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Thread: The 80:20 Principle (no not the Pareto Principle!)

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    Post The 80:20 Principle (no not the Pareto Principle!)

    Did someone break up with you?
    Did you break up with someone or are you thinking of doing so?
    Was it because of the 80:20 Principle?

    The 80:20 Principle is simple: it can be summed up by the old idiom "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."

    When we are in a relationship and it's good, we generally get along, we have sex, we can see a future together, we understand each other, right?

    So what happens?


    Well for some people it is the 80:20 Principle.

    New things can be exciting and that includes new people or seeing old friends in a new light.

    If your relationship is "settled" and you are content (but not feeling the excitement of new love), then you are at possible risk of the principle.

    Imagination is part of most peoples psyche. Often (especially men, they are just hard wired that way, it is not meant to be an insult!) when you meet someone new you will assess their potential as a mate, their look, their smell, their job, their lifestyle, etc.

    You may imagine what it would be like to be with this person.

    If you work with this person, or they've joined your group of friends (or is an old friend or flame), then this meeting may not be a one off incident.

    As you get to know them more, you may start to compare them to your partner. IME the most common example of this is: married couples, who are both not in the greatest physical shape and meet a single person (usually younger); who is keeping fit and smart looking; at work, or through their friends.

    So what happens?

    Well a number of things are possible:

    1) You have no real connection with them, but imagine them replacing your mate more and more often (because they do those things your mate doesn't). Suddenly you find yourself annoyed by small things your mate does and you are having arguments, enough arguments and pain and voila, you have a break up!

    2) There is a connection between you, you spend more time together and become friends; from here if you are male you may cheat physically and if you are female IMHO you are more likely to cheat emotionally (i.e. imagine this person whilst sleeping with your husband). There's no break up (yet). But the trust and respect are gone and one way or another, this is a break up waiting to happen. Or you leave your current 80% partner for the 20% new person.

    3) You recognise the reason you are connecting with this person is a red flag about your relationship. You make sure it is only a friendship, you control your thoughts about this new and exciting person (or old friend/flame). You make a list of all the good things you and your current mate share. You bring attention to spending some quality time together, to learn to renew your appreciation for each other.


    4) Yes, maybe there is another option, however IME the top three are up above.

    So in scenario's 1 what has happened?

    You have used this person who has the 20% of traits missing from your partner (which would make them perfect) and have then dismissed all the good things your partner is to you (the current 80%, part of the reason you chose to be with them!). So suddenly your partner is unsuitable and you pick fights that breaks you up.


    In scenario 2?

    You have met someone who seemed like they had some interesting qualities, compatible with you or complimentary to you. You thought "Hey they are just what I need!" Then you have tried to have the best of both worlds and keep both your 80% and 20% (old partner and new) [IME this never works, someone finds out or leaves etc].

    Or you've left your 80% for this new and exciting 20%. However usually what happens here is after the "honeymoon" period you start to miss all the 80% you had! Unfortunately at this point the old mate is no longer interested and has definitely realised you were not for them, as you treated them so poorly.


    In either case what has often happened is, we've got accustomed to our 80%, we are taking it for granted. Here the old idiom "Familiarity breeds contempt" applies, at least it breeds complacency!

    Before you make a choice you might regret, IMHO it is wise to consider:

    What is it exactly that is drawing me to this person?
    What things do I love about my current mate?
    Will this new person be better for me in the long run?
    Am I thinking logically or acting impulsively?

    This may lead you to scenario 3.


    If you have had someone break up with you, think carefully, are you a victim of the 80:20 Principle?

    If so, you are better off. From my POV if someone hasn't got the skills to realise how great you are and what they've got (the 80%) then why would you want to be with them?!

    Let them have their 20%, they might even get married to that 20% (and possibly later divorced, the stats are high!).

    I ask that you try not to think they were better than you.

    Remember that if the person was insecure and blinkered enough to leave you for the 20%; then they may well be frightened enough of being alone to stick with that 20%.

    I propose it is prudent to remember no one person is meant to fulfil our every need, we are all different, different genes, upbringing and experiences. So surprise, surprise, our needs are different too!

    If you aren't getting what you want, ask! It can be touching and surprising how a mate will often try to accommodate you if you don't expect them to mind read!

    If they can't or don't like to do whatever it is, you may want to do that with someone else.

    I mean a typical example is shopping, most men don't like it, so go with your girl friends. For men a good example is a sports match, usually they go with their male friends!


    So be good to each other and remember that the world is as we make it, if we imagine someone to be more suitable than our current mate, we make it so in our heads and start acting that out in our lives.

    I suggest it maybe useful to look at why we think or do things a particular way and then decide "Is that really what I want/need and why?"

    This way we stop ourselves stagnating and keep growing and learning.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." Buddha

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    What a great piece! Very well articulated.

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    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." Buddha

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    TIL- I believe my partner and i broke up because of this..

    He said to me that he feels complacent with me- his exact words being " your the perfect partner, your gorgeous, confident and i love your friends and family".... Then he started getting distant... his brother invested in a club. He said to me that he feels he is going through a "faze", that I'm everything he even wanted in a partner but right now he is feeling that the grass maybe greener... So i let him go. I went straight into NC.

    Just recently he asked me for coffee- after 3.5 months of no contact. I'm unsure what this is about. In your experience do suffers of the 20:80 realize their mistake and come back? I just feel that his talk is very cheap...

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    Dear Chips24,

    The issue with this type of break up is, they didn't know what they had until they lost it. Then they broke your faith and trust in them. Now they are asking for an opportunity to earn it back. Each person must decide for themselves if that's ok or not.

    IMHO it depends on if they bothered to look at themselves and why they felt that way and have dealt with it. If they didn't, then getting back together would IMV be pointless. After all if they did it once, because they felt, insecure or unsure of their own decisions or just plain aren't ready for a commitment, then what has changed?!

    I hope it works out for you whatever you may choose.

    All the best,

    Annita
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." Buddha

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    I can relate to scenario 1. He was picking fights for silly things and I lost patience... he broke up with me after having a date, maybe when he figure that he can have something else he just went for it. Well, I'm now almost over him. I don't want to come back with him, (I couldn't trust him or respect him ever again) but I still hope that he regrets it in a karmic way... So, now I want to go out, have fun, met people and maybe fall in love again... This was difficult, but I can tell you that now I feel kind of relieved from a boring and pointless life with him.

    I don't know if he would, he loved me so much for almost 9 years... I don't understand men... *sigh

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