The Myth Of The 50/50 Relationship

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I have a lot of siblings and just about all of them have spouses or significant others.  I was at a family reunion recently and was sitting with just about all of the couples outside at the beach.  They started talking about relationships. As is usually the case when normal people discuss relationships my presence, I just kept my mouth shut and rolled my eyes as I listened to all the lies, male neediness, chick logic, one upsmanship, and societal programming.

-By Caleb Jones

At one point, one of my sisters asked one of the female in-laws, "So who's the boss in your relationship?"

Her immediate answer was, of course, "Oh, it's 50/50."

I laughed.  This was my brother's live-in girlfriend who ran his entire life like a little Hitler.  He's not even allowed to masturbate and think about other women unless he has a picture of her nearby to use.  I'm not making that up. But to her, the relationship was "50/50".

They started going around and asking everyone who the boss was in their relationship.  Guess what?  Every single person, man or woman, gave the same answer.  "50/50."  The beta provider husband of one of my sisters had a slightly more clever answer.  He said he had "51%". Yeah.  Maybe in his dreams.

My family knows me well.  They know not to ask me questions about life where they might get unpleasant truths that might ruin everyone's day instead of what sounds good.  However one of my more brave sisters actually bellied up to the challenge.  After they chatted on this topic for a bit (me being quiet and smiling the whole time), she finally asked me, "Isn't your relationship 50/50, BD?"

I almost corrected her in saying it was relationships, plural, but that would get us nowhere fast.  I've already given an overview of my relationship life to most my family and it always results in either complete confusion or "Cool, but I could never do that."  So instead of explaining it just keep quiet and watch as they get bitched at by their spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends.

So my answer was, "No, of course not.  None of your relationships are 50/50 either.  You're all full if shit.  True 50/50 relationships don't exist and you all know it."  There was no malice in my words.  I said them as I was sitting back, smiling, very comfortable, drinking a glass of water and enjoying the crispy clean ocean air.

The response?  Dead silence.

Another live-in girlfriend of another one of my brothers, an attractive fit woman in her mid 40's who is relatively new and didn't know me as well as the others, said "Well, I think it really depends on the relationship and on what 50/50 means to each person."

"Exactly," I said, smiling sweetly at her utterly predicable feminine answer, "I live in the real world, so I think 50 percent means 50 percent.  But you're female, and deeply in love and emotional, and have an ego to protect, and have all kinds of false societal brainwashing, so you think 50 percent is 90 percent.  Or 10 percent.  Or 30 percent. Or whatever you want it to be that day.  Yeah, I know."  I took another drink of water and looked back out to the ocean.

Her boyfriend (my brother) laughed.  She glared at him and he stopped. They all changed the subject and started taking about something else.  I ate a cookie.

I know everyone likes to say they have a 50/50 relationship.  It's what society teaches you to say.  That way no one gets butt-hurt by revealing they like to be in relationships with submissive people OR that they themselves are submissive.  Everyone wants to be the boss, so the easy bullshit answer is to say "Our relationship (or marraige) is 50/50." The problem is 50/50 relationships are a myth.  They do not  exist in the real world.

On the rare occasions where two people actually attempt a 50/50 relationship because they are about equal in dominance levels, they argue so much they break up or one finally throws their hands in the air and says "FINE!" and relents and becomes the more submissive party. People hate to admit that a lot of human beings LIKE to be the more submissive one.  People also hate to admit that many human beings LIKE to be with a person more submissive than they are.  I'm talking about men and women both here.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with either one of these things, as long as you're happy.

Hey, even though it's not my style, being the more submissive one does hold a lot of appeal.  It's much less stressful and a lot less work.  Conversely, being in a relationship with a much more submissive person can be an extremely pleasurable experience.  I've done it many times. However in the quasi-socialist, post-baby boomer, post-feminist world, we aren't allowed to say any of these things. EVERYONE is "the boss". Bull.  Shit.

Don't lie to yourself.  Find someone compatible with who you are, then structure your relationship in a way that works best for both of you regardless of what society says you "should" have, and be honest about it. If you're seriously going to pursue a long-term "50/50" relationship, you might as well pursue buying a unicorn to ride around in your back yard while you're at it.

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  • Kevin Velasco 2011-08-19 18:49:29

    3 mLTR + 1 FB = 30/30/30/10 relationship?

