If you had to be honest… how often do you “measure” in your committed love relationship? By “measuring” I mean keeping track. Keeping score on what you do and give to your partner and love relationship… versus what you perceive your partner is, or isn’t doing.
As a Certified Relationship and Marriage Coach, I hear these expressions often… and I completely understand how my clients are feeling when they say things like, “I wish he’d step up more when it comes to chores and household responsibilities. Why do I have to do it all?”; “I wish she’d give me compliments and tell me what she appreciates as much as I do for her!”
We all do it, or have done it at some point. It’s part of our deep human instinct and nature to compete with others, even those we love most, to survive in this world.
The tricky thing about measuring in our love relationship or marriage is that as long as we’re measuring, our math is going to come up faulty. Meaning, our partner will ALWAYS come up short in our minds when we measure.
When we measure, we also hijack our own motivation and desire to love our partner more deeply because now we’re focusing on what we’re NOT getting, rather than what we ARE… and we all know what that leads to. A bunch of crappy relationship-killing emotions including resentment and contempt.
HERE ARE THE FOUR LEVELS OF LOVE:
According to Tony Robbins, there are four levels of love that shed light on the different mindsets from which we each can humanly operate in our long-term, committed love relationships. Knowing and understanding these different levels can help us see precisely where our “center of gravity” is as a love partner.
Level 1: SELFISH LOVE
We’ve all been there. You can predict the outcome. At this level, we show up to GET. It’s all about “what’s in this for me?”
Level 2: TRADING LOVE: THE 50 / 50 PARTNERSHIP
This is where your relationship operates more like a trade: ‘You do that for me; I’ll do that for you’. At the level, partners strive for an equal, 50/50 partnership. Here, you are ALWAYS keeping score. How else do you know if it’s 50/50? You’re constantly measuring what you get back. You will ultimately end up feeling shorted by your partner. At this level, it’s too easy to just stop giving when you feel your partner is not giving as much, and the relationship eventually deteriorates.
Culturally, we’ve been driven to this level of love. This is, by far, the most common place where people have their center of gravity.
Level 3: REAL LOVE: 100 / 100 PARTNERSHIP
At this level, you’re loving and giving because that’s who you are. You give unlimited to your partner. Your px’s needs are your needs. You’re in 100%. You’re not measuring. Your life’s purpose is to fill their partner up and light them up regularly. The far majority of people are scared to give this much. The fear is that question “What if I give all of this and don’t get loved back?”, “What if I get hurt?”
When you love someone, you experience that love as you are giving it. So when we withhold our love, we don’t get to feel that love we feel when we’re giving it.
Level 4: SPIRITUAL LOVE
This is a spiritual kind of love that is truly and completely unconditional because this includes loving those that have hurt us. Think Dali Lama; Mother Teresa; Mahatma Gandi. For most humans, this is not sustainable.
So what level are you at right now?
What level do you really want to be playing at?
How can you aspire to Level 3 love if you’re currently at level 2?
I encourage you to use this tool as an emotional state and mindset-shifter if and when you’re feeling challenged in showing love and compassion to your partner, like when you’re mad at them. It’s a great check-in tool to use with yourself to help you become more aware of how you’re reacting to and showing up for your partner.
Hone the power you already have inside of you to transform your own love relationship by choosing to never settle for Level 2 Love. Raise your standards and work toward Level 3 Love! You both win this way.
Jennifer Blankl, Certified Relationship, Marriage and Divorce Prevention Coach
Apply for a FREE 30-Minute Certified Relationship Video Consult with me HERE!
Jennifer Blankl helps busy professionals create a successful and fulfilling love life at home within 90 days, without therapy. She understands how many feel like they don’t have the time, energy or oftentimes the desire to “work” on their relationship… but still want to feel loved, appreciated, respected and supported by their partner.
Trained and Certified as a Relationship Coach, Life Coach, Marriage Educator and Divorce Preventionist, Jennifer serves men, women and couples privately as well as through group workshops, trainings, and as a professional speaker for companies and organizations.
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Co-Contributor of “Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams”and we all know what that leads to… a bunch of crappy emotions like resentment and contempt.