Dr. Steve gives a tongue-in-cheek look at why giving 100% in your relationship is a waste of time and of effort.
There are at least a hundred reasons for not giving 100% in your relationship. Today, for the sake of brevity, we will look at seven:
You will never get hurt
Well, that’s not totally true. You will get hurt to the level you have invested yourself. If you are 10% in, you will get hurt 10%. If you are 100% in and the relationship fails, you will be hurt fully, completely, totally, 100%.
You will never feel invested in arguing
When you are not giving 100%, you don’t give a shit about arguing unless you are doing it for fun, like to see your partner react, or you just want to prove a point. You are never concerned about improving the relationship because that would take a commitment and personal investment in time and emotional energy.
You will always be ready for the next relationship
This has got to be the best thing about not investing 100% in the relationship. It makes it easy to leave. You always have a back door to escape through when the going gets tough (and it always get tough). There is a freedom knowing you can leave relatively unscathed whenever something better comes along or your partner becomes too demanding (and they always become demanding).
You will never have to say, “I gave it (the relationship) 100%”
Knowing the relationship is bound to fail and never having invested 100% means being prepared for the worst and keeping personal losses to a minimum.
It’s kinda like investing. You just can’t be emotional when having to ditch a stock. And like investing, you never put all your eggs in one basket. If you do, that kind of stupidity deserves to be clobbered when the stock/relationship goes south. Never, ever, put all your worth into one stock – or relationship.
You will always be able to blame the other person when it doesn’t work
Never giving 100% and blame works in a paradoxical fashion. You would think that someone who gives 100% and then has the relationship disintegrate would blame the other person. But for some reason it doesn’t work that way. It seems that the less you invest, the more you blame the other. It’s just easier to not take responsibility. It’s easier to walk away when minimally invested and then justify the decision by blaming the other person. It’s like wearing a Teflon suit, nothing sticks.
You will be able to conserve energy
This is a biggy. Relationships can be so time-consuming and huge energy sucks—and for what—some sex, a warm bed, sharing the rent or mortgage? Come on. There is only so much energy to go around. And being energy conscious, eliminating waste whenever and wherever possible, is how to be friendly to the environment. Yelling, screaming, fighting, discussing, negotiating, working through, and compromising; that’s exhausting just thinking about it, never mind DOING it.
You will be able to keep expectations low
Low emotional investment and low expectations keep the chance of being hurt—LOW. Just the way you want it. Not only that, if your partner surpasses your low expectations, bonus. You are pleasantly surprised.
If things go the other way, which you fully expect, you can slide out of the relationship with minimal damage. Furthermore, you have again proven to yourself the reason for low expectations. You are a realist and you are right (you may want to check out the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy).
The big take-away.
You only get out of a relationship what you put into it. Give a little, get a little.
As tongue-in-cheek as this article is, I know people who think and act this way. It is very sad to watch. They say they want a relationship, but they are never able to make it last for any length of time. Typically, they have been hurt in the distant past and made a declaration that they will never be hurt again – hence the lack of a 100% commitment.
Consequently, without giving a 100% they get less than stellar results and create a self-fulfilling prophesy of how relationships don’t work. And God knows, they have enough evidence for it. Hell, even if you give 100% it is not a guarantee. But if you don’t give 100%, that is a guarantee – of failure.
I have been in many relationships that ultimately failed – but not because I wasn’t giving 100%. By giving 100% I never had to question whether or not I tried my best. I did and I knew it. I could feel good about myself in that area.
Furthermore, because I had no regrets about my efforts, I noticed that I was able to examine the relationship to see what I learned from it. I learned something from every relationship that eventually help create the relationship-able-person I am today.
I will leave you with this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on enthusiasm which is, for me, about giving 100%.
“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”