  • Blackdragon 2011-08-20 09:38:54

    Heh. Actually every relationship as it's own dynamic. One might be 70/30, another might be 85/15. Believe it or not the more nonserious FB relationships are much closer to 50/50 than the ones with real feelings. A pure sex-only FB relationship with an older woman (for example) is going to as close to 50/50 as you can get. But not still not quite.

  • N 2011-08-22 05:56:47

    Here's a thought. I know of one mono couple which has been together for ages. (Yes, different times, different generation, exception proves the rule and so on. I agree that they would not be mono or together if they'd met today. But I'm making a different point.) And one way which this works for them is that they are not 50:50 in anything but have a very clear division of powers. One decides on finances. One on children. One on living arrangements. One on how to and where to spend holidays. One on which car to buy. One on which type of car they can afford. One of them is always an authority on one topic and the other defers on that issue; I can't think of any issues on which they are evenly expert or claim equal expertise. And so on. They often seek opinions on more difficult decisions from each other and pretend (even to themselves I guess) that the decision is then 'shared'... though it blatantly isn't. This is the closest to a working 50:50 relationship I've ever seen. And in a way it is really 50:50 because this type of arrangement requires 100% respect and trust for the other's decisions if it falls into his/her domain of expertise. Of course the fact that they are very similar-minded helps. And this is massively rare - I don't know any others who have achieved this arrangement, and coming to think of it, it looks a lot like BD's method of 'divide ownership, share use' and 'pre-arrange legally who's boss in what, including children'. The true oddness is that it evolved naturally, without the rational thinking DB went through.

  • Blackdragon 2011-08-22 22:35:42

    Yes, I've talked about that before. A way to get close to an arrangement that works is to designate areas of complete control between partners. He controls the finances 100%, she raises the kids 100%. If he has a problem with how she raises the kids, he can give his opinion, but that's all he can do. If she continues doing something he disagrees with, tough shit for him. And tough shit for her if she disagrees with how he handles the finances. The question is, how many people who are married or live together do you know who would agree to something like that? Uh yeah. You see the problem. Virtually none. Because as I said in the blog post, everyone wants to be the boss. Of everything. Everyone wants to own everything 50/50. Doesn't work.

  • Amanda 2013-11-15 10:04:30

    Not allowed to masturbate unless he has a picture of her? Come on now. Sure, you want your man to masturbate to you but that's his decision. It's his dick, after all. Telling him he can only masturbate to you probably forces him to not masturbate to you. How could a man stay hard thinking about a woman who is that controlling?

  • ydia eivye 2016-08-17 04:02:35

    People hate to admit that a lot of human beings LIKE to be the more submissive one.  People also hate to admit that many human beings LIKE to be with a person more submissive than they are.  I’m talking about men and women both here.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with either one of these things, as long as you’re happy.
    It's because morals', especially morals in a democratic age, egalitarian foundations. Both ruling over and submitting to are "wrong", and to be believed wrong, while in reality every set of N humans with N ≥ 2 will have its pecking order. (Note this: we can read truth about humans and human groups in particular only when the apparent subject of study is chickens, ants, bees, non-human primates, ... that's the way anthropologists and behavioral scientists can speak anything but lies regarding humans.) I tried for many years to make my relationships 50-50. After all, all I had to do was ask them to choose, even when they were expecting a direction or just to agree with me. Well, surprise, they didn't know what they wanted :)) Very hard for me to understand, since I seem to be very wilful (a wilful person who would have loved real parity, if that were possible, and somebody else actually wanted it). On the other hand, we have dominatrices. They usually have higher-than-average intelligence, and a job that allows them to boss at least some people around; they live for that. It is, or soon becomes, a vital need like eating meals and drinking water. I have noticed they show actual withdrawal symptoms at the weekend, or anytime they haven't had the chance to impose their will on a subordinate for longer than a couple hours :)). And obviously their brain adapts to that as the normality, so they'll perceive what is an 80-20 or 90-10 or 99.9-0,1 like a 50-50; actually, they'll feel they are being bullied as soon as an issued order meets rejection. Now, I know any kind of business would go astray without hierarchy, but they aren't sated with that, and need the same in their "love" life. Which used to lead to legendary conflagrations when one of them and I were involved, in my 1.0 age, id est, before I had realized people are the way they are, there's no changing them, and they don't even know much of what they are doing (if anything). Note* When I say I dreamed of a 50-50 relationship, that regarded all situations less those when leading will arouse her.