I’m the youngest of 5. My three older sisters and older brother all grew up together with 3-4 years in age. I came later, much later, 10 years later. A real oooops I suppose. What I do know about myself is that I have youngest and only child qualities and that can make for some difficulties, especially in relationships. I take every relationship as a learning experience and continue to work on my 80/20. There is a theory that you really only get 80% of what you want in a relationship, and you may want your partner to be an avid reader or have an appreciation for the arts but he/she doesn’t, but it’s ok because the 80% of what you do get keeps you happy. People often believe cheaters forever chase the 20%. The key is knowing what is in your must have 80% and what you can let go of and put it in your 20%.
This is a theory I have applied to many relationships, he is great in bed but doesn’t like to give backrubs, he compliments me and tells me I look pretty but he isn’t into going to concerts etc. My friends and I are forever trying to figure out what is in our 80%, what can we compromise on and what are our dealbreakers. I look at the wonderful man I am dating now and still think of taking my fluffy side sleeper pillow in the middle of the night admist his buzzsaw snores and covering his face with the full weight of my body, slowly pressing the pillow tighter till I create an unbreakable seal between his mouth/nose and the pillow. Why the hell would I want to do that? he tells me he loves me, he wants to see me and drives 1 hour and a half regularly to spend weekends with me. He cuddles me as I fall asleep and when I wake up in the morning. He recently built me a side table that marveled the one I wanted to buy in a bullshit fu fu store in Oakbrook. I literally and I do mean literally made a pros and cons list long ago to determine what was
our my 80/20. Some of the highlights vulnerability (especially at the start), incrediably loving and supportive especially when my mother passed, great sexual chemistry, very open minded sexually, takes responsibility, great around my friends, smart, and non judgemental. There is much more so why do I tend to react or sometimes get stuck on the 20%? My biggest gripe? he seems to run hot and cold which depending on if you come from my perspective or his can mean very different things. I feel like the romantic little texts, the little sweet texts reminding me that he loves me, that he is so lucky, that he is thinking of me etc etc go a long long long way. It’s the way to a woman’s heart and eventually her libido. It’s romance and as a youngest who usually had attention bestowed on her and is an extrovert who is accustomed to speaking up and getting what she wants this can be hard for me. Whenever I have talked to him about this he does everything he can to respond and show me love in the way I am craving it. He sends those sweet, caring texts he remembers to remind me of how he feels about me multiple times during the day and then it dwindles….again. People have told me to put it in my 20% and move on but I can tell you those short little middle of the night or day texts expressing how he feels about me directly impact my connection to him. I feel loved, cared about and important, in turn, I feel more love, care and importance for him. I want to be more physical with him when I am romanced like that I feel more sexual, turned on, desired and desiring.
Depending on the friends I speak with, some agree, some say it’s not as important as I am making it, but perhaps it is. Maybe I would rather trade someone who makes a lot of money for someone who would bring me a single flower, a card or a hand written note reminding me of how he feels about me. Wait not maybe I would. The things we consider uber important in our 20s are such a crock of shit. There has even been some shifting since my 30s. Now in my mid 40s I think I am so less willing to give up on the 80% and what goes in there and if it meets my needs. To someone else this might be minor but for me it is perhaps my love language and how I feel connected to a person, a sense of belonging. It also no doubt fills a void from childhood, words of affirmation were not used in my household, from my parents for any of us kids. My Dad instilled a sense of responsibility and pride you did what was right and what was expected because that’s what was modeled. For my Dad thats how life was, you don’t do something for thr praise, glory, reward, compliments or accolades, you just do it. My Mother on the other hand was rough and many times abusive and critical and manipulative. If she wasn’t expressing herself in this way then you were ignored…..completely. Like some ghost sitting among your siblings, everyone’s name was called for dinner except yours. Now if you got up to get something to eat or make your plate she wouldn’t stop you but she didn’t invite or include you. She was a master at the silent treatment and would often want your siblings to partake in not acknowledging your presence either. We never did that to each other, well I do have one sibling that sometimes did because she was to starved form my Mother’s approval.
Real life sets in when you start a relationship the honeymoon and swoon turns to everyday routines and a comfortable compatibility. I get that and I to a degree can accept that. However I am realizing more and more how important the romance and verbal/physical expressions of love are to me and why. I think for now it will remain in my 80% with a compromise that for now I will ask him for it when I need it. Time will tell how we and I evolve.