I once had a man tell me that he loves me more than he ever thought imaginable. He said that because of the love he has for me he would never be with me. Why? Because if he cheated on me he knows that I would leave him. That pain would be so unbearable that he finds it better to just stay friends with me than risk losing me for good.
So, I thought what you are probably thinking now…Ain’t this a bunch of BS? Really dude? So, you’re saying that you can’t be faithful? He responded, “I don’t think people are designed to be monogamous.” I laughed in his face and said, “Okay, well thanks for telling me.”
But, even after time has passed his comments still give me pause. I think about the absurdity of the conversation however, I think that maybe what he really believes is that he will be chasing 20 for the rest of his life. The 20 is the 20 percent that I’m referring to in the 80/20 rule of relationships. The theory is an economist’s views that has been translated into relationships.
The 80/20 rule for relationships says in most relationships you only get 80 percent of what you want and need from your partner. It’s the search for the missing 20 percent that causes people to cheat. Hence, the chasing for 20.
I first heard about this rule when I watched Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” years ago. I (like many women in the theater) screamed “Yes, when Jill Scott’s character told her husband that he realized his 20 percent wasn’t worth what he gave up when he cheated on her. She was his 80 percent.” But, it’s not just men that are chasing 20. It’s women too.
Why? What is it about us that makes us chase 20 instead of realizing that what we have is good? I’m not talking about unhealthy relationships, but those relationships that are healthy. Why do we chase 20 instead of realizing that we have 80?
Because we’re selfish and not satisfied human beings. Many of us haven’t realized that what we have is good. We want perfection. As many people have said, there is no such thing as perfection. But, we still chase 20. Maybe because we think that the 20% that we are missing is the key to our happiness, but it’s not.
Trust me. If you are unhappy and in an unhealthy relationship, just leave. Leave the person alone. Allow them an opportunity to find happiness with someone who likes their 80%. Be selfless.
Now, I’m not saying that relationships where you get 80% of what you want will be issue or drama free. Nope. After all, we’re human. We’re prone to disagree on things. The key is that if you are in a healthy relationship where you recognize that you have 80% that you want to work it out. Trust me when I tell you that dating is HARD!
I told my male friend that last year. I said, “Dating sucks. There is nothing out here. I can’t find anyone (I’m a little more optimistic now). Stay with your wife forever. Don’t mess it up. Fix it. Ya’ll can work out anything. There is no greener grass out here.” He laughed. He told his wife what I said. They are still together though so maybe my advice worked.
I want to leave you with this piece of advice. Relationships are hard. They require work. They must be healthy. It is healthy to argue. Not disrespect each other. Just argue. Get to the root issue of your relationship problems. Do a needs assessment. Ask yourself the hard questions and find out if you have 80% in your relationship or are you in search of the 20%?
If the issue is you. You have to do some work. Find out your issues and get help for them so that your frustrations don’t turn your 80% into a 0% and you lose your mate. Work it out loves!