Alright this one goes out to all my readers who currently occupy a relationship status of “taken”, “whipped”, “weighed down by the old ball in chain”, or any other related clichés in that category.
Have any of you ever heard of something called the 80/20 rule? And no, it has nothing to do with the ratio of diet to exercise (though that’s a great one to live by). What I’m talking about is the 80/20 rule of relationships. I only discovered this maybe a year or two ago, and it changed my mentality—and my relationship—for the better.
One thing I think we are all guilty of is always wanting more, or thinking there is something better out there than what we have. And I’m not just referring to relationships. I mean, have you ever seen a dog reject your food and move on to the next person at the table as if we aren’t all eating the same damn dinner? (No? Then get a dog and come back when you have). With relationships though, we tend to self-sabotage, and I am the first one to admit my guilt of it.
You see, my boyfriend is an introvert at heart and a homebody to his core. For anyone who doesn’t know me, I’m as extroverted as they come, and my three favorite words are “go, go, go” (Or “vamos, vamos, vamos!” if I’m feeling extra, which is often). So I always imagined being with someone who was an even bigger social butterfly than me, and I found myself wondering if not having that was a deal breaker. Then my best friend sent an article to the group chat that talked about the 80/20 rule in relationships. And everything changed.
Essentially, the rule states that the most we can ever expect to have in a partner is 80% of what we want. Unfortunately, as flawed human beings, we still find ourselves yearning for that extra 20%. And sometimes, we find it in someone else. So what do you do? End your relationship to go be with your 100%? Maybe. But if you did, you’d eventually discover you actually only have the 20% you were missing, because it’s all you were looking for. You forgot that qualities like loyalty, honesty, communication and generosity were the 80% you had and just left behind. So if you were looking for a social butterfly, for example, all you’d end up with is an outgoing, possible alcoholic who can definitely shmooze a crowd, but can also shmooze Lisa and Tammy from HR right into his bed. (Wow, I’ve clearly seen one too many scorned woman movies).
What I’m trying to get at here, is that if we are looking for it, we’re always going to find something missing. What we need to be doing instead is paying attention to what we already have, which is a pretty freaking full glass if you ask me. Even more, when you stop focusing on the superficial stuff, you realize that what you want and what you need may be two very different things. My introverted, homebody boyfriend said it best himself: “I’m the breaks, and you’re the gas”. He helps me slow down, take time for myself and enjoy the little things. And if I dated another “gas”, well the chances of it ending in a high speed car wreck are probably 100 to 1. Would any of you bet on those odds? I didn’t think so.