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The 80 20 Rule in Relationships and Your Love Life

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The 80 20 rule in relationships could seem confusing at first. But understanding this concept can help you change your relationship for the better. By Natalia Avdeeva

80 20 relationships

Life isn’t perfect.

It isn’t meant to be.

Sometimes, it’s the little burdens and the difficulties in life that makes it all worthwhile and meaningful.

But then again, it’s those very issues that can make life and romance miserable too.

What if you could find a way to steamroll all the problems in a relationship away with the slightest of efforts?

It could make life so much better, don’t you think?

[Read: 25 relationship rules for successful love]

The 80 20 rule in relationships

When you’re in a relationship with someone you love, there may be a few things that you don’t like about them.

After all, none of us are perfectly compatible with each other all the time.

At the start of a relationship, when both of you are still learning about each other, the relationship can seem perfect.

[Read: Tips to have a perfect new relationship]

But over time, little differences start to crop up.

It could be as mundane as the type of movies either of you like, all the way to what either of you like doing over weekends or on a vacation.

As time passes by, you’d start to see that the little differences can lead to more differences. And then, eventually both of you realize that you’re completely different people with different wants and likes in life.

What do you do then? Really, both of you seemed perfect for each other at the start, and all of a sudden, you seem to have completely different interests. [Read: The important rules to take a break in a relationship]

It happens to all of us.

But the best part is that these differences are completely repairable.

What is the 80 20 rule really?

About a century ago, an Italian economist, Vilfredo Federico Pareto noticed a few things from his backyard. He saw that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people in Italy. He also observed that 80% of the peas from his garden were contained in just 20% of the pea pods growing in his garden. With those figures as references and other observations, he developed a principle which later came to be known as the Pareto Principle or the 80 20 rule.

Can an economist’s view affect relationships too?

The 80 20 rule may seem like a perfect economical model, but it can fit snugly into issues in a relationship too.

The easiest way to interpret it with respect to love and relationships is this, 80% of all frustrations in a relationship are caused by just 20% of the problems. [Read: Signs to know if you are not in love anymore]

By taking a look into our own relationships and love lives, we can see that most of the big frustrations and annoyances are caused because of a couple of reasons, even if you haven’t realized it yet.

Irritations like clothes lying around the room, taking ages to get dressed, or spending too much time with friends or over the phone may be many in number, but they’re all little annoyances that get magnified because you’re already upset with your partner for some other bigger reason. [Read: The right way to argue in a relationship]

The world works on a set of global principles. And what works in one area of life can also work in another area of your life too.

Understanding love through the 80 20 rule

You may feel like your whole relationship is falling apart, or that both of you have drifted away from each other over time. But all you need to do is focus on a few deeper rooted issues to sort all the problems in your relationship.

To use the 80 20 rule in relationships in your own life, the first thing both of you need to do is to stop worrying about the 80% of things that bother either of you about your relationship. All of us spend so much time getting annoyed by the little things that bother us that we lose the big picture that really creates all these problems. ‘Why is your relationship changing?’ is a better question to ask instead of ‘why does he/she behave this way?’ [Read: How to fix a complicated relationship]

Examples of 80 20 rule in relationships

Here are a few examples of minor annoyances you could think about. Now these annoyances may seem like a big deal and something that’s worthy of getting frustrated.

# Your partner comes late from work.

# Your partner doesn’t like going out after they get back home.

# Your lover isn’t romantic anymore. [Read: 25 romantic gestures for everyday life]

# Your partner spends all the time by themselves, playing games or watching the television.

# Your partner falls asleep as soon as they get to bed.

But don’t they all stem from the same root cause?

*You feel neglected*

While there may be innumerable frustrations in your love life, the real reasons behind why they all crop up may be a handful.

What should you do to make your relationship better?

All relationships experience rough patches or confusions now and then. But they can all be fixed by realizing the most important factor. There’s always a root cause for the bigger problems. [Read: How to stay in love forever]

Address the 20% of the issues that cause 80% of the frustrations in the relationship. And you’ll be able to sort the more noticeable problems along the way.

In a perfect relationship, lovers don’t focus on cleaning the surface. They get to the bottom of the problem even if it’s messier. Always get to the root cause. You’ll experience a better relationship and a happier life, just by following a principle of economy in your love life, called the 80 20 rule of relationships. [Read: Signs of a good relationship]

But just a word of caution though, focusing on the 20% of problems can clear the most important of issues in a relationship. But sometimes, you also need to look into the other 80% of little problems now and then and weed them out.

[Read: Things to talk about to create a perfect relationship]

The 80 20 rule in relationships is fascinating and can help you understand what matters in a relationship. But it’s up to your judgment to find and focus on the right details and take a passing glance at the smaller issues that crop up now and then.


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