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Setting Sail on the Sea of Consent: Crafting Your Relationship Contract for the Bliss Cruise

Updated: Apr 11

. Stephanie's Bliss Cruise Relationship Contract

The Bliss Cruise, a unique adventure for couples in open relationships, offers an exhilarating opportunity to forge deeper connections and experience new horizons. However, before you embark on this intriguing voyage, it's crucial to have open discussions to establish boundaries, mutual agreements, and clear rules within your relationship. These preparatory steps are the foundation for both partners' harmonious and fulfilling journey.

Couple signing their relationship contract.

Open relationships, by their very nature, transcend societal norms, providing a space for individuals to explore their emotional and sexual desires. The success of such relationships hinges on setting clear boundaries, mutual agreements, and defined rules. A practical way to encapsulate these elements is by drafting a relationship contract. This document becomes particularly crucial during events like the Bliss Cruise, which offer numerous opportunities for meaningful connections.

While the terms 'boundaries,' 'agreements,' and 'rules' may seem interchangeable, understanding their distinct definitions is a powerful tool for couples. Boundaries are personal limits that reflect your comfort levels and needs. Agreements are mutual decisions that both partners consent to. Rules are guidelines that you both agree to follow. This clarity is essential for navigating the complexities of open relationships and strengthening the bond between partners.

Why Boundaries Are the Compass of Your Voyage

Boundaries serve as personal guidelines that reflect an individual’s comfort levels, needs, and limits. Think of a boundary as akin to the compass rose on a nautical chart. This indispensable tool guides you, the intrepid explorer, in navigating your journey with certainty, ensuring alignment with your true self. These guidelines are fundamentally about the “self” or “me,” representing a clear statement of one’s emotional and physical safety requirements. They outline the parameters within which an individual feels secure, marking the limits that others should not transgress.

Setting these boundaries is critical for fostering a sense of clarity and respect in the relationship, ensuring that all parties involved feel comfortable and respected as you voyage ahead. It involves articulating what you need and desire and considering off-limits. After all, the foundation of smooth sailing—like clear skies and calm seas—is built on the bedrock of open and transparent communication.

In the context of open relationships, the significance of establishing individual boundaries becomes even more pronounced. These relationships navigate complex emotional and physical landscapes, where interactions aren’t limited to the primary partners. Boundaries are personal decrees rooted in an individual’s unique needs, desires, and non-negotiables. They are essential for maintaining one’s emotional and physical well-being and are pivotal in enhancing the connection between partners preventing potential strain. By recognizing, discussing, and respecting each other’s boundaries, partners ensure a stable, respectful, and fulfilling relationship where personal space and individuality are honored.

Agreements: The Anchor of Mutual Consent

Agreements in a relationship act as the stabilizing anchor, essential for preventing misunderstandings from escalating into conflicts that might disrupt the harmony between partners. These are akin to navigational pacts between individuals to ensure that all parties involved follow the same course, aligning their journey ahead. They are built on the principle of mutual consent, thoughtfully crafted through discussions that consider everyone’s needs, wants, and boundaries.

The process of forming agreements involves reaching a mutual understanding that respects and values the individual paths of each partner, embodying consent in its purest form. Such agreements synthesize desires and limits, enabling all participants to navigate the relationship without facing the disruptions of misunderstanding or conflict.

At the core, agreements aim to establish a shared understanding through open dialogue where each person involved communicates their comfort levels, wishes, and boundaries. These agreements transition smoothly from where individual boundaries are set, extending the personal into the mutual by creating a collectively agreed-upon framework. For couples in open relationships, these agreements are particularly crucial as they underscore mutual respect and consent, ensuring that every action and decision is aligned with the wishes and well-being of all parties. By diligently forming and adhering to these agreements, partners ensure a relationship dynamic that is both fulfilling and respectful, cultivating a space where everyone feels acknowledged and valued.

Establishing Rules ~ Relationship Contract for the Bliss Cruise~

Rules in a relationship differ from boundaries and agreements as they are immutable aspects of the relationship dynamics. They are established to address specific needs or resolve potential problems that may arise, thereby ensuring alignment and understanding between all partners and helping prevent conflicts.

These rules are not meant to confine or restrain; they function as safeguards that maintain harmony and order within the relationship, steering it away from potential disharmony or discord.

Each rule is a firm condition that you and your partner agree upon as a preventative measure or a means to fulfill a shared need. They serve as your guiding principles, navigating the complexities of your relationship and ensuring a secure rapport.

In the structure of a relationship, rules hold a non-negotiable position that a couple must either adhere to or dismiss. They are designed to manage potential disagreements and to cater to specific needs within the relationship. In essence, rules are joint decisions made by the couple based on their individual needs, wants, and boundaries, often with consideration of their potential impact on others as well. For those in open relationships, rules are critical, providing a unique set of guidelines to navigate complex situations, particularly during significant moments or events.

The Relationship Contract: Charting Your Course Together

A relationship contract is a practical tool for outlining desires, expectations, boundaries, and agreements within a relationship. While not legally binding, a mutually valuable written agreement between you and your partner establishes a transparent dialogue about respective needs and promotes emotional transparency.

This isn’t about restricting freedoms but providing a flexible framework that both parties can adapt to suit their ongoing needs. Partners should work together to set the terms of this contract, voicing their feelings, aspirations, and any concerns they may have. A relationship contract is a living document that captures these shared understandings and mutual respect, always facilitating clear communication.

Creating a relationship contract involves emotional honesty and self-discovery, demanding open communication and active listening. It consists of each partner expressing their feelings, expectations, and concerns, ensuring attunement to each other’s needs, and fostering open dialogues about them. While the process may not always be smooth sailing, it’s crucial in navigating potential challenges and maintaining a healthy relationship dynamic.

Although not legally enforceable, a relationship contract is an essential reference document for those in a relationship. It’s a written record of the negotiations and agreements between partners, outlining set boundaries, expectations, desires, and commitments. This document encourages open communication and honesty, providing a clarified structure that aids in navigating an open relationship.

In creating this contract, partners collaborate to recognize and respect each other’s needs and individualities. It’s a dynamic document that adjusts to match the growth and learning curves experienced by the partners throughout their journey together.

In conclusion, embarking on an exciting adventure like the Bliss Cruise allows you to deepen your connection with your partner and explore your adventurous spirit. To make the most out of such experiences, it’s crucial to establish clear communication and mutual understanding of boundaries, rules, and agreements. Failing to do this can lead to misunderstandings or conflicts that might spoil an otherwise memorable adventure.

I urge you to download and complete the provided relationship contract template with your partner before setting sail on the Bliss Cruise. This collaboration can enhance your relationship and make your exciting venture an enriching and unforgettable experience. Here’s to a journey of love, unity, and unique experiences guided by your shared respect and relationship contract.

Dramatically Yours,

Dr. Stephanie

. Stephanie's Bliss Cruise Relationship Contract


Dr. Stephanie, PhD is the founder of Evolve Your Intimacy. Being ethically non-monogamous in her personal life, she is passionate about helping others discover their relationships' true potential regardless of the dynamics. She specializes in working with individuals in alternative relationships in her private practice, hosting workshops and playshops at events, on cruises, and through her online platform. She holds a PhD in Clinical Sexology, an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas, Arizona, and Florida, and a Certified Sex Therapist. If you want to work with Dr. Stephanie, schedule a free consultation. 

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Apr 11
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you for providing this resource! We will absolutely be using this before our next LS adventure.

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