Partnerships include giving and receiving, but aiming for a precise 50/50 balance encourages scorekeeping and ignores the ebb and flow of nature.
Maintaining status required us to prove our worth, so keeping score in relationships may have developed out of the desire for social acceptance and safety.
In today's relationships, keeping score typically involves imbalance or power dynamics, with one partner attempting to establish their "rightness" and the other's "wrongness."
"Keeping score makes relationships competitive. Partners compete instead of having fun together, which strains relationships and undermines trust and love."
See your partner as a teammate rather than an opponent to shift your perspective. Discover ways to help one another so that you can work as a better team.
"When you compete with your partner, they win and you lose, which causes bitterness and alienation. Acknowledge their accomplishments to maintain a good relationship."
Recognize and appreciate one another's accomplishments every day to foster understanding and empathy. Gottman's study fosters a loving partnership.
Ignoring your partner entails disregarded their wants and justifications. Hard work won't help if they don't feel heard. Words are less powerful than deeds.
When you and your partner are arguing, pay close attention to what they are asking for rather than just planning your reaction. Take into account their recommendations for closer ties.
"Due to the inability to precisely track variables, keeping score in a relationship is impossible. Disconnects are caused by various scoring methods and values."
It's harmful to keep score in relationships. Share your concerns about inequality, strive for balance, and establish appropriate boundaries.