A Successful Relationship Looks More Like 60/60 Than 50/50 Effort

by Eric Santos

Giving something 110 percent is a common idiom, meaning your absolute maximum effort. It means going beyond 100 percent of your effort and giving that extra 10 percent.

When it comes to relationships, maximum effort is usually defined as the relationship being 50/50. This just means both people in the relationship are contributing equally.

Just because you’re contributing equally doesn’t mean it’s always enough, though. Relationships, just like anything else important in life, require maximum effort. Many times, you just need to give that extra 10 percent.

I believe successful relationships are a 60/60 split effort. Relationships thrive when both partners contribute equally, as much as they can. I’ve been in a couple of unbalanced relationships before and on both sides of the spectrum.

When I was younger, I was usually the minority contributor in the relationship. Instead of 60/60 or even 50/50, it was more like 70/30 with me being the 30. However, in my previous relationship, it was 70/30, but with me being the main contributor.

Unbalanced relationships are hard and rarely last. They usually stem from one person caring about the relationship more than the other. Often, we let things like love or infatuation cloud our vision and lead us to believe that it’s okay to carry the majority of the weight in the relationship when it’s not.

A healthy relationship shouldn't be a one-way street. When two people care about each other, they are not burdened by being aware of carrying their own equal amount of weight. They understand things will not always be balanced perfectly, since some people’s best effort is greater than that of others.

The 60/60 rule doesn’t necessarily mean the contributions are perfectly equal; it just means each person is giving it his or her all, plus that extra 10 percent.

A healthy relationship is a support system. For a support system to be a true symbiotic system, it needs to be a two-way street, hence the 60/60 rule. Both partners should establish themselves as supportive figures in each other’s lives.

You should do your best to understand and support your partner’s dreams. Dream with your partner, in fact.

Sometimes, we’re able to be empathetic and see the world through our partners' eyes, and we become frustrated when our partners see things differently. A symbiotic support system requires both partners to do their best to reciprocate the support they receive from one another.

Not only is it important to support your partner’s dreams, but you should also push him or her to achieve accomplishments and accolades they may not have been able to do on their own.

In the film "Good Will Hunting," Robin Williams defined a soul mate as “someone who challenges you.” Although I believe the definition of a soul mate encompasses some additional facets, someone who challenges you is definitely part of the definition.

You shouldn’t be with someone who just "makes you want to be a better person," you should be with someone who empowers you to become that better person.

When you’re in a relationship in which both you and your partner give the extra 10 percent, you'll feel as though you can accomplish anything with his or her help, and he or she will feel the same way.

Many times, a 60/60 relationship creates synergy. Synergy is the theory that combined elements produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements. In other words, 1+1 = 3.

When you and your partner come together to create synergy, you feed off each other’s efforts and achieve much more together than you each would be able to achieve individually.

Relationships don’t have to hold you back; if anything, they can help you move forward.

Your partner’s support can be the catalyst for something great in your life and vice versa. When in a relationship, be sure to give it your all, and don’t settle for anything less than your partner’s all, either.