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 person’s 10%, and some people are overgivers, so their 50% is busting-a-gut territory.

Many people operate with this idea that they’re chipping in ‘half’ to make a relationship. They view things in terms of how much they think they’re doing and expecting the other party to meet needs, like ‘fixing’ their self-esteem and validating their worth. In reality, relationships have two individual entities that each show up wholes so that each can meet their respective needs and being copilots in a mutual relationship.

Relationships are 100:100.

Let’s imagine that you show up with your 50% and then you’re just looking for your partner to chip in their stake. How do you decide which 50% you’re putting in? The likelihood is you choose what you’re comfortable with and fairly confident about. Then you’ll potentially look to the other party to have things you don’t possess to ‘make up’ the other half.

You’re 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% 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 zsu and other such stuff, it’s on what we believe shows that someone is ‘our type of person’. We also use these assumptions as the basis for believing that someone possesses other values and characteristics we desire.

This means you could meet someone and go “Smart, funny, good-looking” and, on that basis, you’ll believe they should be able to step up with the other half of the relationship.

If relationships are 50:50, how are people supposed to divide themselves up so that they can contribute their 'halves'? You know exactly where you stand in a 100:100 relationship - in a mutual partnering being who you really are.

You don’t know that someone you’ve just met possesses what you need for a relationship, never mind a mutually fulfilling one.

You don’t know that they can fill voids within you. And you certainly don’t know if this person can give you self-esteem and validate you. You don’t. Okay, and they can’t, anyway. You won’t communicate most or any of these expectations and ideas to them, and, the truth is, you may expect [what you do] because you’re already doing things to appease them. On some level, you hope your efforts 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 think with a 50:50 mentality too and might expect you to fill certain voids or meet certain needs by doing XYZ when you want to be and do ABC. Their stake could also be entirely different from 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.

The concept of trying to meet someone to have a 50:50 relationship with is flawed.

It’s a reminder that we make a lot of assumptions and can latch on to external solutions for our internal issues. 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, desires, and expectations both in how we conduct ourselves and in the relationship, we somehow expect these to be known and present in the other person because we’re being and doing certain things aka people pleasing.

You’re 100% responsible for yourself in and out of a relationship.

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? Won’t it skew the fifty percent?

It’s also dangerous to be willing to offload half 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, desires, and expectations who then continue to do that and mutually love, care, trust, and respect one another within a co-piloted 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. You both leave a lot out of the relationship, making each of you and the relationship inauthentic. When you’re being yourself and not suppressing ‘fifty percent’, you can 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.

Your thoughts?

For more on authentic, loving relationships, check out my book Love, Care, Trust and Respect.

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