“But she might never change?” said the downtrodden husband on my new white couch.

I could feel his heart break from the required six feet across the room. I so wish I had better news for him.

“70/20/10,” I responded.

Understandably, he gave me a look that matched my nonsensical response.

I went on to tell him that I like math.

Always have. Hard-hearted Harden, my middle school Algebra teacher, could not convince me otherwise. Numbers are so clean, even, certain. Unlike the world of relationships and emotions, they leave no room for guesswork. It’s black and white.

You need to like 70% of your partner. Otherwise, why put up with his or her company? It would be boring, irritating, lonely and no fun.

20% is your partner’s growth edge. What drives you bananas is exactly what he or she needs to grow and polish to make him/her a better human being and partner. Hopefully, you admit and work yours and your partner does the same.

And sadly, the remaining 10%, you’re never gonna like and it’s never gonna change. She likes sushi. She has this annoying eye twitch. She gets anxious for no apparent reason. She baby talks to the dog. She thinks dirty socks belong on the floor and not in the hamper. Etc. Etc.

In order to have that satisfying and secure relationship, we must grieve and let go of the annoying 10%. My partner is not me. They have idiosyncrasies that make them separate from me. This will never change.

So, if you are within that ballpark range – 70/20/10 – you might have a winning ticket. Subjective, I know. But, a little middle school math gives us something to go by — Like your person most of the time. Accept that we all have our shit. Find someone who knows their and works theirs. And the rest? Well, a few dirty socks won’t kill you. Promise.

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