Getting the Balance in Relationships Right

By and large when we first meet someone, we’re pretty keen to be on the same page when it comes to issues of control and the balance of power within the relationship. Both people want to make a good impression, and so the decision making and compromises tend to switch back and forth between them. Over time though, this can shift one way or the other, and relationship imbalances can be a real problem.

With many couples this tends to manifest as one person or the other becoming the main decision maker. For the person who is more powerful in the relationship at this point, it can lead to frustration, boredom and a sense of being burdened with responsibility, while the less powerful person comes to resent being told what to do and not having a voice. Relationships rarely last long if things get to this point.

Here then are a few suggestions for you both to consider that can help you both equalise the flow of power within your relationship. Maintaining both your own strengths and bolstering each other will pay huge dividends as your relationship matures.

  • Schedule time apart on a regular basis so that your appreciation for each other stays fresh.
  • Share any decisions that affect you right from the start, to get used to both being heard and understanding each other’s positions.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no – strong relationships will not fall apart over dissent.
  • Take turns to organise your dates to reflect your different interests.
  • Remember to pursue your own interests and hobbies as well as embrace those interests you have in common.
  • Take the time to express your own ideas and opinions and see what debate and discussion this can open up.
  • Allow yourselves to share paying for things as much as possible, as it helps reinforce the equality in your relationship.
  • Allow each other to initiate intimacy – it both boosts your self-esteem to be the one to initiate intimacy as well as be the person receiving the advances.
  • Dare to say yes to each other’s ideas and suggestions.

There should always be an element of give and take in your relationships, underpinned with openness and honesty. This comes from and reinforces the mutual respect and support for each other that can only enhance what you have.