In this weekly series, we offer a little inspiration to kick off your week. Some simple accessible wisdom, from one soul to another.
With hopes that it helps ease you into your week.
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THE 50/50 MYTH
“Marriage is not 50-50. Divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It isn’t dividing everything in half, but giving everything you’ve got!”
I’m not sure when I first heard that relationships are 50/50. But my guess is that it was a loooong time ago. Probably about the same time that I learned it was important to strive for balance in all areas of life – work, play, friendships, health, etc.
Today, I’m gonna do what I should’ve done years ago and call bullshit on this pervasive myth.
From my very first romantic relationship at the tender age of 14, I was called out for not finding the perfect balance of spending time with him and spending time with my friends. My friends felt I ditched them to be with my new man. And my parents thought I wasn’t spending enough time at home with my siblings or with my school work.
At 14, I had very little practice with this thing called balance, and so instead of heeding my parents’ advice, I just got pissed off, and spent even more time with him. It didn’t like feeling like I was failing. So I focused on falling in love (haters be damned).
In every subsequent relationship after that, I strived for an almost instinctive need for this elusive thing called balance. I felt guilty when I wasn’t spending enough time with friends and family. And I felt sad when I wasn’t with my man. Sadly, I never felt 100% elated in any of my relationships. Until now.
I guess the adage that with age comes wisdom is true, because, at 38-years old with an almost 8-year relationship under my belt, I’ve come to learn and accept that my relationship will never be 50/50. Nor do I want it to be.
Balance is a moot point with me. Why? Because in every relationship, whether with my man, my cat, my parents, siblings, friends or business cohorts – I want to be ALL IN. 100%.
Giving 100% isn’t about quantity. It’s about quality.
It’s about the quality of attention you give.
The quality of work you do.
The quality of time you spend.
Quality isn’t about something quantifiable. It’s about feeling.
And I don’t know about you, but I want to feel GOOD.
This concept of 50/50 in relationships also translates to every other area of my life. I don’t want to be giving 50% when it comes to taking care of my body. Or putting together new services in my business. Or something as simple as keeping our house clean.
To be sure, this doesn’t mean that I literally give 100% to every area of my life, all of the time. I may be good at getting shit done, but I’m not THAT good. None of us are.
What it means is that we are committed 100%. When we do sit down to plan our weekly meal plan, we focus on that exclusively. When we have date-night each week, we are fully present with each other. When I sit down to write a blog post like this, I’m creatively giving everything I have. It’s about squeezing every drop out of life. And not waiting around for life (or other people) to meet you halfway.
When you decide to only give 50%, you’re robbing yourself and the person (or project) on the other end. You give the other person permission to only show up halfway as well. And when you only give halfway because you expect someone else to meet you the other half of the way? That’s a recipe for disappointment.
If you subtly or not-so-subtly buy into this myth that relationships (and life) are 50/50, I urge you to reexamine your beliefs. See if there’s a way that you can, with intention, commit to your life 100%.
Show up for yourself. Whatever you dedicate yourself to, do it fully. And in my experience, those around you, from watching how committed you are, are wildly inspired to show up 100% as well.
In a partnership, this means you’re both giving 100%. And I don’t know about you but I’d much rather have a partner who is giving his all, than only showing up halfway.
For me, this simple reframe has made a world of difference in my relationships, my work, my wellness . . . everything. I’m still not perfect at it, but it’s something I work on daily.
What about you? How are you showing up in your own life? 50/50? Or 100%? What small shifts can you make in your personal life or business to fully commit? Share any a-ha’s or insights with me below!