One of the life lessons that we learn as early as kindergarten is the importance of sharing and compromise. While most young children have a very self-centered perspective, the process of teaching them to be more considerate of others around them is understandably seen as a key developmental task. The adage goes that having good interpersonal relationships is about 50-50, meeting others “halfway”. Your responsibility is to do your part and expect the other party to reciprocate in kind. Makes perfect sense—until you grow up.
Relationships are a struggle—especially intimate ones. While they can elevate our feelings to mountaintop experiences they can also plummet them into undesirable lows. There are many reasons for the ups and downs in intimate relationships. But, clearly one is what I call the 50-50 trap.