The Women's Journal

Stop Keeping Score and Start Being In Love – Rediscover Lost Love

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By: Joe White
President and Founder of Get Life Coaching

I remember when a couple on the verge of divorce came in to see me. They told me their story of why the relationship was failing. One story went like this: “I did everything for them and they did not return it back to me, so I stopped giving. That is why we are the way we are.” They other person replied, “No, no, no, I stopped giving because I wanted you to know how I was feeling.” That is when I smiled and responded,

“I didn’t know that both of you were in a relationship to keep score.”

You cannot keep score AND have emotional intimacy and passion. Keeping score is the result of loving conditionally. The language of conditional love goes something like this: “I do this for you if you do that for me,” or: “Since you don’t give me this, I won’t give you that.” Love is not meant to be traded or used as weapon or a shield. It is meant to be given freely, without expectation, because it is what you feel. Unconditional love is about meeting the other person’s needs, regardless of what is given in return.

Where Do We Go When We Are Hurting?

This does not mean that you just give unconditional love regardless of the situation. To have a passionate, fulfilling relationship, you need both partners committed to loving at the level of unconditional love. It is when both partners resign to love conditionally that the relationship becomes endangered. When a relationship is hurting, it is human nature to protect ourselves, which we do by pulling back or lashing out. ALL communication is an expression of love or a cry for help. The real danger is when a partner’s response to a cry for help is met with our own cry for help. Now, you have two people reacting to each other’s reaction.

What Does Destroy a Relationship?

It is never what is said that destroys a relationship, but rather what is not said. Once vulnerability has been breached, protection mode is invoked. We then begin to share less and less, and open up less and less until emotional intimacy is all but gone. We will find new vehicles; work, children, friends, hobbies, other people to fill the void. We shift from “how do I meet their needs” to “how do I keep from feeling hurt and then we break out the score cards to justify our actions.”

What is the solution?

1)  Throw away the score cards.
2)  Love your partner as if their happiness is essential to your happiness.
3)  Examine where you typically run to to meet your needs and, either move your partner above them, or get rid of them.
4)  Sit with your partner and examine how each of you triggers in the other person the reaction to communicate a cry for help, and then create strategies to defuse the triggers.
5)  Commit to each other that neither one of you will ever be afraid to share from your heart, and that the other person will do whatever they can to NOT react, but to listen from their heart.
6)  Respond to a cry for help with an expression of love.
7)  Work on and grow yourself so that you will be in a better emotional state.
8)  Love unconditionally!

Until next time… I wish you love and passion. Live Free! ~ Joe

“WOW!!! What an absolutely life changing experience. I highly recommend this to anyone.”  ~ Nicole Oleski