The 80/20 Rule Of Relationships

The 80/20 Rule Of Relationships

The most important relationship advice you'll get.
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If you don't know what the 80/20 rule is, you've already made your first mistake. This rule has made me revaluate all the relationships I have been in, as well as the ones I've considered beginning.

We, as humans, are always looking for the next best thing because as we all know, the grass is always greener on the other side, right? Wrong. This is what the 80/20 rule teaches you. Generally, when in a relationship you get about 80% of what you want. This sounds pretty good because it's such a high percentage. However, we are also craving that other 20%. We fight over it, break up over it and complain about it because as we already went over, we always want what we can't have.

SEE ALSO: I Won't Apologize For Being Best Friends With My Boyfriend

Say your boyfriend or girlfriend is SO great — loyal, attentive, supportive, and caring. However, they aren't as social as you are. You always want to go out with friends, go to parties and hang in groups but they would rather hang out at home or Netflix and chill (and actually watch Netflix and actually chill). Instead of focusing on the 80% of things you want and are actually receiving, you focus on the 20% that shows your significant other being antisocial.

Then comes the day you meet your 20%. They're outgoing, always up to hang out, and never turns down an opportunity to party. They seem perfect. They are that 20% you are missing. So what do you do? You naturally think this person is a better match for you and so you break up with your current significant other for this person.

This all seems perfect, now you have everything you want, right? Nope. You will soon realize even though you have that 20%, you ONLY have 20%. You no longer are getting 80% of what you want because you left that for the single aspect that you were missing to begin with.

The 20% is dangled in front of your face looking like the ideal option, but you forget when you go after the one thing you were missing, you lose everything you had. You give up 80% happiness for only 20%. You gave up a caring, respectful, amazing partner for an obnoxious, drunk, party animal because it seemed like everything you wanted at the time.

This rule may seem obvious, but next time you want to complain about your boyfriend or girlfriend, I bet you'll think twice and remember the 80% that you get every day. Forget about the 20% that's probably something insignificant anyway.

Appreciate your loved one and always let them know it. Don't get caught yearning over 20%.

SEE ALSO: How Being Single Can Be Your Blessing This Valentine's Day

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The Friend You Like Romantically Doesn't Owe You Anything

The friend-zone can be escaped, but not in the way you might want
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We've all heard the story of the "friend-zone." Boy is in love with his best friend, she dates all the wrong guys and fails to notice how perfect he is, then eventually realizes how wrong she was and they live happily ever after.

I used to think that the friend-zone was a myth that lonely men created to feel better about themselves. But then I got friend-zoned myself.

Yes, it sucked, but the second I realized I had feelings for a friend (that I knew had no such feelings for me), I decided to suppress the feelings. When that wasn't enough, I cut them off for a bit, then, slowly, I felt OK. I could communicate with them without having unwanted romantic feelings pop up. I had escaped the friend-zone.

Having gone through that, I had more sympathy for someone I had to friend-zone a little while later. I had been friends with this guy for a few months. I didn't have many college friends yet and I was really lonely, so having his company really meant a lot at the time.

This caused me to not be able to see what should have been clear: he had a crush on me. When I finally made the realization, I immediately let him know that I didn't feel that way about him. He said it was OK, but I could tell it wasn't.

We didn't talk at all over the summer and when we came back for the fall semester, he would barely look at me. I had started dating his friend, which caused an even bigger rift between us.

Though I understand where he's coming from, I was also really mad at him for a long time.

It was as if he was only nice to me because he wanted romance in return. But people are not vending machines. You can't put in your "nice guy" coins and expect love, sex, or whatever the hell it is you want in return.

It hurt me to know that he only wanted romance and once that was off the table, he no longer wanted anything to do with me.

But then I thought back to the friend that had friend-zoned me. Unrequited affections really suck, especially when they're for someone that you spend a lot of time with. But the key is to work to escape it.

Yes, liking someone you're friends with and them not liking you back is a real thing, but people tend to treat the friend-zone like this mythic hell dimension that can never be escaped. But you can escape. Just maybe not in the way you'd like to.

Now there are three ways you can escape the friend-zone:

The first option is to confess your feelings and try to win them over. Now, this isn't completely unheard of. I've had friends that have dated people who had previously friend-zoned them, but it's extremely rare and risky. You have to risk your entire friendship in order to do this. If it doesn't work out, it could strain the friendship or sometimes break it beyond repair.

