Saturday, February 26, 2011

The 80/20 Rule

I can't remember the first time I heard this rule years ago but I still think its a good one. The 80/20. Otherwise known as what you're willing to accept in another person. 80% of who they are is fantastic. The other 20%.. well...I guess that's why it's called compromise.
The other night I was on the phone with a friend whose boyfriend is fantastic. He's nice to her friends, he treats her like a queen and is just a peach all around. Even I think he's great! Anyway, the only downside is he has some ex-drama. Ex-wife and child, to be exact. And when I say drama, its the kind that makes an impact into his current relationship. While my friend has a good point when she says, "Am I supposed to dump a great guy who loves me and treats me well, that I trust and love, because he his ex-wife is a nightmare?" It's a great point, I agree. However, everyone's 20% is different. What she is willing to deal with, other women might not. I, personally, have no problem dating a divorced man with kids. Or even a single dad who has never been married. To me it lends a sort of maturity to their personalities. However, the only caveat is that they MUST have that crap dealt with. As in, have the custody arrangement in place and settled into a supportive relationship for their children. I cannot deal with exes who are still in the stages of using the kids against the father, no matter what reason was behind their relationship's downfall. It's just too much drama which takes time away from the development of MY relationship.
It also makes me think about what we see in our friends' relationships or marriages that we wouldn't tolerate that they compromise with. It's their 20%. It could be smoking, drug use, weight gain, ill health, chronic unemployment or the guy's an airhead. Might it even be possible that our 20% is different with each relationship we have? It's interesting to think about, definitely. I have a string of ex lovers and boyfriends who look like I could make a profitable calendar from their pictures. Yet the one man who I loved the most out of all them was thick around the middle. Intelligence is definitely in my 80%, yet some of my exes could barely tell me when the War of 1812 was fought (I jest, but you get the idea). Is this proof of my changeable 20% theory? Or maybe it's just me. And does this theory work the same for men?
Maybe it's just what we are feeling at the time we meet someone makes the difference. I have a a date tonight with someone from Match. I'm still pretty far into the I-Don't-Care zone, but I still like the act of getting ready to impress someone.
So what's in your 20%? Has your 20% changed over the course of the relationships you've had? What say you, dear readers?


weezermonkey said...

My husband used to be a big gambler. He was also unemployed for a year near the beginning of our relationship.

Now both things are fixed! :)

Anonymous said...

Usually the 80/20 rule is that 20% of the people do 80% of the realtors, salesmen, etc.

Lists are only good until you find the right person and then you throw them out and go with the actual real person and not a composite of all the things you like and none of the things you don't.