What is Fairness and Equality in a Relationship?
How to make things fair in your relationship (there are 6 areas that must be)
If you feel like things are feeling pretty one-sided (one person is having all the fun, one person gets all the attention, one person gets their needs met), then this is plainly unfair and a form of inequality.
For things to be fair, that doesn’t mean chores are split right down the middle. Usually, after many years, happy & equal couples realize that didn’t work, but what did work is contributing in areas where your strengths flourish.
That means the one that likes to geek out with math, will most likely do the taxes and the finances.
The myth is: To be fair and equal, split it 50/50.
But that’s not really functional.
Seth Godin said:
Fairness isn’t a handout. Fairness is the willingness to offer dignity to others. The dignity of being seen and heard, and having a chance to make a contribution.
And equality doesn’t mean equal. Equality doesn’t guarantee me a starting position on the Knicks. Equality means equality of access, the opportunity to do my best without being disqualified for irrelevant reasons.
How does this look like in an intimate relationship, specifically?
Here are 6 areas to keep things fair and equal in your relationship:
1. Both person’s needs are important, not just one person’s.
The relationship is a constant balance of meeting each other’s needs. One person shouldn’t be getting all their needs met, while the other sacrifices. There will be times when the sacrifices will need to be one-sided. For example, when you need to rebuild trust after a harmful betrayal. But for most days, there needs to be consideration happening both ways.
2. Curiosity of your partner’s world.
To be selfless, we can’t just see things in our narrow perspectives. We can’t make a judgment on our partner’s feelings until we’ve tried to understand where they’re coming from. That requires a sense of curiosity. What are they feeling? Why do they see this situation in that way? What does this mean to them? Why?
3. Making love is satisfying to both.
Traditionally, men make the move and she does what he wants. The problem here is the one-sided factor. A gender-equal couple includes both people exercising initiative (making a move) and choice (doing what satisfies you). Both of you will get satisfied and here’s why.
4. The effort and work in the relationship are done by both, not one.
One person shouldn’t carry the burden or do most of the load. It’s not good for the person that is hoping their unreserved devotion will one day pay off (because resentment will eventually build and no effort will be enough to make up all those lost years) and it’s equally not good for the person that is taking an easy ride (because they’ll miss out on what true intimacy is and might even feel a bit lonely).
5. You both encourage each other’s dreams and goals.
You may notice a trend: one-sided is the antidote to fairness and equality. So focusing on only one person’s dreams in life might put an irreversible damper on the relationship. And the fighting you think is for no reason, could be a deep desire of wanting to pursue your own dreams and goals.
6. You both express love and affection (in your own way)
Pigging back off of #3, it’s helpful to know that having both masculine (instrumental) and feminine (expressive) traits make you a well-rounded person. Instrumental traits give you the confidence to take initiative and express choice on the things you need. Having expressive traits means you feel comfortable bonding with another person, and sharing with them your affection in your own style.
Who wouldn’t want to be treated fairly at home?
Now, is there something you’d like to work on, like instrumental traits or expressive traits? Think about it, what is one thing in your relationship you already see as fair? Why is that important to you? I bet your partner would love to hear how they’re already making you feel treated fairly.
Do you want a relationship where you feel deeply cared about, without a doubt?
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Originally published at www.lovesavvyclub.com on February 23, 2018.