girl sitting against a tree alone on the grassRelationships are about give and take. I don’t expect anyone to stand there taking scores because this in itself creates a negative atmosphere for a relationship, however, in healthy relationships there is an overall healthy balance of give and take without having to kill yourselves getting that balance and there is certainly no need for lots of drama to achieve this. Sometimes you’ll need them more and they provide a rock of support and at other times, you’ll need them. Sometimes you’ll both have to struggle together and get through it, but the point is that you’re together, with the foundation of a healthy relationship and the common goal of sticking together.

Relationships that have negative foundations, almost always generate negative equity. You will end up walking away with less than you started because as long as you engage in unhealthy relationships that erode your self esteem, reduce your trust, and keep you further away from relationships, you are losing out.

Return On Investment (ROI) within relationships refers to the ratio of what you’ve gained or lost against what you invested into the relationship. This is not about financial or material gain or loss. This is about The Three Es: Emotion, Esteem, and Energy. If you’re not generating a return on investment and at the very least breaking even, the balance of negativity is way out of whack and you are effectively throwing The Three Es at a bad investment that is not going to generate a return.

It’s very difficult for you to take the relationship out of negative equity – that rather uncomfortable place where your investment is now worth less than what it was when you started. You’ll effectively have to continue to pay out emotionally even though there is a deficit and this can be soul-destroying. If the market (your relationship) continues to decline, it can be very difficult to pull yourself out of the relationship black hole because you will struggle to know who you are or what you are personally worth, particularly because if you date emotionally unavailable people, you tend to derive your worth from them and whether you deem your interactions with them as a success or a failure.

With emotion it’s all about how you feel when you’re with them. If you end up feeling negative about yourself or you generally end up expending a lot of negative emotion, you’re doing structural damage and sending the value of your investment plummeting.

If your self-esteem ends up taking a knock or becoming non-existent, no matter what you (or they do for that matter) it could take YEARS before your investment manages to break even, nevermind actually generate a return.

We all need energy for our relationships. There are a lot of people with the misguided idea that relationships ‘happen’ but you both have to work at the relationship and no matter how much energy you invest into the relationship, if they don’t want to make the investment work, it becomes like trying to ride a bike with one peddle.

Breaking even gives you the bare minimum and that just tells you that you’re both doing just enough to keep things ticking over but neither of you are excelling. Either that or one of you is but the others input is so crap that it pulls the investment back to break even point.

This is not about clinical and saying “You owe me” but it is about being savvy enough to recognise when you are investing yourself and The Three E’s into something or someone that isn’t worthy of you. I recognise that sometimes we just want to have fun or don’t want to think too much about the future, but there are many women out there today who started out doing stuff just for the hell of it, just for the experience, and just to have fun, and somewhere along the line it took its toll and they don’t know who they are anymore and they have become very numb and engaging in dangerous relationships. Positive investment does bear fruit!

Oh and be careful of investing in a Fixer Upper as it is likely that it will be another woman who will bear the fruit of your labour!


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