“If you help me with X, then I’ll help you with Y” is just one common way people keep count in their relationships.
Keeping Count Will Kill Your Relationship
Keeping count of what your partner does for you and only doing something that is a fair exchange for the effort that they displayed, in a sure-fire way to kill the passion and intimacy in a relationship.
Yes, there is always a need for give and take in a successful relationship, but the problems arise when one or both parties start keeping score and measuring, who has done more than the other, and who is justified in feeling like they are doing all the work.
We all perceive things differently and therefore we do things differently.
Everything you do, say, feel and think is unique to your own subjective interpretation of your environment. If someone gives you a massage, they most likely don’t give you the massage the way you want it down to the specific pressure, area, length of time spent massaging, etc. In most cases people don’t do things for us the exact perfect way we would do it for ourselves.
So in many cases, your partner, despite their best intentions may be falling short on giving you what you want, simply because they are NOT you! And everything they do is based upon their unique, subjective experience and interpretation of the world around them.
When you give back to them, well then, you are obviously giving to them in the most perfect way, right? Wrong.
You think you are doing the perfect things, based upon your interpretations, however this most likely is not the case for your partner, because they have their own set of expectations on how they would do things for themselves.
This is the dynamic of giving and receiving that can lead to one person feeling like they are doing everything perfectly, whilst their partner is not giving enough of themselves. The equation never adds up when you think like this.
Does this make sense so far?
Keeping score does not create the foundation for a truly fulfilling, deeply passionate and authentic relationship. What it is actually saying is “I only love you enough to put in as much effort as you are putting in”. I’m sure you are aware that these types of unspoken (and sometimes spoken) conditions do not lead to blissful happiness together.
It’s really saying “My love for you is conditional. It’s conditional that you put in as much as I’m putting in, otherwise I’m holding back”. That’s not unconditional love, right?
Two Starving People Trying To Eat The Same Meal
Imagine two hungry people sitting down for dinner, and they can only feed each other, and one says “I’ll only feed you if you feed me first?”, but then the other person says the same thing. It’s a stalemate and they both go hungry. That’s what goes on in a relationship when people keep score.
At Intimate Success we teach our students that the way to create and restart that immovable, strong and deep love and respect for one another in a relationship is to commit fully into the relationship.
It is about making your partner’s needs your needs. Giving 100% of your time, energy and effort to your partner with the intention of lighting them up and making them smile and experience joy every single day, knowing that your needs are being met, by your partner holding the same belief. It’s like sitting down for dinner, knowing you have to feed the other person, and they just keep the food coming, irrespective of whether you are feeding them or not, and so in turn you want to feed them back just as much. This is the pinnacle of relationship statuses – When both parties meet each other’s needs.
3 Quick Tips
Now I realise that in relationships if you’ve been keeping count for quite sometime, it can be a challenging habit to break.
There are a large collection of tools and strategies that make these types of shifts very easy, however as I don’t have the time to teach them to you here, below is a quick list of tips to get you started…
#1 Make a Conscious Choice
Decide that from today onwards you are going to destroy the scoreboard. Choose to ignore what has happened in the past, clear the slate and make a decision to give to your partner to meet their needs 100% of the time, because your relationship is worth it. Your relationship will either be one of your biggest sources of pain or pleasure, so why not make it your biggest pleasure? Right?
#2 Imagine Your Partner Is A Child
Now I don’t mean literally imagine them as a child, but you should respond to your partner in the same way as you would with your child (or a child that you care about). We don’t measure or keep count with a child about whether that child is giving back to us. We don’t expect the child to stay up all night nursing us when we are healing, just because we did that for the child? We never say to a 4 year old child, “I don’t think you are doing your fair share of the work around here”.
So whilst your partner is not a child, you should be giving your partner as much unconditional love as you do to a child.
#3 Make Your Partner #1 Priority over Your Children
This seems counter-intuitive, but it yields the best results and here is why…
Your children are always going to be your children, but your partner can choose to move on if their needs are not being met.
You children look up to you as the role model for having a great relationship, so if you are always putting your children first, before your partner, this is teaching your children a dysfunctional approach to relationships.
Always make time for your partner, and explain to your children that this is time for you to spend with your partner without them around. The kids may not like it at first, but they will soon become accustomed to it, and when they become adults, they will see the true value in this approach. Your partner will also feel significant and loved, which is the aim of it all!
So get rid of the scoreboards and measuring sticks and replace them with an endless supply of love and attention to give away to your partner.
If you would like to gain training and develop a higher level of skill in maintaining & servicing your relationship, using a combination of both science and art, to ensure you have a deeply passionate & intimate relationship for the full duration of life, you can discover Shane & Jess Fozard’s Six Step Honeymoon Feeling Forever System at their upcoming Relationship Success weekend course. Click here for ticket information.
The tools and information from the experts on relationships is gold and too good to not share! *This is NOT marriage counselling!*