When 50/50 is not enough…

This week is another crazy busy week. Not to mention all the stuff going in the world that makes one think there is a void of love. However, instead of skipping a week entirely, a short post for thought provocation.

When 50/50 is not enough

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There is this popular notion that states relationships are 50:50 split in effort. That… is not the full story. Had it been the case, many relationships would never have failed or struggled.

While everyone is 50:50 partners, they have 100% stake in the success of the relationship. The minute one person stops doing their part, the relationship no longer is a relationship. It becomes a sinking ship that one person is fighting to keep upright.

Let’s just clarify, no one is able to find the perfect 50% balance point because people are complicated, situations are messy, lives are in flux, and life comes at you from all sides.

The 50:50 partnership means one thing, both parties in the relationship are equals. That’s all that means. Equal value, equal say, equal thoughts, equal negotiators.

What’s wrong with 50:50?

Good question. When someone is not giving their full attention to something, it tends to… lack. We are all familiar with what happens when a person feels they can drive a car at highway speed, text someone, and speak on the phone, while doing a Google search, while reading the navigation map, and applying their makeup at the same time.

That is the same concept for a relationship. Where is the other 50% of your affection, loyalty, commitment, responsibility going? Who is getting that love?

Don’t try that self-love line here either. Taking care of yourself is one thing. But withholding part of yourself from your partner is another entirely different thing.

When one is holding back, the temptation to give that reserved part to another rises. Someone else can be filling that void. Someone else can get very cozy and nurturing. Feelings can get wrapped up in someone else easily.

The story goes like this:

Two people went to bed very angry one night. He was 6 foot 2 inches tall and she was 5 foot 2 inches tall. Before drifting to sleep, they both had the brilliant idea of reaching 50% of the way across the bed.

Their rational was that they’d meet halfway and the connection would let the other know that they’re sorry and was calling for a truce, as it’s not good to go to bed angry.

The hours passed. Their anger fumed. How dare the other person not make an effort to reach out and compromise half way. They both swore, silently to themselves, to never be so stupid to count on their partner fully. Instead, they’d diversify their needs with others and look for a better love connection outside their union.

The problem was this, they both were at the half way mark of the bed. But, the height difference meant they never touched. Had they gone even 60% of the way across, they would have made contact. Her foot against his shin.

So what is 100:100?

In the model of giving of oneself entirely, we’re not advocating getting lost in the other person. Not at all. What this blog is stating is simply this, make sure your communication and efforts actually register with your partner.

Had either of the angry restless lovers made a point of confirming with their partner their effort, they would have known that the other was trying… they would have known that a cease-fire attempt was on the way.

That’s what 100% looks like. It’s not martyrdom. It’s just effective communication. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Of course, said in love.

Passing the ball without checking that the receiver is ready is just not wise. Same in love. Assuming the other understood or got the message is the recipe for failure. Worse, assuming they’re ignoring the message on purpose… well… that’s flirting with hell itself.

quick additional note

When giving one’s partner 100% of one’s ability, you’re not ignoring yourself or the responsibilities you have outside of your relationship. It just means that you’re giving your best of your ability to the upkeep and sound functioning of your relationship.

Yes, that means listening even when the game is on.

Yes, that means looking cute even when you don’t see the point.

Yes, that means putting your needs and theirs in the right context to make the right choice for the betterment of the relationship with minimal cost to the occupants of the relationship.

It’s bringing your A-game every day. It’s taking the right amount of time to recharge regularly so you can bring your A-game. That’s keeping your word.

Conclusions.

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Once the newness of a relationship starts to wear out, people often assume that they don’t have to try as hard anymore. Their partner understands. They already know. They assume.

It’s human to want to slip into auto-pilot. Too many things demand our best attention. We get tired. It’s OK. It’s normal.

What is not normal is to repeatedly neglect and under-serve the person you promised to give your best to. If one person needs to slow down and catch their breath, speak up and say so. Then go take your needed break. Afterward, get back in the game and keep your relationship hot.

