Love: Surviving the 60/40 Dilemma


There’s advice on relationships everywhere you look. There are books, magazines, movies, self-help seminars. I find, personally, whenever I’m upset I usually consult my friends. In doing this, I frequently found I was receiving great advice; however, the advice I received from my female friends was extremely different than from my male friends.

I became very confused. Obviously, if you want to know how a man thinks… ask another man. In doing so, I became frustrated. The male mind can be very frustrating. We all know men, by nature, are hunters. They like the chase. We tend to like to be chased. The problem comes when the chase is over. He did everything he needed to do to show you he wanted YOU. You finally gave in. He was what you had been looking for, and he proved to you he was worthy of the magnificence that is you. Unfortunately, when he got you… there was nothing else to prove, and the “chase” stopped.

I’ve always had the belief, keep in mind I am single, that relationships were always fifty-fifty. If one person was giving more than the other, there was no chance of the relationship surviving. The person that was giving more would never be happy, and the person giving less would become bored or smothered. After observing many couples, and random conversations I found that not many relationships work that way. Think of your inner circle. I’m noticing more and more relationship “angry” people. Meaning, everyone is out for themselves, and waiting for the other shoe to drop… so to speak. Prior to a recent conversation with a male friend, whom I have great respect for; I thought it was just women that felt that way. Most of us have been thru a lot, and have maybe become a bit more protective of our hearts. The more men I talk to, the more I find them to be the same way.

Then the question was posed: Is love truly a 50/50 split? Is it even possible? I want to give a direct quote:

“He or she that loves the least – controls the relationship. In other words, I’m not sure that people truly love 50/50 and that it’s better to be the one that’s less involved than the one with the most invested. There are times in which the law of self preservation must prevail and can only be amended if it’s been earned.”

I meditated on this for several days. How many people actually feel this way? I thought, what I’d always believed, me being loves greatest advocate… that my friend was crazy. He’d clearly been in a bad relationship or two, and had become jaded… as had much of the world. I was just going to sit back, and patiently wait for the one man that was like me, and still believed in true love. The kind of love that makes you call several times a day for no apparent reason. The kind of love that made it okay to send love notes thru the mail. To send flowers to your beloved’s job, without the fear of being labeled a stalker (see being-labeled-the-crazy-chick). The love that literally made you so happy you didn’t mind going to that job you hate every day. Surely, I wasn’t the only one that believed that. Surely, I’m not the only one that believes that?

He or she that loves the least controls the relationship. He or she that loves the least controls the relationship? I wondered if people could see the light bulb go off above my head. Almost every relationship I knew was like that. One person was truly the one keeping it together. Not saying they were not loved by the other person, but one of the pair was always putting in more effort. I’ve seen people go into relationships with the attitude that they weren’t going to totally commit themselves… just in case. I, of course, always wondered why even bother? After hearing this from someone I respected, and after going thru a very difficult situation myself, I had to come to terms with the fact that it’s not everyone else… it’s me. Times have changed. People have indeed changed. The only thing that never changes is the word of God. I was the one that was not “changing with the times.” I was holding onto a fairytale attitude, in a law of self preservation society. I’ve thrown my heart in the ring whole-heartedly a few times, without the thought of “what if”. What if it doesn’t work out? I always assume it will. I was proud of that. I’d scoff at those that were so jaded they didn’t believe that a “honeymoon” could last forever. They had given up, sure they may find some happiness with someone, but they would never have true elation. I’d show them all, a relationship is what you put into it. What you both put into it, and if you aren’t both putting in 100% there would forever be problems. All I had to do was wait for that man that was going to put in his 50%, and the fairytale would start. We would set an example for all of the cynics. Yet, with this love conquers all attitude, I was the one that was constantly hurt and let down.

After hearing this, I looked at my own past relationships: He or she that loves the least – controls the relationship. I had to admit, I’m usually the one that loves the most (again I was very proud of my enormous ability to give love freely). I’ve had relationships end because of that, and I’ve ended relationships… because of that. In both cases, I didn’t feel like I was the one that had the control. You can only control yourself, and what it is that you want. If I felt the other person wasn’t investing the time and energy into “us” we needed to be successful, even though I ended it, he still had the control. So with this new information, that I finally begrudgingly accepted, I have to pose a new question: Can love still exist (for more than a season) in a 60/40 or even a 70/30 relationship, or is someone always going to have to settle?


  1. Your male friend told you the truth Yolanda. I have always preferred to take advice about men from men because they know the real deal.

    As for what you now know, it’s true for some people. The ultimate key however may be maturity. Once one matures you put the games aside and no longer look to live by such rules.

    The hunt, pretending like you don’t care when you do… All games.

    So glad those years are behind me.

  2. Nice article. There are exceptions to the rule…but that quote is pretty accurate. However, true love exists and is out there. Sadly, it’s just very difficult to find and pretty much is an anomaly these days.

  3. I just read about this the other day and it is a real issue. Here is the thing. The 50/50 split will change from one day or week to another. No one will give the same amount every day and in all areas of a relationship. Like any other partnership arrangement. This is fine unless the split becomes lopsided (75/25 or 85/15)and for an extended period of time.

    If we are only discussing love and not all the things that make a relationship work, some people do love more than others by nature. If you are with a loving, mature, appreciative, and understanding partner, then loving more is ok unless the split is truly lopsided and for an extended period of time.

    Read about this one in “How To Find A Good Man: 50 Things To Always Remember About Relationships, Dating, and Intimacy.”

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