Rethinking the 50/50 Myth in Relationships

There are many different types of relationships we navigate in life:

  • Relationships with co-workers
  • Relationships with significant others
  • Relationships with friends
  • Relationships with family

And the list goes on.

Often, we enter these relationships with the belief that for things to work well, both parties need to meet halfway—each giving 50% to make the relationship whole. The idea is that if we both contribute equally, everything will be perfect.

But let’s be real—that notion of “if each of us gives 50%, then things work great” is misleading.


Because we’re not always operating at our fullest capacity.

Hear me out.

Let’s walk through a scenario together.

I’m married with young children. My wife and I are a team, both committed to ensuring our family feels loved and supported.

Now, imagine today my wife wakes up sick. She can’t give her 50%. Does that mean our family falls apart? That we’re a failure? That we should just give up?

Absolutely not. It means that today, I might have to carry 90% of the load while she manages 10%.

And you know what? Her 10% is her giving everything she has in that moment. And that’s enough.

That’s what love, empathy, compassion, and grace look like.

If we truly want a great relationship with anyone—whether a co-worker, significant other, friend, or family member—we must understand that sometimes we’ll need to put in more effort than the other person.

Life happens. But when we genuinely care about someone, we don’t think, “I’m doing all the work.” Instead, we think, “I know you’re giving your all right now. Together, we’ll make this work.”

So, let go of the idea that everyone has to contribute equally for a relationship to work.

Percentages fluctuate.

You’ve got this.

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