Posted: Monday 19th May 2014 at 17:00 pm

Tit For Tat: Do You Keep Score In Your Relationship?

I’ve always thought one of the best things about being in a relationship is the fact that you have someone to face life with as a team. I like the idea that when the scary, troubling or great things in life come your way, you have someone to share them with that has your back no matter what happens. So it always amazes me when I come across couples who talk about one another like they’re on some kind of MTV Challenge.You know, the couples who keep a tally of every gift they’ve purchased, meal they’ve cooked or loan they’ve made just so they can complain when it feels like they aren’t getting their fair share.

I’m all about balance, so if it’s clear that one person is doing all the doing in a relationship, I’m willing to admit that’s a problem. But I cringe when I hear women say things like, “I bought him those Polo boots because he said he would pay for me to get my hair done.” Come again?  First off all besides the fact that statements like those make zero financial sense (If you can buy a pair of name brand boots why not just pay for your own wash and curl?) relationships should not be centered on what you buy for each other. There are times when I’m passing by the bakery on my way home from work and I’ll pick up my fiancé a cupcake or two just because I know he likes chocolate ganache, not with the thought of how he’ll return the favor. When you’re in a mature, healthy relationship, you do and buy things for each other because you want to make that person happy, not because you feel obligated or because you feel like you’re investing into a future romantic gesture in return.

Trust your gut if you feel like you’re being taken for granted. You SHOULD be keeping score if you feel like you’re always filling up the tank, paying for dinner and making special plans. This goes for the big purchases too. It’s not selfish to take stock of who purchased what furniture or is paying the bills. In fact, not keeping track of these things is foolish especially if you aren’t married (save those receipts and get agreements in writing single folks). But relationships aren’t about comparing the Red Robin meal he bought to every Red Lobster you splurged on. The goal should be balance and the knowledge that you can take care of one another through all of the ups and downs and off pay weeks.

Also don’t disregard the actions that are invested into a relationship. Couples can spend so much time dwelling on how much money they’re putting out or who spent the most for birthdays and anniversaries that they lose sight of what one another may bring in its entirety. A friend of mine once complained about how a man she was dating never took her out to expensive dinners. I was quick to remind her that he was a recent college grad, living on his own handling all of his household expenses and preparing to pay back student loans. He may not have had steak dinners on the regular, but he did have a home of his own to take her to and a ride to make sure she got there. This was a major step up from guys she had dated in the past who still lived their mothers and had to plan a whole date around a bus schedule.

The point is you shouldn’t be balancing you relationship like you do your checkbook. There will be times when you both are struggling and won’t be able to contribute as much financially or emotionally. And in the long run you’ll lose sight of all the lunches you bought and times you drove when you didn’t feel like it, because you’ll have faith that when it matters most you’ll be there for one another. It’s like the famous quote says, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”  Because how can you take on the world if you’re too busy keeping score with one another?

Source:  madamenoire.com

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