As humans we strive for equality. We want equality in the workplace and society as a whole. It’s only natural for us to want to bring the thought of being equal home with us to our relationships.
Relationships are 50/50. You meet your partner half way… That’s what we’ve all been programed to think, but what does 50/50 mean to your relationship?
Equal means you are keeping score.
In our careers, equal means the same pay, the same benefits, and the ability to express yourself equally. All of these things can be measured. They are quantifiable. You can keep score.
In your relationship, equal means equal effort. I did X, so I want my partner to do X. With that assumption, for every give there is an expectation to equally receive, and that’s a deadly score to keep in your relationship.
Keeping score leads to contempt.
When you keep score and your partner doesn’t give back in the way you expected or wanted, you become resentful. The constant comparison of effort will grow into contempt. While there are compromises to be made and you want someone to make an effort, comparing that effort won’t serve your relationship.
There’s only 100% and 100%.
Here’s a new concept to consider. You give openly and willingly and your version of 100%. Your partner gives openly and willingly and their version of 100%. Your 100% is not in competition with your partner’s 100%.
What would your 100% look like? Could you give because of your willingness to love wholeheartedly without the expectation of receiving? Would you be wiling to accept your partner’s 100% if you stopped keeping score?
If you are constantly comparing or keeping score that means you have not accepted your partner and their efforts. Does that have more to do with you or them?
Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation. If there’s a behavior you want to have change, you can discuss it. But you have to set that expectation in order for them to meet it. If they are not meeting your expectations, you have to ask yourself, what is enough?
When we think they’re not doing enough, we begin to use expectations as an excuse not to show up at 100%. It’s easy to start showing up as less than when you have the excuse of they didn’t do x, why would I do it?
Are your expectations realistic?
Often our expectations of others have more to do with our expectations of ourselves. We place those expectations on others to alleviate our own guilt or complacent behaviors.
Once you’ve done your own expectations reality check, you get to figure out for yourself if your partner’s100% works for you or not. Could you be with your partner if nothing changed and you accepted them for exactly who they are and who they are not today?
Your acceptance of their 100%, without keeping score, will open your relationship up for new energy, peace and possibility.