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garyp

Sheldon's relationship contracts.

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I did a search on contracts and didn't find anything so here goes.

Personally I think Sheldon is more advanced relationship-wise than anyone gives him credit for. Approach his contract ideas from this standpoint. He has a relationship contract with Amy and a roommate contract with Leonard. I would suspect that if he could he would have a friendship contract with the rest of the guys and Penny too.

On the face of it no one likes the idea of a contract (notice the reaction to Bernadette's prenup) governing a relationship. What if we tried to put relationships on the basis that both parties know what to expect from the other person and what is expected of them. Clearly spelled out in writing. How many times have you been blindsided by a relationship hitting a reef because you didn't live up to their expectations and didn't even know it. If you've got written guidelines then you know if you're not keeping up your end of the relationship and vice versa.

The whole basis of a good deal is that both parties think they got a good deal. They think they are getting as much or more out of the relationship as they are putting in. I've often had the argument with my wife that she wants me to be more romantic. I ask okay, define romantic for me, what do you want me to do. Well, I start doing the things she says and after once or twice it's not good enough any longer. The contract is being renegotiated without my knowledge or consent.

Nothing says the contract is static. Look at Sheldon and Amy renegotiating their contract. Sure Sheldon tries to get the best deal he can and use the contract to his advantage. That's what negotiation and compromise are all about.

The point here is Sheldon is a genius, he knows exactly what he wants from other people and what he is willing to provide in return. Nothing says other people are required to enter into the contract. Nothing says they can't void the contract by leaving. Why can't they negotiate to their best advantage too?

Sounds like a good deal to me.

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The problem is Sheldon approaches all his relationship intellectually and is cut off from his emotions. I think he needs to find balance between the two.

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I would suspect that if he [sheldon] could he would have a friendship contract with the rest of the guys and Penny too.

Well Sheldon does have a strike system and a re-orientation class one has to take when one receives too many 'strikes.' (not that it matters, but strikes come off after a year) This applied to Penny who had no idea of its existence, so apparently Sheldon does, in fact, have some sort of contract system with the 'rest of the guys' as they were all aware of it.

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I have to go with BillF63 on that.

It all sounds very practical but the only way it could ever work in real life, is if you were dating Amy. :icon_lol: Dr Sheldon may be a genius intellectually speaking but he's easily fooled. This is why he insists on contracts in the first place. Rather than a strength, it's probably his greatest weakness.

To any normal person a relationship contract would seem more of a prison sentence than love. You may find much greater expertise on that subject elsewhere. :icon_cheesygrin:

BTW Bill nice blog.

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Good point Moonbase. Sheldon is easily fooled because he's too honest for his own good and doesn't really understand other people are not like that. The whole morass of relationships is negotiating this sea of dishonesty. How many times have you seen the silly comedy where A likes B and goes to extreme lengths to find out if B likes them before they'll admit they like B. It would be so much simpler to simply say I like you.

It's funny that I mentioned this idea to my wife and she thought I was crazy. I told her it was because she wanted to keep the ability to change the rules on me at will and without telling me about it.

BillF63, I'm not sure he's cut off from his emotions. I would say from some experience in this area that he doesn't let his emotions rule his actions or thoughts. You are right though that it would only work with Amy because any other female (Penny especially) would totally ignore any such contract.

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I actually think there is some merit in the concept of laying down ground rules. Any relationship book will tell you that you and your partner need to establish boundaries, expectations, etc. before progressing too far so that each person knows what to expect and what they're getting into. Sheldon just likes it on paper. Even for friendships, how many fewer times would you be annoyed about your room mate leaving all their dirty dishes in the kitchen sink if you both discussed a policy of washing all your own dirty dishes? Again, there doesn't have to be a legal document outlining all these things, the key is to talk about them. For Sheldon and Amy though, the signed agreement seems to work since they don't like talking about personal things.

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I think Sheldon's relationship contracts give him peace of mind and a trust in a friendship which he really hasn't been able to have before his and Leonards friendship.

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I don't know how I feel about this. I am not the same person I was when I was young and got married and neither is my husband. If we had talked about certain things back then, I may not have married him. We have both grown and changed and matured over the years in our relationship, and we can talk about things now that we could not back then.

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I look at life as a balance. Intellect and emotion. If you have too much of either things are going to be skewed more toward that side and cause problems. I agree that Sheldon is honest. I learned very quickly in life that not everyone returned my trust, honesty, and friendship, but it took me much longer to realize I was not the problem. I don't see how a contract of any sort is going to work as far as a relationship goes. Circumstances change people and lifestyles, thus causing you to re-evaluate yourself at times. It is very difficult to stick to something when your life is changing around you and you have to compromise with it. If you set down some solid boundaries and compromise on the little things, you should be fine. I think it's all about being honest about what you expect and working that compromise in when you can, but you can't be so unbending that it causes discord. For example, let's say I agreed to wash my own dishes. Now, time goes on and I have washed my own dishes so my roommate didn't have to. Then I ended up getting the flu and couldn't. So technically I'm breaking my contract but it is due to unforeseen circumstances. So if that roommate is my friend, he/she will cover for me until I get well and I will return the favor when he/she needs it. If we just solely stick to the contract, my dirty dishes are all piled up and everyone is unhappy. Compromise is the key.

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@elegantchaos --

"I learned very quickly in life that not everyone returned my trust, honesty, and friendship, but it took me much longer to realize I was not the problem."

