Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Maybe you’ve heard of it when it comes to fitness or eating healthy, but what about in your relationship? New data shows that if you are in a “successful” or “healthy” relationship, you should be happy 80% of the time. That means having things done the way that you would want in a perfect situation. Since we all know that perfection is never actually tangible, the 80/20 rule gives you the flexibility to appreciate your partner for the 80% without stressing about the other 20. The goal is to not hold back and wait for the 100% perfect relationship and instead embrace your partner’s flaws and and recognize that they help shape the person that they are and why you love them to begin with.
So here it it, straight from us – how we feel about this crazy rule and whether we think it works. Let’s dive right in!
Once I learned about the 80/20 rule, I started applying it to other parts of my daily life. What I eat, how I work, seeing friends, and most of all – how I see my relationship. Sahir and I have been together for quite a number of years, but we are continuously learning about each other. I like to think that the 80/20 rule keeps me from getting bogged down with the miniscule things that may not be perfect about Sahir and look at my general happiness. Sure, I’d love for him to shave more often, but that’s just because the stubble hurts me when I kiss my husband! (Also being South Asian means 3 hours = 3 days in terms of hair growth). Some things are deal breakers (like ‘No Shave November’) and you have to be upfront and honest about things that make you uncomfortable.
I fell in love with Sahir for what makes him unique. His character, charisma and generosity are among the many qualities that make him the perfect match for me. While I believe that we are truly stronger together, there are certain things that we disagree on and that’s okay, in fact – it’s the best. Sahir challenges me in ways that no one else can. I do wish that we could discuss politics, religion, and books other than the Harry Potter series together, but I absolutely love when he listens to me tell him the entire plot of whatever novel I’m currently reading or podcast I’m listening to.
Overall, it’s the big things that count. We share the same morals and values and fundamentally agree on what’s most important in life: family, close friends, and God. There are days like today where 80% seems extremely low, “ha, try more like 99! He’s perfect” and there are other days that 80 could be pushing it. But that’s the beauty of relationships.
Once you’ve been in a relationship with someone for a while, there’s no doubt that you get to see a more complete picture of who they are (both good and bad). I always joke with Nick that no one in the world knows that he can even be mean (he’s really not though). Of course they don’t! We put on our best selves for everyone else, but our partners get to see us at our worst.
Nick and I don’t call it the 80/20 rule per se, but we do adhere to a similar sort of idea about our relationship. We always try to see the best in one another, even when we are not at our best. I studied Psychology in college and one of the things I always loved studying was relationships. There’s this theory that the happiest relationships are between those who see one another through “rose colored glasses.” The idea of rose colored glasses is that people see one another through a filter and automatically see the best. To me, this is very similar to the 80/20 idea that stresses the importance of focusing on the positive 80% in your partner. This can be applied to other areas of life as well in that people who have a positive perspective (those who view the world through a positive “filter” or “lens”) tend to be happier.
While we both like to think of ourselves as positive people, it can certainly be a challenge. When Nick and/or I are down, we try to encourage one another to “find the good.” That’s so much easier said than done, though. Even though it consumes only a very small portion of our relationship (I’d honestly say way less than 20%), the negative can be very loud and very distracting. Nick is amazing. I can easily rattle off 1,000 things I love about him. STILL, I find a way to point out every misstep he takes in a day. “Why do you always do this? Why can you never do that?” I speak in these absolutes and it’s embarrassing, quite frankly. But, like I said, the negative is loud.
We just try to keep everything in perspective and offer a tremendous amount of grace to ourselves and one another. Relationships are difficult, to be sure, but they can be so much lighter with a little change in perspective. Something that really helps me is to rehearse the things I love about Nick at least daily (usually several times a day). Anytime we can steal a moment, I grab his face and whisper in his ear all the things I love about him. It makes him feel great (duh!) and it makes me feel so happy about him that I forget about the negative (usually).
I seriously could not be more excited to tackle this topic. Let’s be real – we all crave perfection in every aspect of our lives. If you’re a blogger, increase that craving by 100000. We live in a world where we see seemingly perfect relationships on IG, from our friends..hell, even from or parents. But we have NO idea what goes on behind the adorably staged photo. (hello #REALationshipGoals). This whole idea of 80/20 is something I have been trying to make a little more tangible in my relationship with B. Not to sound super annoying, but Brandon truly is pretty much perfect. I was in an extremely volatile relationship before Brandon so I’m already so much more appreciative of the guy he is. However, as a girl who craves that stupid level of perfection, I tend to nag or whine about the parts of Brandon that aren’t Prince Charming quality. Until recently. I justified that behavior and thought process as, “Well, I had to deal with a horrible relationship and a horrible guy before so now I deserve to have the absolute best. He should do XXXX because he loves me. When he doesn’t do this, it’s my job to show him how to do it better/make me happy. Blah. Blah. Blah.”
Can you say major bitch alert. Now, I wasn’t saying or thinking any of this because I am a spoiled brat or because I actually thought he needed changing. What I was doing was simple. I was chasing after the 100 instead of taking a step and realizing that I too had a 20% of imperfections + flaws that Brandon wasn’t pointing out. Yeah, I told ya he was pretty awesome.
Over the past few months, I’ve made it my mission to really celebrate and appreciate the amazing qualities and instead of pointing out the things I wish happened differently, we talk about it a more constructive way. We also don’t expect the other to be the perfect girlfriend or boyfriend. I’ve said this to B like 100 times – I’m not the cool girl. And if I was…I’d be Cool Amy. It would last for about 5 minutes before I went crazy, faked my murder and disappeared. IT’s not a thing. Sometimes I’m super emotional, high strung, needy, etc. And sometimes Brandon is distant, hangs with the guys a LOT, super messy, etc. But we are also both extremely supportive, affectionate, caring, etc. The 80% is so damn good and now that I take more time to appreciate that rather than focus on the alternative…well that’s as close to perfect as it gets!
What do you think about the 80/20 rule? Do you agree or absolutely not! Would love to hear what you think and any suggestions for future topics, so please don’t hesitate to reach to us via Twitter or Instagram. No really, do it.