When I was younger, a co-worker I looked up to advised that I never ask the universe for a man to love me as much as I loved him. Reason being, a woman’s love is just so selfless. So vast. And so unwavering, that even if a woman loved a man just a “little bit”, it would be equivalent to a man loving a woman “a lot”. Ultimately, a woman’s 5 would be a man’s 8 on the love scale.
At the time, I knew it made sense and secretly, I agreed. But I wanted to be “fair”. I was and still am a strong believer in never asking for what I couldn’t give in a relationship. I wanted that 50/50 love. Partly because it seemed like the just thing to want and sadly, because I felt that asking for anything more would be asking for too much.
As far as I can remember, I’ve always tried to be objective even though it’s gotten me in trouble. Apparently, you are supposed to pick sides sometimes. I’ve also been one to follow the rules more than not, which is a surprise to even myself. I wait for a green light before crossing the street, and hate cutting in line. So naturally, I still believed in having a 50/50 relationship. Until recently.
I am in what I believe is my first “adult” relationship. It’s great, but we are nowhere near perfect. We annoy each other. We say fucked up things we don’t mean. Hell, we say fucked up things we do mean. And we fight.
A lot of the time, it’s about not feeling supported when it comes to making our house a home. To some, it’s as simple as him not putting things back where they belong or cleaning up after himself in a timely matter. To me, it’s the bigger picture. It’s being an example for our future kids in the event we have some together. I felt like we were on a 2-person paddle boat where he would only pedal when I asked him to. I was giving 80% and he was giving 20%.
When I don’t want to push him off the boat, I want to jump off and swim back to shore solo. Then, I remember I can’t swim. I also remember that there are days where I am the 20% and my man is the 80. There are days when I am paralyzed with anxiety, feeling useless and defeated … yet there he is, somehow saying and doing all the right things. Even when it means doing/saying nothing at all.
As much as it pains me to admit it, relationships aren’t always 50/50. Like a meme I read said, “Some days a person will struggle. You suck it up and pick up that 80/20 because they need you. That’s love”. It’s not jumping off the paddle boat, because you remember how he never let go of your hand when you went scuba diving in Maui. It doesn’t mean you’re settling or being taken advantage of. It means a healthy compromise, putting aside your ego and picking up the slack when necessary. Everyday won’t be 50/50, and that’s OK. Long as you can look back and honestly say you both gave it 100/100.