Exactly what is the 80/20 Rule? Originally, the Pareto Principle referred to the observation that 80% of Italy’s wealth belonged to only 20% of the population. But generally speaking, the Pareto Principle is the observation (not law) that most things in life are not distributed evenly.
And just how does the 80/20 Rule apply to relationships? Well anyone who has seen the Tyler Perry movie “Why Did I Get Married” can answer that question. One of the husbands stated that in any marriage or relationship a man is only going to get 80% of fulfillment from his mate. Now while we all know that 80 percent is a large amount it appears that some men spend most of their time searching for that seemingly unreachable, other, twenty percent. Whether reality or fantasy that “golden”, unattainable twenty percent becomes some men’s life goal. Now please pick up on the fact that I said “some” men and not all. Definitely not all men feel this way.
Let’s examine twenty percent. It doesn’t seem like a big amount at all, which it isn’t of course, unless you don’t have it. Then it becomes even more important to you than the eighty percent that you already have. And if you’re always thinking about the twenty percent that you “think” you’re missing then you may become unappreciative of the eighty percent that you already have on your plate. You would think that as we mature into adults that this would be obvious and the temptation to search for the elusive twenty percent would cease. But as we all know, that doesn’t always happen.
What happens even if you do find your twenty percent that you felt you were missing? Now what? Does the twenty percent take the place of the eighty percent in the relationship that you already have or do you combine the newly found twenty percent to the eighty percent in order to get the full one hundred percent that you feel you are entitled to? Number 1, who ever said that life is fair? And number 2, If your mate felt the same way about you , giving her only eighty percent of the fulfillment that she needs, then is she also entitled to find her other twenty percent? Things that make you go… hmmmmm.
We could always fall back on the old clichés like “A bird in the hand is worth more than 2 in the bush”, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”, “Be careful what you wish for”, or the most famous line of all “The grass is not always greener on the other side.” But when all of that is said and done, where do you go from here? You’ve got eighty percent in one hand and twenty percent in the other hand. If you’re not careful you may get a little too overzealous and clap your hands together in victory which would only lead to the destruction of the eighty and the twenty percent, when they are both crushed between your hands, leaving you with absolutely nothing. Would it be worth it? You do the math.