else.
I encourage you to come up with your own list, and discuss it with your potential partner. If this person cannot abide by some pretty basic rules of civility, that should be a huge red flag.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.