Sign a friendship contract?

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I hate to admit this, but I do watch “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” on Bravo.

(Hey, even CNN’s Anderson Cooper is a huge fan.)

On a recent episode Cynthia Bailey asked the very outspoken (and undoubtedly the breakout star of the show) NeNe Leakes to sign a friendship contract, which includes rules like they both agree to not go to bed angry at each other.

“It’s not like we’re married!” Leakes exclaimed — as she signed the contract.

(By the way, it expires in a year.)

Made me think: is asking someone to sign a friendship contract really that weird?

My logical side screams, “Yes! It’s weird! What are we, in third grade?!”

But there’s a side of me — the hurt, angry, burned side — that wonders whether these contracts might be a good thing.

For one, you’re all on the same page. You can lay out your objectives, your concerns, your outcomes of the friendship. Signing the contract means you both agree to the terms of your friendship. So you can make your unreliable friend to promise, contractually speaking, to be on time or call ahead if she’s going to be late. Or you can make sure that you’re other friend, who loves talking about “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” never does in your presence.

But is that going too far? :)

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13 comments
padams
padams

Quarter Flash Game Quiz
Between you and your favorite person--the one who's got game--voice your most bothersome conversational topic. When the forbidden topic comes up, the perpetrator gets a 60 second time limit, then immediately flash pays a fine of 25 cents to the offended.
Serious participants will always have:

a) a pocket full of quarters
b) a trusted friend.
c) a and b
d) no friends

Maxcat
Maxcat

Personally, a friend is a friend and I don't need a contract. But, I like Housewives of Bev Hills ... I admit it, it has taken the Housewives series to new lows. And I love the botoxed lips, the innate shallowness, the wrinkle free immobile faces ... I mean watching it makes me wonder if it is possible to reach even shallower levels of shallowness.

M
M

I don't want to be friends with a person that needs me to sign a contract first.

docrock
docrock

Cat I have this thing I need you to sign.

No I saw this episode by osmosis as it was playing in the background while I was working on a blog post (blame the GF). I turned around and yelled explicative at the TV when i heard the conversation. This is so bad and setting totally bad examples for the people who watch that crap anyway

Patrick
Patrick

Contracts are usually cast between parties who don't trust each other. Which is the opposite of a friendship.

Patrick
Patrick

Contracts are usually cast between parties who don't trust each other. Which is the opposite of a friendship.

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

i know we live in a litigious society, but doesn't there have to be expressed or implied consideraton in a contract, the violation of which results in demonstrable damages and the prospect of tangible recovery from such for the injured party?

business partnerships obtain of these attributes as do marriages, pre-nup' agreements, intellectual property product distribution arrangements, and scads of other modern social compacts. a friendship contract probably makes good copy for a TV show like HWofA. (which, by the way isn't nearly as good as HWofOC- those gals were really disgusting) but i can't see any judicial merit in a suit brought under such a contract. and anyway the courts are too clogged up as it is.

social network stalking lawsuits, on the other hand, may have a very bright financial future. and Melissa, judging by your litigious state of mind revealed in your comment below and your well known talent for finding a buck where others are cluless to tread, i think you might be able to take me to the cleaners.

hawaii2000
hawaii2000

It seems pointless to me. We define our friendships based on trust, respect, how we treat each other, etc. Our relationships with friends are dynamic and always changing. To have to write something down to enforce certain rules or behaviors seems unnatural and raises the question as to how much of a friend is one who asks another to enter such a contract. If it's mutual and something small--like agreeing not to talk about TRHOA--ok. But the lengthier the contract, the more you need to ask yourself if this is someone who is really your friend.

MaxMaxMax
MaxMaxMax

I'd venture to say anything introduced on a "The Real Housewives of..." show is inherently a bad idea, LOL!

Sushi
Sushi

A friendship contract does seem weird. Really? Friendships shouldn't have to be signed on paper. At some point you should know that your friends will be there for you.

Haken
Haken

Might be worthwhile. It'll avoid that whole fatal attraction thing.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

I dunno, it sounds odd, but I've also been burned. At least if you have something in writing on what you expect from a friend, and what they expect from you, there's no confusion. Then again, if you don't have good enough communication to be able to hash it out well, maybe the two friends are too difficult to be friends in the first place.

M
M

Hello Cat!
Friendship contract? you got to be joking, that's ridiculous.