Relationships Are 100/100, Not 50/50

In a vox with my partner Seth recently, he said something that stuck with me.

“Relationships are 100/100, not 50/50.”

He was referring to a business dynamic between two people, but it applies to any relationship and any number of people.

It’s a simple idea, but a great one. When I consider my relationship with Amy, it’s 100/100. Sure, we have plenty of conflicts, but we are both 100% all in on the relationship.

When I consider my relationship with my partners, it’s 100/100. We refer to our relationship as one of business love. We communicate with brutal honesty delivered kindly. We argue, disagree, and get frustrated with each other. But we own our actions – good and bad. And we learn and evolve together.

We are best friends. Our relationship is 100/100.

When I talk about my relationships with a CEO in a company that I’m an investor in, I describe it as one where I only ever want to make one decision, which is whether or not I support her. As long as I do, I work for her. If I don’t, it’s my job to do something about it, which does not necessarily mean “fire her,” but instead try to get back to a place where I support here. Again, I’m all in on the relationship, and I expect it to be 100/100.

Thanks Seth for the concept. I hope never again to say “relationships are 50/50.”

Also published on Medium.

  • Richard
  • I agree. I think the 50:50 idea has a hidden assumption that one be able to accurately track commitment, which is impossible. When you love, you give. But even if it were possible, the idea that you might get to the point that you think is half way and then stop there and watch someone you support struggle to the get the rest of the way is horrible.

  • One passed down in my family: Marriages are not 50/50 but 90/10 and you just switch off who is giving what…

  • I LOVE this.

  • Nichole Montoya

    I really appreciate your choice of pronouns.

    • Thanks. I try to alternate them continuously. Some days I do a better job than others …

  • In business, do you have to be best friends to be 100/100? (In marriage it certainly helps)

    • Nope. I think being best friends is a consequence of being 100/100, not a pre-condition.

  • Great post @bfeld:disqus

  • Will

    Brad–love the concept. I’ve heard it a slightly different way, as well, but the ideas both end up in the same place. Relationships are multiplication, not addition, so the relationship is not whole if both people are not 100% in.

  • Madison Jean Kerndt

    I love the line: “We communicate with brutal honesty delivered kindly.” Spills over into so many theories about effective teams and relationships. All boils down to honesty, intent, and being all in.