You can also do what my ex-friend did and completely cut the person off. If you're being a love-zombie and only doing nice things for the friend because you expect romance in return, leaving the situation might be the most healthy decision for you. I understand now that my friend might have stopped talking to me out of self-preservation. But it still hurts the people involved.

The third and final option is to just get over it. It's harsh, but it's real. Why try something you know is going to fail and cause pain to both sides? Yes, getting over crushes can be really difficult, but getting a normal friendship back rather than being stuck a love-zombie for them is worth the pain.

Whichever one you choose, just remember this: Your friends do not owe you any romantic affection. The work you put into making them happy should just come out of the goodness of your own heart. If you expect romance in return, you're not being a good friend to them. If you really care about them, don't put that kind of pressure on them. They don't want a mindless love-zombie that does their bidding for the hope that they'll get a tiny love kernel out of it. They just want a friend.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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We Should Never Settle For Anything Less Than Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Incredible Love Story

"He was the first boy I ever knew who cared that I had a brain."

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CNN's documentary about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, titled "RBG," premiered for the first time on TV September 2. While the compelling documentary about Ginsburg's history outlined her professional success and political influence as the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, it also recounted a beautiful love story—a love story that exudes qualities all women should aim for.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg met her husband, Martin Ginsburg, on a blind date when they were both undergrads at Cornell in the 1950s. Their iconic romance played a major role in helping Ruth seize the opportunity to interview for SCOTUS, as well as providing her the support every mother deserves in navigating a demanding career, particularly during a time when that wasn't an option for the majority of women.

Although Ruth and Marty's relationship started decades ago, the hallmarks of their relationship are standards that, unfortunately, are still not completely available to women in binary relationships.

What can we, as women today, learn from Ruth and Marty about how to approach our own relationships? Here are some (to name a few).

A man should never stop you from pursuing the education or career you want

Ruth still attended law school and launched her career without Marty expecting that she needed to stay at home, cook and take care of the children (unlike most families at the time).

While relationships are important, it's equally as important to be capable of your own independence

"My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person. Be independent." – RBG

The best kind of confidence: a man who is comfortable enough with himself to not feel threatened by you

"One of the sadnesses about the brilliant girls who attended Cornell is that they kind of suppressed how smart they were. But Marty was so confident of his own ability, so comfortable with himself, that he never regarded me as any kind of a threat." – RBG

A good boyfriend/fiancé/husband is one that will take care of you…

According to Lisa Beattie Frelinghuysen, Ruth's legal clerk, Martin would often stop by the chambers to "lure Ruth home for dinner" after a long and busy work day.

…And be willing to compromise for you

When the woman's movement came along, and Ruth's career became more important than ever, Marty put her career first and gave up his position at Georgetown after President Carter nominated Ruth to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

A man who cares about your intelligence is a keeper

"He was the first boy I ever knew who cared that I had a brain." – RBG

Parenting is a two-person job

In "RBG," Ruth explains that Marty was the main chef in the house because she was a horrible cook. Their daughter, Jane, explained that Marty was always "cooking for Mother even when he could not himself eat, nor stand in the kitchen without pain because for him it was ever a joy to discuss the law over dinner with Mother while ensuring that she ate well and with pleasure."

Find someone who will stick by your side and be your biggest cheerleader

Ruth wasn't one to boast about herself, so Martin did. In a time when women were scarce in the law community and faced many barriers, Marty was adamant that his wife was the woman for the job when the Supreme Court had an opening in 1993. He was the one who brought her to Clinton's attention.

Loving your best friend is the best kind of love there is

Martin Ginsburg passed away in 2010. His last letter to Ruth says it all:

6/17/10

My dearest Ruth—

You are the only person I have loved in my life, setting aside, a bit, parents and kids and their kids, and I have admired and loved you almost since the day we first met at Cornell some 56 years ago. What a treat it has been to watch you progress to the very top of the legal world!!

I will be in JH Medical Center until Friday, June 25, I believe, and between then and now I shall think hard on my remaining health and life, and whether on balance the time has come for me to tough it out or to take leave of life because the loss of quality now simply overwhelms. I hope you will support where I come out, but I understand you may not. I will not love you a jot less.

Marty

The number of beautiful characteristics of Ruth and Marty's relationship could go on and on, but this list is a good start. Ladies: hold yourself to these standards in your binary relationships. Never degrade yourself, dumb yourself down or hold yourself back in life just for the sake of a man.

If the guy you're with is truly a man, he'll elevate you, push you to achieve your dreams in life and be your biggest fan along the way… all while you do the same for him, too. Every woman deserves to love and be loved like this in her lifetime. Don't settle for less.

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