Whenever I hear people describing relationships as 50:50, I wonder how one goes about dividing a relationship in half, after all, half of a relationship is pretty subjective and open to interpretation. One person’s ‘50%’ is another persons 10% and some people are over-givers so their 50% is busting a gut territory. Many people operate with this idea that they’re chipping in half to make a relationship and view it in terms of how much they think that they’re doing and expecting the other party to sometimes meet needs like ‘fix’ their self-esteem and validate their worth. In reality, relationships have two individual entities that each show up as a whole so that each can meet their own respective needs as well as being copilots in a mutual relationship.
Let’s imagine that you show up with your fifty percent and then you’re just looking for them to chip in their stake – how do you decide which 50% you’re putting in? The likelihood is that you choose what you’re comfortable with and fairly confident about and that you’ll potentially look for the other party to have things that you don’t possess to ‘make up’ the other half.
You’re either already somebody who regards themselves as being 50% of a person or someone who when they get into a relationship, they chop themselves up to make way for the other person and their hopes and expectations being met.
And then it hit me: How on earth would you know that the other person has and is capable of giving the 50% that you’re looking for?
Bearing in mind that some of us become relationship minded pretty much as soon as we start dating someone, or when we sleep with or even admire them, how did you reach this conclusion that this person could give you that 50%? I’ll give you a clue – judging by the number of stories I’ve read and heard about smart, funny and good looking as well as common interests, zsa zsa zu and other such stuff, it’s on the things that we think indicate that someone is ‘our type of person’ which are used as our basis for assuming and believing that they possess other values and characteristics that we desire.
This means you could meet someone and go “Smart, funny, good looking” and on that basis you’ll believe that they ‘should’ be able to step up with the other half of the relationship.
You don’t know that they have what is needed for a relationship, never mind a mutually fulfilling one. You don’t know that they’re capable of filling voids within you and you certainly don’t know if this person can give you self-esteem and validate you. You don’t. Most of these expectations and ideas won’t be communicated to them and the truth is, you may expect this because you’re already doing things to appease them in the hope that it will filter back to you getting what you want.
And here is the perplexing thing: What if they want something different to the 50% that you’ve chipped in? They could be thinking with a 50:50 mentality too and might be expecting you to fill certain voids or meet certain needs by doing X,Y,Z when you’re wanting to be and do A,B and C. Their stake could also be entirely different to what you want that stake to be composed of whether it’s to meet your needs or to make a relationship work.
You would then be at odds. You’d be incompatible.
This concept of trying to meet someone to have a 50:50 relationship with is flawed and it’s reminded me that we make a lot of assumptions and can find ourselves latching on to external solutions for our internal problems. We can have distorted expectations of what a relationship can do for us. With very little experience and information, we believe and feel entitled to someone else being 50% responsible for us and that the person ‘should’ such and such for their stake. When it all goes pear shaped, we feel wronged and struggle to understand why something that was ‘supposed’ to happen didn’t.
Why don’t they know what their fifty percent is? we wonder.
When these relationships proceed anyway, we feel ‘hungry’ and confused as to why we don’t feel happy. We can feel frustrated that even though we haven’t asserted our needs, wishes, and expectations both in how we conduct ourselves and in the relationship, we somehow expect these needs, wishes, and expectations to be known and present in the other person because we’re being and doing certain things.
But it’s important to realise that you’re 100% responsible for you both in and out of a relationship and that if you’re not comfortable being who you are so you’re in essence being someone else, how is a relationship supposed to meet your needs anyway? Isn’t the fifty percent going to be skewed?
It’s also dangerous to be willing to offload half of your ‘character output’ just because you’ve met someone or paired up.
Why can’t you just show up and be you? Why can’t two people come together as individuals who respect their own needs, wishes, and expectations who then continue to do that and to mutually love, care, trust, and respect one another within a copiloted relationship?
50:50 makes you each 50% of your output – where is the rest?
Relationships are 100:100 – when you do all of this ‘half’ malarkey it becomes very subjective and you both leave a lot out of the relationship making each of you and the relationship inauthentic. When you’re being you and not suppressing ‘fifty percent’, you can very quickly see whether you’re in a mutual relationship and if you’re not, then you can still leave as your whole self, as opposed to feeling like you lost half of your identity.