I Want An Equal Partner, Not A Skewed Power Dynamic

Who holds the control in your relationship, you or your boyfriend? Who’s the dominant partner here? It’s one of the oldest jokes bros use to rag on each other, but it isn’t always just a joke. In fact, a lot of people in relationships worry about who’s in control. I’m not having that fight, though. When it comes to my relationship, no one “wears the pants” — we’re on the same level.

  1. We’re on an equal playing field. The old-school idea that there’s one person in charge in a relationship is just that — old and outdated. The guy I’m dating not only respects my thoughts and feelings, he actually values and admires them. We make decisions as a team because that’s how healthy relationships work.
  2. We both have a right to be happy. If one of us always got our way, then only one of us would be happy. That’s not fair, and that’s definitely not the kind of relationship I want. I want us both to be happy. I care about his wants and needs as much as I care about my own, because being with someone who isn’t happy being with me doesn’t sound very happy to me. Knowing he feels the same way keeps things moving forward for us.
  3. We’re partners, not parent and child. My boyfriend doesn’t run my life and I don’t run his. Sure, we’ll take each other into account for big decisions, but we’re not going to be forced to live lives we don’t really want. I’m his girlfriend, not his mommy, and he’s too old for even her to tell him what to do. We refuse to treat each other like we’re parent and child rather than boyfriend and girlfriend.
  4. We have our own lives. We might have a life together, but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up our individual identities. We’re not two halves of a whole; we’re whole people on our own and that doesn’t change just because we’re in a relationship. Our lives didn’t morph into one. He makes his own decisions and so do I.
  5. Relationships shouldn’t require you to give up your freedom. We’re committed to each other, but this relationship is a free democracy, not a dictatorship. I don’t want to feel suffocated and I don’t want him to feel that way either. Our relationship shouldn’t feel like a prison. There’s no warden here and you know what? There doesn’t have to be. Why? Because we trust each other.
  6. We have a healthy relationship. I couldn’t even begin to imagine being in a relationship with a constant battle for power. This isn’t war and it’s not a game. This is love and love isn’t about someone winning and losing. We’ve both won just because we have each other. That’s really all that matters to me.
  7. Relationships are about compromise. We’re not always going to agree. That’s life and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being with someone who’s just a copy of me would be boring AF. We love each other for exactly the people we are, disagreements included. I see life one way and he sees it another, but being in a relationship is all about finding common ground together rather than personal preferences apart.
  8. Both of our opinions matter. No one person’s opinion holds more weight than the other. Why should it? My opinion will always be important, but his opinion matters to me too. I actually care what my partner thinks and he cares what I think. That’s why no one is in charge. We both matter, so we make our decisions together. That’s how any good relationship works.
  9. We’re true partners. He’s not just my boyfriend, he’s my very best friend and life partner. We’re walking through like together, sticking with each other through the good and the bad. We don’t have to try to control each other because we’re not enemies here. We’re not working against each other. We’re doing it all together as equal partners. We both have control because we’re both equally invested in this relationship. We’re partners through and through.
  10. Neither of us is worried about control. I’d be worried about our relationship if we were. A relationship shouldn’t be a constant fight for control. It’s not about who’s in charge because no one is in charge. We’re both free to do whatever we want, but we choose to be together. We choose to be faithful. We choose to care about each other’s feelings because we love each other, and real love doesn’t need to be controlled.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.