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The 80- 20 % rule in relationships

Most of you have already heard of the 80 – 20% rule. If not you may want to google a bit about it or just continue reading.

A very good friend of mine told me about it many years ago and I have used it ever since in my relationships and in my coaching and matching process. Society has taught us to always be open and looking for the best, the newest, the brightest, often the unattainable. But is that really what will make us happy? Is the grass always greener or are we shortchanging ourselves if we are always looking for that missing 20% or sometimes even 10%.

Let’s all agree no one is 100%, no person, no relationship. Not me, not you.  I swear If you are happy 80% of the time in a relationship, that is a great relationship! No one is going to be 100% of what you want and expecting to be happy in a relationship 100% of the time is unrealistic. So why are people so fascinated or fixated on that missing 20%, instead of being grateful for the 80%? Because people often think they must have or want what they don’t have, most often because of unresolved issues from childhood or other relationships.

example: Your boyfriend or girlfriend is kind, respectful, loving, affectionate, loyal, communicates well, supportive and you enjoy spending time together. Sounds great right, but they are not as hot, or skinny or active as another partner or someone they wished they had.  That relationship could have been closer to 20% good and 80% bad or based on something they only fantasized about. But now 100% focus is on the on the 20% or whatever small fragment they don’t have now or more importantly couldn’t keep or never had. They are fixated on that missing %, or what they don’t see initially, maybe together that 80% can grow? What a novel idea. That constant “excitement”  they found in another relationship is sometimes  confused with “always being on edge”. Some people crave that. The drama. The unknown. They confuse “love with lust”. They enjoy the roller coaster ride (that’s another post entirely) even if it always ends. Usually tumultuously and often tragically. Somehow they think they can find someone that is all the good things of both or all of their relationships and  they can get 100% and none of the bad. Because society tells them they deserve it all or convince themselves they need it all.  I say good luck to you but you will likely be single and unhappy for a very long time. Sorry, to burst your bubble but I am being painfully honest.

Coming from a been around the block,  got my ass kicked many times, but always got the lesson frame of mind, I ask you to be honest with yourself. “Is that what you really expect?” “How have these expectations worked out for you so far?”  Being grateful for the good in your life will bring you Happiness but focusing on what’s not will always make you unhappy and feeling incomplete. I can only offer advice it is up to everyone to figure out their own path. And if you are happy chasing that 20% you don’t think you have or think you need, keep banging your head on that same wall. That’s your choice, but don’t blame other people for your unhappiness.

Personally, I know first hand to appreciate a 80% person or relationship over a 20% or even 50% one.  I know to be grateful for anyone that can offer me that. It’s what I strive for.   If you love the life you live, you will live a life of love. But that is my choice and love is a two way street and it has to be the goal and belief of both parties. No one person can make a relationship work on their own no matter how much you want it or believe in it. 

The bottom line is everyone has their own path and their own journey.  So maybe if you are single and can’t seem to find 100% of what you are looking for be open to trying something realistic. 80% happy is pretty darn good in today’s day and age. and if you focus on being grateful for the 80%  good in your life instead of taking it for granted and  focusing on the 20% bad or imperfect, you will be happier. Of course there is no getting around abusive, unhealthy and disrespectful behaviour.  Avoid it at all costs. As usual I wish you all the best in your dating and relating world and if you need help, when you are ready for a healthy path and relationship, I’m here.



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