7 Tips for Building Relationship Equality

By Rachael Pace

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

how to have equality in a relationship

Relationship equality is one of the key ingredients to a healthy, happy life with your partner.

The meaning of relationship equality isn’t always simple to define. Many feel that a relationship should be 50/50, but the truth is relationships have ups and downs. Sometimes the needs of one partner may legitimately overshadow the other, such as extra support after a family member’s death.

So, what is relationship equality and how can you build it with your spouse?

Relationship equality is all about respect. Both partner’s feelings, boundaries, and physical body should be respected. There is no power/control dynamic.

When you have equality in your relationship it means that you and your spouse can live in harmony together and feel safe and secure.

Here are 7 relationship tips on how to build equality.

Make respect your no. 1 priority

Unfortunately, relationship equality isn’t a given in our day and age. But just because your relationship scales are tipping to one side doesn’t mean you can even things out. With willing hearts and a little bit of patience, you can build relationship equality.

Couples who respect one another put one another on an equal playing field. They do this by:

  • Communicating openly
  • Speaking kindly to one another
  • Freely giving support
  • Compromising
  • Listening without interrupting
  • Respecting boundaries

Relationships that lack respect are often toxic, so make building and maintaining respect toward your spouse one of your biggest relationship priorities.

Your needs should be equally important

There is no doubt that your needs are important, but so are your partner’s. There is nothing worse than going to a partner with a problem or concern and having your feelings shot down. Remember, healthy relationships are all about equality.

Never treat your spouse like their feelings and the issues they are going through are unimportant or play second fiddle to your own.

Toxic relationships indeed make it difficult for one partner to be assertive, but those in healthy relationships may have the same experience. One partner may be shy by nature, lack assertiveness, or simply hate making conflict. To accommodate this and equalize the playing field, work hard to make your partner feel comfortable and safe expressing their needs.

Get on the same page about sex

having equality in a relationship

Sex is a big deal in a marriage, so both partners must get on the same page about it. You want sex to be something you share, not just something you “do.”

Sex is not something that should be controlled by one partner, used as a way to guilt somebody or a tool to be used to win an argument or gain something.

Research shows that sexual communication equals greater relationship satisfaction for both men and women – so communication is going to be your best friend when it comes to all things sex.

Talk openly and honestly – and make it fun! Share your sexual likes, dislikes, triggers, preferences, and how often you’d like to be intimate together. It may be a little awkward to talk about it at first, but in the end, it will put positivity into your sex life.

Build a romantic friendship

Relationships are about more than just romance, they’re also about friendship.

Think about one of your closest friends. Likely, you both share interests or hobbies, you do fun things together like go to movies, have game nights, play sports, or go to events. Good friends build trust, loyalty, and can talk to each other about everything.

These are all fantastic qualities that shouldn’t be limited to your friends. You can boost equality in your love life by making your relationship about more than romance. Make it a true connection that requires you to think of your spouse as something more than sexual intimacy.

Make your relationship a partnership

Shallow dating is all about filling time. You fill time with your spouse by hanging out, being intimate, and exploring romance. But true equality comes from building a healthy relationship where you share your lives together.

When you don’t welcome your spouse in as your partner, you open yourself up to a “me first” attitude.

Couples can create a partnership by:

  • Getting to know each other’s friends and family
  • Talking about what’s going on in their lives
  • Consulting one another before making big decisions or purchases
  • Having an equal share in how your life is built
  • Helping one another out where you can

Spend quality time alone

equality in a relationship

Another way you can build relationship equality is by spending quality alone time with your spouse.

Spending time alone also shows your spouse that you value their company and their friendship. Instead of solely using your leisure time to be with friends or family, you choose to be with your partner. This gives you more of an opportunity to connect and strengthen the love and respect you share for one another.

Additionally, spending time together regularly (such as with a weekly date night) has been proven to reduce stress, boost relationship satisfaction, increase sexual encounters, and -for married couples – reduce the likelihood of divorce.

Support each other

In a happy relationship, one person’s desires do not overshadow the others. Showing partner support is integral to building relationship equality. Both spouses should support each other’s healthy dreams and goals; never undermining, belittling, or controlling them.

Another way you can show support to your spouse is by making your home life as stress-free as possible – showing love regularly, acknowledging problems, using kind words even when you disagree, showing nonsexual physical affection, and checking in emotionally on a regular basis.

If your relationship doesn’t feel equal, don’t worry. There are things you can do to fix it. First, make respect a priority in your love life.

Work hard to be partners, to listen and communicate, and to build a friendship. Scheduling time to be alone with yourself or your friends is also important since it helps you retain your individual identity. Good luck!

Rachael Pace

Rachael is a noted writer currently associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of her motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying about today's evolving forms of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on all types of romantic connections. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.

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