Relationships aren't always 50/50.

10:09 PM

The Before I started dating Paul, I always said that when I was in a relationship I would make sure that it was always about equality. I would question others' relationships when I thought that one partner was giving more than they were receiving because I simply didn't think it was fair, not that it was fair for me to judge someone else's relationship. I was concerned that one day I would be in a relationship in which I didn't give what I needed or receive everything that someone has to offer. Since I had an unrealistic view of relationships and not much experience with them, I was comparing real-life relationships to the one that I thought was correct.

There are days in which I can't even give everything I have to offer to my family or friends, so I don't know why I expected relationships to be any different. It isn't that I don't think that I give or get too much or too little, because that's such a generalization and it's hard to make that judgement about an entire relationship. Rather, I think Paul and I give each other exactly what we need when we need it. At least, that's what we try to do. There are days when I need support more than usual, and he is always there to give me everything he can. When he needs advice or just someone who will listen, I am there for him. I push away my less pressing needs so I can comfort his more important ones. I don't think that any needs are unimportant, but you have to prioritize when you're working to keep two people satisfied and balanced. And that's what we're working on. That's what I'm working on in all of my relationships. It isn't just emotional either. It can be something physical, like folding your partner's laundry when they're feeling ill or doing a roommate's dishes when they're busy. Anything can help, and maybe that simple act will alleviate another stressor.

I'm getting more used to this concept, and I'm even getting used to accepting the fact that I can't always offer everything. Sometimes I really do need assistance, and sometimes it's okay to actively seek it out. People who care about me won't expect me to hold it together all the time, and they won't keep a tally of every time they've helped me. They'll be there for me, expecting that I'll be there for them. They should expect that. Even if relationships can't always be equal, they can be based on mutual expectations and reciprocity. For this reason, I believe people should strive to be there for others when they realize that they aren't fully themselves. Take the time to give them what they need. Know that they would probably do the same for you. And try not to get frustrated or stressed if you feel that not everything is fair. People aren't perfect, so you can't always expect a perfect 50/50 split.
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