When I first entered the dating scene in 1995, I began to hear that relationships should always be 50/50, but over the years through many long-term connections, both platonic and intimate, I’ve come to see that only offering 50/50 is erroneous.
What 50/50 means is that each party gives 50 percent to the relationship. But, what about the other 50%? Shouldn’t each party give 100 percent? Shouldn’t every type of relationship be giving 100% of themselves? Shouldn’t all relationships be 100/100?
To be perfectly honest, until I worked hard on my recovery from addictions, I was the type of guy who usually did give 50%, or far less, to those I was in connection with. Giving 100 percent meant being willing to change and spiritually grow, neither of which I was willing to do, because frankly I was selfish and self-centered, two traits that most active addicts carry.
Nevertheless, to be successful in any type of relationship, for it to blossom and last for years and years, and sometimes a lifetime, I’ve come to see that striving to give 100% is truly necessary. Striving to give 100% means I need to always be willing to work on myself, because as soon as I say I don’t need to work on myself anymore, it’s a clear statement that says I don’t care to address any of my own flaws or imperfections and when I do this, I start giving far less than 100%, and the more I travel down this path, the more I stop giving, and the more I stop giving, the more I start taking. Eventually that only leads to the dissolution of that relationship because there becomes a gross imbalance in the give and take department.
Presently, this is what’s going on in my relationship with my partner Chris. I love Chris dearly, I truly do, but he’s been stuck in a place for a good while giving far less of himself to bettering us as a couple. While I continue to do my best to give all of myself to us, our relationship isn’t feeling very balanced anymore. Rather, it’s feeling as if I’m giving far more than receiving now and that Chris is taking far more than giving. This is precisely what happened in my last long-term relationship. When my mother passed away suddenly during that relationship, I was utterly broken. I really needed my partner, but he became more concerned about our business we had at the time rather than helping me through that very difficult period. When he chose to not spend my first Christmas without my mother with me and my sister, it truly became the final nail in the coffin for our relationship.
I don’t want this to happen with Chris, but I’m really struggling with the many decisions he makes to focus more on himself than us. A great example of this was when I asked him one evening recently to do a small cleanup for me outside in the yard when I was unable to, solely due to a scheduled outing. He agreed to do so, but when I came home after that outing, the work hadn’t been done and his response was that he hadn’t felt like doing it and instead focused only on his own needs, wants, and desires. While that may be ok at times when one needs some personal downtime, when that becomes the regular behavior, it’s definitely not striving to give 100% to a relationship. It’s exactly why I’ve been wavering to remain in this relationship with Chris because I, like anyone in a relationship, deserve an equal balance in giving in taking, hence the striving to having a relationship of 100/100.
While no relationship is perfect and never will be, doing one’s best to give 100% shows the other person how vested they are in it. I have that type of connection with my best friend Cedric who lives almost 700 miles from me. While we are very different in some of our hard-core belief systems, we always make sure to talk twice a week, every week, and we always make sure as well to see each other twice a year, every year, and have been doing so since I moved away from his neck of the woods over 8 years ago now. This is part of us striving to give 100/100, which at the core we both believe is a glue that keeps this going and that’s our faith in God.
So, maybe the reason why people stop giving 100/100 and instead start giving far less, like 50/50, or some other imbalanced percentage, is because they start relying more upon themselves and their egos, who tell them that their needs, wants, and desires are far more important than anyone else’s. I choose to live by a higher creed, something greater than myself, something that I choose to call God, who helped a former addict like me go from giving 50/50 or far less, to constantly striving to give 100% in all my relationships, even when my selfish ego might not want to…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson