Unless you’ve been living in a hole under a rock on a remote island with no means to communicate with the outrealm, you probably know that the world (particularly the US) is at an inflection point. Part of the metaphorical slap in the face that has been making us pause for reflection has been a national conversation around racial equity and equality.

I bring that to your attention like serving up a pupu platter because, no matter your skin color, your size and shape, your sexual orientation, your gender identification, your disability status, or whatever your general circumstances might be, we all want to be treated with equity and equality, yes?

I don’t see or hear anyone disagreeing with me. Hello? Anyone there? I just hear my voice echoing and traveling through the void like throwing a rock down a deep, dark tunnel.

So, I’ll take that as a resounding “yes.” The more equity and equality we have in the world, the happier we’ll be, like that children’s song The More We Get Together.

With that said, it seems only logical that we’d want to be treated equally (or as equally as possible) in our romantic relationships. In fact, as my good friend Science says, “I have a study for that!”

Researchers collected data on 192 Czech and Slovak long-term heterosexual couples of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, finding essentially that quality relationships come from adding an “e” to the word “quality.”

Their study was published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (version for mere mortals here).

“Power imbalance in romantic couples,” the abstract reads, “is associated with lower relationship quality.”

Furthermore, the authors wrote that “power distribution affected perceived relationship quality especially in men.” Not only do rock-solid relationships come with more equality, but when perceived to be unequal, men were more likely to feel dissatisfied in them, whether or not they had more power.

So, what does that mean for your relationship? Well, isn’t it obvious?

  • If you have more power in your relationship, take yourself off a pedestal, because relationships are more than the sum of their parts.
  • If you have less power in your relationship and feel unhappy about that, then talk to your partner about it (and feel free to hire a coach or therapist as your advocate).
  • When you level the playing field, your respect for and communication with each other level up like in a game of Mario Party, and you’ll involve each other in more decisions.
Source: Giphy

Speaking of Mario Party, are you “game” for more happiness in your relationship? Turn up the “equality” volume to “11” (Spinal Tap reference) and feel your world change for the better.