Going 100% means you’re fully responsible for all the inputs you make to the relationship and the results that come from your input. (Conversely, going 50% is leaving the option to blame your partner for the outcome you didn’t like and didn’t give enough to avoid)

When two like minded people put all their efforts to succeed in the same direction, success is far more likely. The damages of ill-placed blame doesn’t happen because both parties take full ownership of their efforts. These love birds have less time to fight each other because they’re too busy supporting one another.

Hopefully these words inspire the imagination of the reader to give their own life it’s best. These aren’t professional pieces of advice, just considerations for your entertainment. Have a great week on purpose!

7 thoughts on “When 50/50 is not enough…

Add yours

  1. My comment is minimal on this topic, as I fully agree 100%. I love the continuous message on fully communicating with one another, along that is building trust behind it. I adore the notion of newly couples/fresh relationships, to me those are the best signs of your start out… your hope of years later on down the line, that beginning spark you had never left 🙂 it was just brushed a bit, once reminded by your partner indicating signs of date night or something that brought you guys together…as you’ve stated the ratio 50/50/60/100. Takes effort and lots of work. This was minimal lol.

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  2. My comment is minimal on this topic, as I fully agree 100%. I love the continuous message on fully communicating with one another, along that is building trust behind it. I adore the notion of newly couples/fresh relationships, to me those are the best signs of your start out… your hope of years later on down the line, that beginning spark you had never left 🙂 it was just brushed a bit, once reminded by your partner indicating signs of date night or something that brought you guys together…as you’ve stated the ratio 50/50/60/100. Takes effort and lots of work.

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    1. The work is worth it…when the two work as a team

      Thanks for the comment

      Btw, even if the work is not done by both…the person doing the work is better for having done it.

      Your ratio example is nice…people can build up their effort and ownership. I like that

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  3. I totally agree with this new and enlightened view of the 50/50 dealings within relationships. And i concur that it NEVER works for all the reasons evoked above. We need to give 100% (and more) all the time to really make it work and communicate honestly when we feel under served. Most relationships don’t work because people hold back. From experience I think it’s because most people don’t want to feel like a fool for having given too much and feeling used/ played when the game is over. Which is pretty sad (did ironic) because that exact attitude produces the result their trying to avoid in the first place. Pretty dumb huh?
    Anyway, another great article.
    Thanks for sharing your reflections and enlightening us.
    xx

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    1. I love how you summarized this post very well. There was a time this lesson was passed on from parent to child in preparation for adulthood. I missed that memo and it appears many in our generation did as well.

      I was fortunate to have parents recognize the lost data and recommended a few good books to read and seminars to attend before I got old enough to contemplate marriage.

      Was weird then…but the payoff was immense.

      With your vote of confidence, I will continue to share my thoughts to help someone else give their relationship a solid try

      Like

  4. Great commentary on the 50/50 relationship. I too agree that it is an inexplicable way to look at a relationship of any kind. Yes, there are times when it is 80/20 or 90/10 based on life happenings and one has to help carry the other however this is not a sustainable practice. People should never get used to the other carrying more than their share of the “load” of the relationship. The analogy of the angry couple is a very good one indeed. Why didn’t one or the other continue until they felt the others skin? My perspective is holding back and adding a dose of rejection fears in there. Even at the worst of times putting that extra effort can make the difference, making sure you are giving your 100 is all a person can do. Withholding that only serves to further weaken and fray those bonds. Why is it we put more effort in for a stranger on the street (being nicer, using nicer manners and words or giving a kind smile, looking nice for work) rather than the person who we pledged ourselves to? I have heard it said because it is safe to do so. Yes, the comfort and security of a loved ones arms are where we can let go and be ourselves yet that is exactly where we should be putting our best foot forward. Giving them our game face as it were.
    Thank you for a great piece! As always I enjoy reading your blog and your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you be much for the kind words and added value here.

      I was thinking about this a while for another blog I’m working on. In the end, it fits here perfectly.

      Yes, I will eventually share it on my other blog.

      You helped me remember one other important point. Sometimes all that negative emotion and crap we want to dump on our partner is best suited to be dumped elsewhere. A journal, a professional therapist, or another private confidential way. Then…when back with one’s partner….the ability to share the thoughts constructively will be more likely.

      Appreciate you reading and commenting on my post:)

      Like

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