Do you see this woman's graphic? She seems concerned does she not in her clerical duties relating to her relationship? She should be. We all should be. And why? "Emotional Equity" is what I'll call it and I want to discuss perhaps a different way of thinknig about relationships than most will really enjoy because most relationship "advice" suggests that you try and balance but I would rather suggest that you attempt to profit mutually from the investments made.
So first what accounting principles actually matter? Well there's many, debits and credits, assets and liabilities and equity, and how assets equates liabilities and equity, and so I will go through each of those particular things and how they genuinely apply to your dating life and relationships and how keeping track does mean something!
So the first "advice" given is that one should not keep track because that's keeping score. The objective of realizing your emotional equity is not to prove that you did more or less than someone else, and if that's what you think it is, then ironically you have no emotional equity but instead it is a matter of self-discipline and awareness that is comparable to taking note of the current situation.
Relating to Assets, Liabilities, and Equity these things can be split and so first let's talk about Assets. The assets are the things you get out of the relationship, but for every thing you get out of the relationship there is a shift and sometimes those shifts do not effect the liabilities or equity. It is imperative to know because that means that when you went to that concert with your partner that really didn't want to go it doesn't mean you owe them anything nor does it necessarily effect emotional equity. Maybe they received an asset or exchanged and asset for that particular event and had their own gain through another avenue such as going to that one resturaunt they really wanted to go to despite the price.
So types of assets would be probably measured in categories like experiences, resources, and prearranged management of specific situations (which you would call "insurance") and these things are important in relationships and while they should not be considered tangible assets in the stringent sense relating to bookkeeping they should actually be considered. Now, why?
Well if your partner cannot offer you any experiences what is the profit? Yes, they can manage your basic needs, because just about anyone can, but that doesn't bring you to any greater glory or reflect a profit. It's all but worthless to you as a growing person and may leave you with a physical/emotional/spiritual "maid" if you will where he or she is just a custodian in your life. Those relationships often fail. If your partner cannot bring any real resources whether they be chronological by saving you time and taking various efforts off the table or emotional by giving strong support again you're just taking care of yourself with someone in a contract that is effectively doing nothing for you. Dead-end contracts also tend to fail or, when elapsed, are abandoned. As for the "insurance" this is actually relative to multiple concepts like trust, faith, good-standing, and sound knowledge of the person; if you can't trust someone with any serious tasks that just means you have to do them yourself and again like contracting a vendor who isn't doing their job and giving product or providing their services what's the point?
The key thing here is that "advice" suggests you don't take note of these things but if you did half of the failed relationships you were in wouldn't have ever occurred because you didn't turn a profit by looking at a pretty face and honestly there are plenty of humans to have sex with or any other very basic level functions so in reality the problem lied with a lack of realizable investment standards.
Are these your standards? Probably.
Now, Liabilities; how do you decide what you owe someone? First, I would strongly recommend not using money as a basis, and this is because in general money isn't well tracked in a relationship and unless you have an actual objectively separate accountant it just doesn't matter because someone is always going to spend more money than someone else in a relationship and that's that. Even "paying every other date" is going to yield a different balance no matter how hard one tries to stay in the same price range. The longer (and healthier) the relationship the less it matters and also, if attempted to track, the harder it gets.
So if we ignore money what exactly is owed? Time is a good one. Experience is a good one. You can definitely trade these things; you want to go to the Earwax Museum because reasons? Okay. Next week you visit that one thing you hate that they love. Maybe trying a new game for their sake. Maybe agreeing to cook dinner on X and Y date. Promises are liabilities by the way; you are indebted and contracted by them and if you treated your promises not as flippant agreements but genuinely solid contract which, more than anything cannot be annuled without extreme circumstances, you would get far.
Now all relationship based liabilities need to be considered short-term (less than a year). Do not make promises that extend beyond one year. You are not a fortune-teller. Even if everything seems to be in your control you are not guaranteed six months from now and things do violently change. Now the reason you don't isn't because you cannot adapt but there is a "promises recievable" account in every single person. You say "I will be there" and you best damned be there because you've written it in the person's "heart". Your word is contractual law in a relationship; now I am not a religious man but one particular biblical reference which I believe is imperative to understand for this and it's Matthew 5:33-37:
“And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong."
However to be specific it is verse 37 that matters here which is, "Just say 'yes' or 'no'. When you manpulate words to get your own way, you go wrong." Matthew just said it better than I did. There are many different ways it's said and read but this is core to what I mean when I say to manage your promises like unbreakable contracts. You must pay your debts because just like in anything else your debts will go to "emotional collections" which is equivalent to that horrible period in a relationship, if it survives your derelict behavior to begin with, of "regaining trust" which is actually building emotional equity again.
Speaking of which that brings us to our equity. What is this emotional equity? I want you to think for a moment about popular brands such as Android:
You know what these symbols mean, and alone they are actually "worthless", but brand equity gives them value as intangibles where if McDonalds' golden arches were on a package that package de facto becomes worth more. Same with the apple logo; even for a computer of the same power you pay more for the brand itself. Your personal equity builds like this; when people go "Hey, you're Despondency!" or any other older username of mine that's equity. Your reputation, recognition, and personal value would be an easier way to say it though it's complex because it contains other things such as your salability/datability, attractiveness rating, desirability, and so forth and so on.
That said you can build negative emotional equity such as being untrustworthy, tardy, habitually unstable, and so forth and so on. When people expect this of you you're done. That is your equity. It is incredibly difficult to change it and above all you need to keep track of this in all of your relationships, not just romantic ones, but the focus is romance. So your reputation as a partner is important because let's be honest, this here ...
... is bullshit. How you act in front of your partners parents, friends, and even common strangers, and how you deal with affairs both with and apart all goes into this equity and your equity can and does get effected by general trends and behaviors and rumors. You can be the best person alive when with your partner and a real piece of work when you're apart and they will find out and it will drop your equity. The same is true for your behaviors that do not effect your partner including being tardy for work; even if you are never late for a date what you think "isn't their business" really is. Punctuality as a principle is worth more than punctuality as a behavior; your distinct overall patterns will always mean more than your partial behaviors. This is also true of other factors like cleanliness; it doesn't matter if your apartment is shining clean when they come over but they hear from your friends that you're a slob every other day and so forth and so on.
So what does this all mean to you?
First and foremost profiting off of your relationships is a great idea, and if it's mutual even better, because all relationships regardless of type do require some form of investment whether great or small. Your emotional investments in other people are assets. But what is given up is also an asset which is personal security; you become vulnerable the moment you attempt to trust someone just like you risk your money when you buy an Apple computer and it breaks or needs service, but just as you trust Apple to fulfill their warranties and contracts so do you with the other person.
Since an asset for and asset isn't a profit then I guess your profits lie specifically in your equity which would be founded by the investments in others and their "shares" in your wellbeing with an expectation of returns as well as your receivables from promises relating to experiences and the like as said above.
So while not penny for penny keep track of this. Ask yourself "Have I made any new meaningful memories and have you helped make them possible?", "Are you simply managing the bare minimum, my bare minimum?", and finally "Is my emotional equity going up?"; remember that a good partner will raise your own emotional equity just as a good company vendor will raise the equity of those it serves.