Keep the 80/20 Rule for Relationships in Mind This Valentine’s Day!

valentine's day advice

It’s that time of year again! Heart-shaped candies are filling the aisles, red and pink decor is filling up every available space, and love songs are in the air. That can only mean one thing – Valentine’s Day is almost here!

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, Valentine’s Day is a holiday that can cause a lot of joy – and also a lot of stress. However, there’s another way to look at “the day of love.” We can use this as the perfect opportunity to reflect on our current relationships. Whether you’re single or in a loving, committed relationship, it’s always important to reflect on behaviors and patterns that may be holding you back or causing issues. That’s where the 80/20 rule for relationships comes into play.

The 80/20 Rule for Relationships

If you’ve never heard of the 80/20 rule, it’s the theory that you only get 80 percent of what you actually want out of a relationship. Even if that 80 percent is really amazing, we still search for that missing 20 percent. And the search for that missing 20 percent of what you want out of a partner is what causes people to cheat.

Why do we feel that the 80 percent isn’t good enough? Why are they constantly searching for that missing piece? Many place the blame on their partner because that’s the easy explanation. They aren’t giving you everything you want and need in your relationship, so of course it’s their fault. However, I beg to differ. I have my own take on the 80/20 rule.

80 percent of the issues we have with others are actually our own internal struggles. The other 20 percent are issues within the relationship. Oftentimes, we project our own judgments, fears, and ideas onto others. We go into a relationship expecting to get something out of it, and when we don’t get what we want or need, it’s hard to feel completely settled or happy.

Look Within This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about showing others how much we love them. But in order to do that, we must first start with loving ourselves. This Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to take a look within to identify patterns that are causing challenges in your relationships. In order to do this, you have to take a close look at your own judgments, assumptions, and expectations. The next time you’re on a date and find yourself annoyed with something your partner is doing, take a step back to reflect on the judgments you’re making. Ask yourself if what they are doing is really that bad, or if it’s your own internal struggles that are warping the way you’re looking at the situation. Taking a moment to work through it before rushing to irritation will help you handle anything your date is doing with ease and maybe even a sense of humor.

Remember that YOU have the power to work on the 80 percent of your relationship, while the 20 percent is a joint effort between yourself and your partner. In order to build a relationship that lasts, it’s important to work through you own personal issues to be able to build something real with your partner.

If you’re not sure how to go about working through that 80 percent, you might want to consider relationship coaching. Together, we can figure out the difference between your own needs vs. what you need and want out of a relationship. Contact me today to get in touch and learn more about my relationship coaching program!


A Relationship Coach in Southern California,
Sue De Santo works with men and women who are struggling to find that
long-lasting, fulfilling relationship.

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