I know April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but the weather doesn’t always pay attention to the calendar. Outside weddings in early May are risky. It’s 50/50 at best. Steve and Sasha turned out to have a beautiful day.

Years ago I abandoned traditional premarital counseling, although I strongly suggest an online course, meaningful relationships (if you know someone getting married, it’s the best $70 you can spend). As we plan the ceremony, I tell them to follow up with me when the honeymoon is over.

Sasha remembered and left a message in February. “The honeymoon is over, when can we meet?”

How to Score

Don’t go googling them. Steve and Sasha aren’t real names. Honestly, they aren’t even one couple.

I’ve had more couple in my office after the honeymoon than I can count.

Before the wedding, they felt loved. It takes 8 or 9 months, but after the honeymoon they realize they don’t speak the same Love Language (or at least have different dialects). Gary Chapman wrote the book and the languages are: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Words of Affirmation. Once Steve realizes Sasha hears “I love you” when he does the dishes (an Act of Service) he wins.

As a kid on the playground, I wanted to win. Most boys are socialized this way. It’s easy to win when you know how to score. So that’s what I asked Sasha. “How can Steve score?”

Saying 9

Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
    do not crave his delicacies;
for he is the kind of person
    who is always thinking about the cost.
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
    but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the little you have eaten
    and will have wasted your compliments. – Proverbs 23:6-8

Keep Score, You Lose

Knowing how to score is a must. These five love languages help people win at relationships. Chapman has tweeted the concept for almost every audience. Since HR wouldn’t be comfortable with loving employees, he wrote The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. They are the same 5 languages.

While knowing how to score is a must. If you keep score, you lose.

We all know when someone is doing something just to score points. Saying 9 called that person a “begrudging host” and advises to not even eat his food.

Imagine if Scott and Sasha were in my office a week later. “I affirmed Sasha 8 times last week. That’s her love language! She only did the dishes 3 times and acts of service is mine.”

It sounds silly, but keeping score is an easy trap to fall into.

There are so many stories about people who couldn’t win because they kept score. Then they started giving freely and won. I know you’ve lived this and I’d love to hear your stories. Please share them in the comments.

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