Cold horrible thinking
A short rebuttal: The concept of balancing interaction accounts borrows more than vocabulary from economics. Like the model of a market in perfect competition, variations are not covered. Individual situations are bound to differ from the model, but that doesn't (necessarily) render the model inapplicable.
Comparing my few simplistic paragraphs with the model for perfect competition is certainly wanking, but I remain unapologetic. Loud Thinking doesn't carry disclaimers to shield from criticism.
I'll take wrong over blunt thinking any day.
Getting of my high horse for a moment, and opening myself up to alligations of inconsistence, I understand your bridling. Measuring human interactions in social currency, refering to dead-end relationships as sunk cost, and measuring deficits is provoking. Romantic ideals are never lend easily to type casting. All the more reason to try.