Said very well. It took me a long time to reach this conclusion in life.

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The problem with Sheldon's contracts is that they are geared towards giving him an advantage in any relationship. Everything must be done on his terms without him giving much of anything. For those who disagree I would like to point out that he said that himself in one of the episodes that the purpose of the agreements were so things would work to his advantage. I think that a contract would almost always doom any relationship in that interpersonal actions are in constant state of change which requires flexibility and compromise in both individuals. There are some basic fundamental things that remain constant, but there are too many peripheral aspects of a relationship that change as time and circumstances change. An agreement of the nature of Sheldon's would make things too rigid.

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The problem with Sheldon's contracts is that they are geared towards giving him an advantage in any relationship. Everything must be done on his terms without him giving much of anything. For those who disagree I would like to point out that he said that himself in one of the episodes that the purpose of the agreements were so things would work to his advantage. I think that a contract would almost always doom any relationship in that interpersonal actions are in constant state of change which requires flexibility and compromise in both individuals. There are some basic fundamental things that remain constant, but there are too many peripheral aspects of a relationship that change as time and circumstances change. An agreement of the nature of Sheldon's would make things too rigid.

it was weekend vortex, he even try to

get penny to help him. so he did

not have to go to the b-party with her.

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The problem with Sheldon's contracts is that they are geared towards giving him an advantage in any relationship. Everything must be done on his terms without him giving much of anything. For those who disagree I would like to point out that he said that himself in one of the episodes that the purpose of the agreements were so things would work to his advantage. I think that a contract would almost always doom any relationship in that interpersonal actions are in constant state of change which requires flexibility and compromise in both individuals. There are some basic fundamental things that remain constant, but there are too many peripheral aspects of a relationship that change as time and circumstances change. An agreement of the nature of Sheldon's would make things too rigid.

They really are about control.

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Sheldon's contracts seem to be his way of avoiding having to ask "please don't" and trusting to friendship; but, as far as I can tell, the contracts yield no better results than if he did just ask "please don't" while trusting to friendship.

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True, he has little understanding of trust. He wouldn't accept a verbal agreement based on friendship from Leonard in 'The Friendship Contraction'. Leonard just thinks he's being a big pain in the backside, but it's possible it is Sheldon's highest compliment. If someone matters, he will contract them. :icon_lol:

The roommate agreement thread:

http://forum.the-big-bang-theory.com/thread-2300.html?highlight=roommate+agreement

We have little information on the relationship agreement so far:

http://bigbangtheory.wikia.com/wiki/The_Relationship_Agreement

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I can't see where there is any trusting to friendship since Leonard had to sign the original agreement before he could move into the apartment so he could hardly be called a friend at that time. There is no "please don't" aspect to them, it's more along the line of "this is how I want things so that's how they will be". Friendship has nothing to do with them, just self interest.

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Yes, Leonard had to sign a lengthy agreement before he moved in. Sheldon needs the paperwork because he's such a vulnerable character. Although his actions towards others are undeniably selfish, they are motivated by the survival instinct. If you take away Sheldon's routine, he completely loses his mind.

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I agree with your take on Sheldon's contract but with a little different spin.

Sheldon is a genius so I think he understands trust much better than most people do. That's why he makes up these agreements because he does understand trust and understands how untrustworthy most people are. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying most people would deliberately lie or cheat it's simply that we're all human and don't remember things. He's got an eidetic memory and remembers everything. If you say you like something today based on your feelings at that moment, tomorrow you might not like it because your feelings are different. Remember when Leonard forgot about the pact with Howard about getting a girl friend?

He also adheres to his own contracts. When he wiggled out of going to the party with Amy he tried to make up by giving her the coupons. She redeemed one of the coupons even though he wiggled out of the party because he wanted to play games with his friends for the weekend. But, when she redeemed the coupon he immediately said okay, let's go without hesitation.

Seriously, if you look at most relationships they are undeniably selfish. Don't you try to arrange things for the best results for you? Not to another person's detriment but still best for you? How many marriages have ended up in divorce after many years because "people change". Look at your own friendships. The people you are friends with, the people you like are friends or you like them because they make you feel good some way or other.

I am a huge fan of enlightened self interest.

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I wouldn't say his contracts are completely in his self-interest. That earthquake drill in the Friendship Contraction seems to ensure the safety of both him and Leonard. Execution might be a bit annoying, but the intention seems to be concern.

His room mate agreement was also how Sheldon determined that Stephanie Barnett was living with Leonard before even Leonard figured it out. xD

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lol! you can find the actual roommate agreement cover picture here.

Along with Bernie's engagement ring and and the Lord Of The Rings, ring (the boys fought over.):icon_mrgreen:

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How many times have you been blindsided by a relationship hitting a reef because you didn't live up to their expectations and didn't even know it. If you've got written guidelines then you know if you're not keeping up your end of the relationship and vice versa.

Usually those types of situations aren't going to be thought up in some contract. You can't cover ever scenario and contingency.

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How many times have you been blindsided by a relationship hitting a reef because you didn't live up to their expectations and didn't even know it. If you've got written guidelines then you know if you're not keeping up your end of the relationship and vice versa.

Usually those types of situations aren't going to be thought up in some contract. You can't cover ever scenario and contingency.

So true. Love is a risk. It would be nice to think Sheldon's ideals were workable. We could draw up agreements and try to avoid compromise. Unfortunately there is no formula that can prevent change or deception. I wish there was.

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