In an era of the Indian Matchmaker and swiping your life away on dating apps, is there a real thing called a “perfect match?” When you think of your life partner, maybe you hope that you will share similar goals, family values, and personal ambitions – but what about the other things? Can you be a homebody and want to be with an adventurous world traveler? Where is the line between adorable quirks and annoying habits and how can someone determine whether or not this relationship is the real deal? Experts say that you should look to the 80/20 rule for guidance.
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Maybe you’ve heard of it when it comes to fitness or eating healthy, but what about in your relationship? New data shows that if you are in a “successful” or “healthy” relationship, you should be content 80% of the time. That means having things done the way that you would want in an ideal situation. Since we all know that perfection is never actually tangible, the 80/20 rule gives you the flexibility to appreciate your partner for the 80% without stressing about the other 20. The goal is to not hold back and wait for the 100% perfect relationship and instead embrace your partner’s personality and recognize that their quirks help shape the person that they are and why you love them to begin with.
Once I learned about the 80/20 rule, I started applying it to other parts of my daily life. What I eat, how I work, seeing friends, and most of all – how I see my relationship. Sahir and I have been together for quite a number of years, but we are continuously learning about each other. I like to think that the 80/20 rule keeps me from getting bogged down with the minuscule things that may not be perfect about Sahir and look at my general happiness. Sure, I’d love for him to shave more often, but that’s just because the stubble hurts me when I kiss my husband! (Also being South Asian means 3 hours = 3 days in terms of hair growth). Some things are deal-breakers (like ‘No Shave November’) and that’s where communication kicks in. I’m joking about the shaving (kinda).
Your partner is an individual person and they will have their own preferences, thoughts, and beliefs. Just like you! Understanding that you don’t have to agree on everything is important for healthy relationship dynamics. Just make sure that trust and respect are always at the forefront of every table.
I fell in love with Sahir for what makes him unique. His character, charisma, and generosity are among the many qualities that make him the perfect match for me. While I believe that we are truly stronger together, there are certain things that we disagree on and that’s okay, in fact – it’s the best. Sahir challenges me in ways that no one else can. I do wish that we could discuss politics, religion, and books other than the Harry Potter series together, but I absolutely love when he listens to me tell him the entire plot of whatever novel I’m currently reading or podcast I’m listening to with a sincere interest.
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Overall, it’s the big things that count. We share the same morals and values and fundamentally agree on what’s most important in life: family, close friends, and God. There are days like today where 80% seems extremely low, “ha, try more like 99! He’s perfect!” and there are other days that 80 could be pushing it. I can honestly say that on most days I feel like our relationship is usually at 97%– but we are a truly rare breed and I honestly believe that. The beauty of relationships is that you don’t need to feel perfect 100% of the time, as long as you are always feeling safe and respected.