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WRITE YOUR RELATIONSHIP MANIFESTO + FREE WORKSHEET


Write Your Relationship Manifesto

Friends, I have been in more than my fair share of stupid relationships.

I say stupid rather than bad, destructive or unfulfilling (even though they were those things, too) because in all of them I knew exactly what the problem was.

Whether they were boyfriends, friends or acquaintances that I suffered way longer than I should have, the common thread was always that I knew that what I was putting up with was stupid. Logically, I could reason out that I was dealing with things no one should have to deal with, that it was going nowhere, and that I was fooling myself into thinking it would improve.

I stuck with them anyway because the lines were fuzzy – I didn’t have a set of guidelines for myself – a checklist that made it clear that this is the line, this is what I’m not willing to put up with. I needed boundaries to make it plain that OK, this shit is plainly off the rails and this person is not for me.

So let’s talk about that checklist.

Let’s call it our Relationship Manifesto.

You need to write one. This isn’t just a mental exercise – your brain’s number one goal is to protect you from hurt, and it’s not always a trustworthy ally when things get rough. Actually write it down (or type it up, if you’re a digital gal like me) and keep it safe so you can refer back to it if you ever need some clarity.

This is how to get more of what you want (and less of what you don’t) in your relationships.
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Let’s talk about that checklist. Let’s call it our Relationship Manifesto. I created a downloadable worksheet for you – FREE – that should help get you started writing yours.

Download Free Relationship Manifesto Worksheet

You need to write one. This isn’t just a mental exercise – your brain’s number one goal is to protect you from hurt, and it’s not always a trustworthy ally when things get rough. Actually write it down (or type it up, if you’re a digital gal like me) and keep it safe so you can refer back to it if you ever need some clarity.


manifesto: a written statement that describes the policies, goals, and opinions of a person or group.


While I think writing your Manifesto is an intensely personal thing, there are a few things that should probably be on everyone’s as a baseline of decent behavior. Here they are.

We will value people who also value us.

Be around people who think you’re the bee’s knees! They should respect your time, pay attention and enjoy your company when they’re in it. They should give you equal airtime in the conversation, show an interest and listen at least as much as they talk. They should care about how you’re doing and say nice things about you when you’re not around. No one should hide you from the other people in their lives (unless they’re doing you a favor) or dodge you because they’re with their “other” friends. When someone is into you, they should be willing to scream it from the rooftops.

We will set boundaries that make us feel comfortable and safe, and they will respect them.

Maybe you really don’t want unsolicited advice about what you should eat, how often you should exercise, what you should wear, how you should do the thing. You don’t want to be nagged even one more time to try that sex thing that you’re just not into. You don’t want to be dragged into a discussion again on that touchy subject or made to defend your positions to someone determined to play “devil’s advocate” (which is just code for “be a giant asshole” by the way).

People who respect us will respect the boundaries we set – not push them or probe them for weaknesses.

People who respect us will respect the boundaries we set – not probe them for weaknesses.
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Our opinions and feelings will be respected.

We all know that person that seems to think that if they can just explain it to you in a way you’ll understand that you’ll come over to their side! “Maybe you just don’t have all the faaaaaacts, let me educate you!” No and no. There is room in all relationships for respectful debate, and then there’s bullying. We will not be bullied into submission by someone who just wants to “win” the conversation. The world does not spin off its axis if someone does not agree to agree with you.

We will hang with people who use their words.

No passive aggression, no intimidation, no using the silent treatment or withholding affection to punish us like a petulant child, or jedi mind tricks to get their way. We keep company with people who use words like grownups. If they can’t speak their feelings without using their outside voice, they should have the self-awareness to know that is one of their weaknesses, retreat to a quiet corner to cool off, and write them down using nice, respectful words instead.

They will respect the stuff we’re into.

So what if they think our Dungeons and Dragons gaming night is super weird, our abundant lipstick collection is absurd, they just don’t get blogging and think it’s a waste of time or wonder why we need so many shoes, anyway? They will suck it up, recall that everything is not for everyone, and muster up a “That’s interesting!” if they can’t think of anything else to say. And hey, maybe even ask us to tell them more about our thing and why it excites us? They may not learn to like it, but they’ll at least remember that they like us and that thing is part of the package.

We will apply all of these policies to ourselves.

Because we’re awesome, we know that we deserve to be treated well, and that we should treat people well in return.


Grab this free worksheet!

Don’t know where to start writing your Relationship Manifesto? I created this short and sweet worksheet to get you started. It’ll help you organize your thoughts around what you want – and maybe more importantly, what you don’t want – in your relationships.

Download Free Relationship Manifesto Worksheet

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