My vision of the 2% couple began taking shape about 10 years ago in my hometown of Montreal while sipping on cocktails after work with a group of friends at what the French refer to as “cinq à sept” –“happy hour”. I was young – innocent – fresh out of university and working for the global beauty company L’Oreal in my first “real job”. It was our typical Thursday evening routine – cut out of work at 5pm – a group of friends – cocktails flowing – laughs – connecting with new people – and obviously hoping to encounter our next love interest.
One of our male friends, “Carter” – married and 10 years our senior – was offering us his rather cynical view on relationships and love. My two girlfriends and I were as attentive as dogs waiting for treats and so eager to hear “the truth”; to this day the conversation remains freshly ingrained in my memory. After over 10 years of less than perfect marriage, two kids, and a young girlfriend on the side, Carter was reasonably confident that he could enlighten us 25 year olds about the reality of relationships. We all knew how unhappy Carter was in his marriage, but he was determined to remain “committed” to his family in the best interest of his children. “Committed” in brackets as his definition clearly didn’t incorporate “faithfulness”, but I digress… According to Carter’s relationship theorem, only 2% of couples are happy and committed to their relationship and partner; the remaining 98% of the couple population falls within the range of miserable to content. Hearing this theory utterly fogged my love goggles. This was shocking to me and made quite the mark on my perception of love and relationships. Here I was starting my adult life – excited to meet my “soul mate” and live “happily ever after” – and the best I could look forward to was contentment and potential infidelity? What happened to blissfulness and passion? Did these things only exist in romance novels and chic flicks? That conversation vividly replayed in my mind over the course of the next 10 years as I myself began to experience life, love, and relationships.
Over the last few years I’ve redefined Carter’s 2% theory and shaped it into my own as I’ve experienced love and relationships through trial, error, and a ton of mistakes and lessons. My belief today is that there are many “happy” couples out there and we all have our unique definition of happiness and fulfillment.
That said, I also believe that merely a small fraction of couples are truly committed to consciously working on continuous improvement and developing a deeper connection to their partner throughout the course of their relationship. As human beings, we are endlessly seeking to connect with others and it takes a great amount of effort in order to maintain and grow the connection with our partner in a relationship. From my perspective, 2% of couples fall into this category and consciously work on developing their relationship to deeper and more fulfilling levels.
Personally, I aspire and am determined to be part of that 2%. Thankfully, the most difficult hurdle is complete and I’ve found a partner who has the same desire. So now, how difficult could it be to get to this 2%???
Next Post: Reality check…this is work…