In certain cultures, relationships are the reason for negotiation. In this article, we offer a rationale regarding why relationships have more or less salience across cultures. We present psychological, economic and sociological factors that explain the reasons for negotiating relationally. Propositions are made as to how cultural construal about relationships influences offers, targets and limits, negotiation strategy and, ultimately, economic and relational outcomes. Our major explanatory construct is new: cultural consensus about relationships. This construct is grounded in well developed theory of self construal and new empirical research showing the utility of measures of consensus in explaining cultural differences in behavior. With this theoretical contribution, we join the group of scholars who are advocating that more attention should be paid to negotiators’ subjective evaluations of the social and emotional consequences of negotiation.