Saturday, March 8, 2014

Avoiding The 50/50 FailZone

Relationships. When did things get so complicated?

I don't know about you, but I still remember how I got "married" a couple times in my precious years before 1st grade (try this now-a-days, and you'll be in some of the biggest trouble any 5 year old could ever ask for in a public school).  Anyone else remember these good 'ol days? *Raises hand*

When you look back on human history, we find that relationships were rarely a chosen path for so very many cultures throughout humanity. We find that relationships were arranged, preset, and ordained. There was no choosing in the person(s) we were to end up with. However, there was the choice to make the best of it once we were set in said relationship(s).

In a relative recent turn of human events, romantic relationships between humans wrote a new chapter - DATING.

While I won't profess to be the all-time-expert in relationships, dating, marriage, etc. - I will go far enough to say that I feel a combination of a psychology degree, life experiences, and a wildly happy marriage of nearly 4 years and growing stronger each day, is a solid enough resumé to at least make some "IMHO" commentary on the matter. Agreed? Okay. Here it goes!

The 50/50 FailZone
The dating scene has created a most intriguing element for romantic relationships; it has provided a testing ground. Where prior in human history, you were all in and someone else decided the circumstances for you. Currently, the dating testing ground is extremely fluid. We date each other to test for things like fairness, equality, commitment, "the spark", trust, etc.

As we date longer and longer, we find things become unbalanced. The emotional, intellectual, physical, and sometimes spiritual expressions of the dating scene are not always given equal attention. Most of the time, things are quite lopsided where by the physical and emotional are overexpressed and the intellectual and spiritual are quite often neglected. This unbalanced effort in these four major elements of romantic connections are most intriguingly expressed in the "commitment" and "equality" testing grounds. Everything has to be fair, right? And so, much of the human culture has developed the attitude in seeing fairness in relationships as being 50/50 in most major respects.
"THAT, is why you fail." - Master Yoda.

The problem with being 50/50 is that we, as humans, are imperfect. There is always going to be a mistake. There is always a sense of negativity, resentment, guilt, revenge, apathy, etc. And, as we have all experienced, every relationship has a "rough patch" (hate this term, btw)... a conflict... a problem that surfaces. It is during these times, 50/50 becomes more like 40/40 or even less. Well then the relationship is really only running at 80%. What is worse, as negativity penetrates a relationship, old feelings come up each time, don't they? Things quickly turn into a tit-for-tat mentality. You thought 80% was bad... remember that one breakup because things were more like 40/0?

I feel that where our mentality truly fails us is our perception of fairness within the context of romantic relationships. We all have off-days. We all have moments of weakness. This is where you want your partner to have your back. The only way this happens is if you and your beloved are "all in." I think the best investment model for a successful relationship is the 100/100 deal.

With being 100/100, it is no longer about fairness; it is about the success of the relationship. Example: In my marriage, when I'm having a bad day, I know my wife has my back because she'll step up no matter how much I'm dropping the ball. I may forget something, I may do another thing incorrectly, and I might even hurt her feelings through some unintended mean words I say. However, two things always happen after those moments of weakness. My wife will still have my back, and, I'll have hers.

But, wait! That wasn't fair!!!! Didn't I make up for things? Well, of course I did - well - tried. When we make mistakes, we can't exactly take things back. It already happened at a point and space in time. Again, aiming for 100/100 isn't about fairness. It is about the success of the relationship. My wife also knows that should she have bad days, I have her taken care of and will be at my best 100% of the time. Say we both have bad days, we're at 70%/70%... our relationship is still charged up at 140% of the day... MUCH better than the 50/50 situation.

I suppose the best way to describe the 50/50 FailZone in relationships goes beyond fairness, justice, equality, or even commitment. This zone of failure exists because the in the 50/50 model, you have two individuals trying to exist within acceptable vicinity. In the 100/100 model, you have a team who rejects the individualism that can cause separation. You have a singular team who will stop it nothing to succeed; to find themselves in a place of happiness, fulfillment, and pleasurable joy.

That is the power where you have a relationship that is "all in." That is the power when all players involved are at 100% effort no matter what the other player is doing.

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