- Thoughts for inspired living

July 22, 2018

Relationship Math

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:44 am

Scales of JusticeI was never a whiz at math but this Grasshopper thought recently came out of the blue: “Relationships are either a 1 or a 2, meaning either you do more for me or I do more for you.”

There are no zeros in relationships. Relationships are like see-saws. If there ever is balance (Zero), it doesn’t last very long. Zero is a territory we pass through on the way to me or you.

There is no 50-50 in relationships.

I find this not to be a judgement, only a verifiable fact. Just look at any relationship you’re in. Either you’re doing more or less than the other person at any one moment in time.

“Balanced” relationships are like the scales of justice: they tip one way or the other depending on the circumstances. Then they reset to zero until they tip in the other direction. This, to my mind, is the most productive type of relationship to be in.

Sticking with the see-saw metaphor, an “unbalanced” relationship has one of you expending more energy to stay on the ground so the other can stay “up there where the air is rare.” That means you continue to do more than your share and it doesn’t seem “fair.”

I’m reminded of a Grasshopper musing from a decade ago: “Fair is a fairy tale.”

“Fair and balanced” may make a great slug line for a news network, but it doesn’t exist in a relationship.

My friend Doug O’Brien reminds us that rocket ships on their way to the moon are off course 90% of the time. The good news is they auto correct when they go too far in one direction, so they can successfully reach their destination.

Working relationships are a dynamic process. They’re not static; they just shift back an forth from one direction to the other.

You already know if you’re in an unbalanced relationship, no one has to do the math for you. The only question left is, “what to do?”

I don’t pretend to have the answer, only the question: Are you a 1 or a 2?

All the best,


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