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Relationship Equality: Myth or Goal?

“Give the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.”

—Madeline Bridges

I love this quote! It is applicable to so many aspects of our lives. For example, work, education, avocation, sports. We know that if we want to succeed in any endeavor, we have to work at it. This is true for family, school, business, exercise, and other life endeavors. Success takes hard work. But it is achievable. It can be done.

Couple Lake

Succeeding in Your Relationship

But does hard work really pay off when it comes to our relationships?

Yes. And it takes hard work to have a successful relationship with another person. Successful relationships can only happen when we work in sync with a partner so we are both on the same page, both working toward the goals which will benefit both people.

Hard work? This may not be how you envision a relationship. When you think of having a relationship with another person, it is too easy to focus on what you can get.. What does this person have to offer me? How will they provide for me? Will I receive the love I need from them?

These needs are all valid. However, we must also look at relationships from a broader perspective. Yes, a relationship should enhance your life. And yes, you should not settle. A relationship should add to your happiness, not take away from your well-being. But a relationship entails more than this once you dig deeper.


What You Give, You Shall Receive

You get as good as you give. Simple, but true. It is easy to get all caught up in the what can the other person do for me aspects of a relationship. It’s harder to ask yourself what you can offer. What do you bring to a relationship?

Recently, I had a conversation with a male friend of mine. He asked me what I thought was my best attribute in a relationship. I listed my accomplishments, what I thought I brought to the table, the kinds of things I thought any guy would be fortunate to have in a partner. My friend said,, “No, not those things. That’s just all the stuff society tells us to achieve. Tell me what you bring to a relationship and what a man would say he likes about you. What is your best thing?”

Wow. I had to really think about that. When I was more clear, I said, “I tend to make my partner better. I am a good cheerleader, supporting and helping my partner move toward their goals. They know I will be there until the end, cheering them on and helping them come up with ways of getting there.

My friend said, “Good stuff.”

This is a different way of thinking about relationships. It’s probably not what you’ve been taught to look for in a relationship. You were probably taught to be successful, attractive, educated, well dressed with lots of material things. You’ve been convinced that this is what will bring the right person into your life.

In reality, these are the superfluous things. None of these things can increase your chances of being in the right relationship. None will guarantee a successful relationship.

I know a lot of well-educated, smart, attractive people who struggle with having a fulfilling relationship. I think this is because of the tendency is to focus so much on the external that we don’t build up our internal selves. We ignore our softer side which can help us cultivate healthier relationships.

I’m not saying that finances are not important. Material things have a place in our lives. We need them to survive. We need them for stability. However, in any relationship money and material things come and go. But the core attributes and the deep connection between you and your partner are what get you through the ups and downs of these circumstances.This makes it essential that you develop the internal you.

Love Meter

The 50/50 Myth

Most people believe relationships should be based on equality, with each partner giving 50 percent. Logically, this makes sense. It’s only fair. But in reality, this is not the case, not even in healthy relationships. The best relationships fluctuate, allowing each partner to give and each to take.

Life events, health issues, and changes you must face will impact you and your partner. Sometimes you may not be able to give your 50 percent. Or he might not. The amount you give or take depends on what is going on in your life at the moment. You may be giving extra, or you may be feeling needy.

Reality looks more like a seesaw than two parallel lines.. Relationships go up and down and the give or take balance can look more like 70/30 or 60/40, depending what you and your partner are going through at any given time. As long as you are not giving 100 percent and your partner zero, the balancing act should keep you and your relationship on track.

Go into a relationship with an open mind. Be willing to give of yourself. Remember, you give as good as you give. When you give your best to your relationship, you will get the best out of your relationship.


You are capable of receiving love. There is a relationship that will work for you. Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction. If you are struggling with your current relationship, newly divorced and looking to get back in the dating scene, or single and trying to find the right person for you, maybe I can help. Reach out to me at [email protected], or sign up on my website to receive dating tips and relationship advice. For fast advice, read my book, The Relationship Investigator’s Fast Guide to Successful Dating.



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