To most folks, the concept of 80/20 is about understanding that a person has flaws and issues that may or may not be inherent. That may or may not be up for change but can be ‘worked with’ in a relationship. Who’s idea of what can or can’t be ‘worked with’ is key in making that distinction. Every individual has to make that choice for them self. What we see in others that grate on our last nerve will vary vastly. Our own self concept will have a bearing on that too because we too have our flaws and issues that cause us to react emotionally to certain aspects of our mate’s ‘shortcomings’. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves, ‘is this really a flaw in my mate or is it a flaw in myself?
Standards should be set on an ‘I want/need’ as opposed to ‘I don’t want/need’. We often find easily the things that we ‘can’t stand’ in a person and tend to actively look for them in order to justify not being with them. That is going into a relationship expecting it to fail. We expect strengths and positive traits to jump out at us, without looking below the surface for them. I don’t think many folk actually ask themselves WHY a particular standard is important either. If we did, we wouldn’t have so many of them.
When we meet a person we’re often attracted by the physical according to personal preference. It stands to reason, our physical appearance is our shop window, it’s what catches an eye. Once the eye is caught hopefully our personality and character shines through and a relationship can start. What about those that don’t necessarily catch our eye? We happen to become acquainted through a social or professional network. The personality has already been seen, however, the physical doesn’t match your preference. How important is it for one to be attracted by the physical appearance? Can it be relegated to the 20%. Many feel that the physical aspect of a relationship is important and equate it with ‘chemistry’ however, chemistry is just that, the interaction of chemicals and ions not seen with the naked eye. Yet all too often we wait to ‘fancy’ a person based on their outward package and ignore the pull we feel towards someone who doesn’t have the appearance we like.
The difference between ‘wanting and needing’ is very subtle. We often say NEED when we mean WANT in order to give it importance. To need something means it’s necessary, to want give a feeling of frivolity. It’s okay to want, it’s what keeps us striving for improvement. If you want a wo/man in your life, you should have one. Having our wants catered to makes us feel good. Who NEEDS a high performance, luxury car? Who NEEDS jewellery? Who NEEDS a six figure income? These are things that we WANT. As with people, we don’t NEED a person that can look after us, that’s a WANT. We don’t NEED tall dark and handsome or petite and fair with a great rack, that too is a WANT. If your 80% is based on WANTs, it may be time to re-evaluate. When breaking down 80/20 maybe we should be thinking ‘this person meets 80% of my needs and 20% of my wants I can take care of the rest’; instead of ‘this person meets 80% of my wants and needs, I can live with the rest!’
‘I can do bad all by myself’, ‘why have a dog and bark yourself’, ‘why buy a cow and go to the supermarket for milk’ – How much we are prepared to compromise on our NEEDs and WANTs really depends on the level at which we place those needs and wants. If you WANT a talker and you end up with a quiet person, are you then going to find someone else to talk to or will you work with the non talker? Can you compromise on that? If you are at heart sociable and constantly have the wheels of your mind turning and need a sounding board that is interactive, how long do you think that compromise will work? Are you the non talker? How would you feel if the compromise was that it was okay for you to not to be interactive so long as you agreed to your mate having others or AN-other to share their thoughts with? Compromise is good, but it has to be thought through, it’s not just for the sake of the individual it SHOULD be for the sake of the relationship in general. It’s easy to lose yourself in compromise in order to keep the other person happy. In the long term your own happiness is eroded.
Equality in a relationship! Fact or Myth? Well that depends on your concept of equality. Maybe we would be better to use equal OPPORTUNITY when thinking about relationships. Equality tends to mean ‘the same’, but no two people in a relationship is the same. They should both have the opportunity to be active in the relationship, to contribute in a way that benefits the relationship, to be able to thrive emotionally. This doesn’t mean both have to do the same thing or contribute the same amount of time, effort and finance. It means both should be able to contribute their strength into the relationship in order to maintain and nurture it.
When deciding who does what in the relationship, remember self esteem and self concept. A stay at home wife/husband is as important as the working partner. Each should feel appreciated in the role that they have. However, each should excel in their role! So if you are a provider, make sure your partner feel secure in that provision, not belittled or tolerated. If you are a homemaker, make sure your partner feels that it’s their home too not just a lodger that pays the bills. 80/20 stops when the relationship starts. The ratio after that, is based on a continual assessment of need relating to the relationship you have built.