All Relationships Aren’t Created Equal, But They Should Be

Sometimes it’s hard to maintain equal footing in a relationship. There are so many things that can throw a partnership off-balance, from work and finances to family and social obligations. The best relationships aren’t always 50/50 — after all, life can throw unexpected crap your way without notice, so you need to be adaptable — but generally, they’re an equal give and take. Here’s how to ensure you and your man are on even ground.

  1. Decisions are made together. One person shouldn’t be calling the shots in a relationship that involves two of you. You want to feel like you’re equal partners who are in love, not like one person is the other’s manager. make big decisions together, like the power couple you are.
  2. You ask, not demand. When you get frustrated with certain elements of your relationship, you might be tempted to demand change of your significant other and threaten to walk if it doesn’t happen. However, you shouldn’t try to dominate him into submission. Talk openly when you need something and treat each other with respect.
  3. Make sure to give each other a fair amount of time to speak. Communication is important and should be a two-way street. If only one person feels free to speak their mind and talks over the other, then the other will never feel heard or understood. If your partner won’t even allow you to say what you need to say, then that’s a huge red flag.
  4. Each person should equally support the other’s goals. This might seem like a given, but if one of you starts making more money or gaining more success than the other, things take a turn. You might feel like you should sacrifice your goals to help the other pursue things further, but in the end, you could end up resenting each other for having to take a backseat to the other’s dream.
  5. Check in with each other before making big purchases. If you’re at the point in your relationship where you have combined finances, then it’s important to act like business partners. When someone wants to make a huge dent into the account, then there should be a discussion first. No one should assume they have more say over the money than the other.
  6. Both people need to compromise. It’s a huge part of the relationship, but if only one of you is doing the compromising, there’s a problem. Try to find the middle ground as much as you can, and when a sacrifice needs to be made, make sure to return the favor later.
  7. Take care of each other’s sexual needs. Balance in the relationship should be maintained in all aspects of the relationship, including sex. Some people feel discouraged when their partner doesn’t orgasm, so they give up or become passive-aggressive. Don’t be like that. Seek out as many options as you can until you find out the best way to connect and have equal amount of pleasure.
  8. Share responsibilities fairly, and readjust when needed. It sounds pretty simple, but it’s easy to end up taking on more responsibility (or letting him) without even realizing it. No one should feel taken advantage of, so when something changes, it should always be open to discussion of how to spread these out.
  9. Money should never be used for power. People talk about physical abuse all the time, but they forget about financial abuse. One person shouldn’t have all the access to money because it puts you in an incredibly vulnerable position. Making sure both of you have access to your cash whenever you need it is important, along with taking into account each other’s opinions of what to do with it.
  10. Never take the other for granted. If you’re living together, then it’s really easy to just expect someone to do chores or cook dinner without acknowledging it. Don’t forget to say thank you to each other when something was taken care of, no matter how small.
Nicole Weaver is a staff writer for YourTango and regularly contributes to Hollywood, The Bolde, and Proud2BMe. She is a lover of all things entertainment meaning she spends most of her nights in New York binge watching television shows. Follow her on Twitter at @nikkibernice.