This Is Why Your Relationship Should Never Be Equal


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Wait…what? Did you read that right? I thought I was the guy who was always supposed to be advocating for equality and fairness, particularly between genders and in relationships. Well, I still am, but the reality is that your relationship will never be truly equal. And on top of that – it shouldn’t be anyway.

How could I say such a thing? Because complete equality in a relationship is not the road to happiness, as some may think. We should all be equal in terms of rights and respect given to us, especially when part of a couple. We should all be treated fairly. But if we push the idea of a 50/50 relationship, we perpetuate a selfish mindset already rampant in our society.

Hear me out.


If I do something for a significant other, I should be doing it because I want to. Because seeing her happy makes me happy. Because she asked me to. Because she didn’t ask me to. Or maybe just for no reason at all. And her doing for me should be under the same circumstances.

The circumstance that shouldn’t be present is: I do for you because you do for me. And vice-versa. If we build a relationship on this foundation, we are not forming a connection, we are performing transactions. This, in return for that. One for you, then one for me. As if to keep score, almost.

Many negative things can stem from this, three of them being:

1. A sense of entitlement. I did something big for you, now you should do something big for me.

2. A lack of willingness to do more for your partner. You never repaid me for the last thing I did, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to do something else.

3. A feeling of obligation. Well, now I have to figure out something to do for you because you did something for me.

It does not take a relationship expert to notice the vicious cycle that can be set in motion from this kind of thinking. When we do something for our significant other, it is not something we keep in our back pocket as a ticket to be redeemed at a later date. It should be something that we give for the sake of their happiness, not our own.


Of course, this should go both ways. And I think these are the waters that begin to get muddied, because people think when a relationship goes both ways everything has to be even. The truth is, things are not going to be even. Everyone shows their love in different ways. We all have strengths and weaknesses that balance each other out. Different talents and different ways of contributing.

This is the precise reason why it’s good that we do not have equal “responsibilities.” Part of the greatness of a relationship is having a yin to your yang. A black to your white. A chocolate to your vanilla. Someone whose puzzle pieces fit into yours, not someone whose pieces overlap on top of yours.

Of course, this presents a challenge. If we do not keep score, isn’t it easy to fall into a trap where we give far more than the other person? Perhaps, and sometimes we do not notice until it is too late. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say – and looking back on an ended relationship can be the only light we shine on this issue. But this is the risk of love. This is the risk of putting another person’s interests ahead of our own.

This is why we need to make the best decisions that we can in the present, so when we get to our future we will have no regrets about our past.

You don’t need to keep score to recognize the signs that you are giving too much, you just need to be honest with yourself.

A great relationship is not 50/50, it is 100/100. When both people consistently give their all, neither will be left wanting. Your teammate’s happiness will be your happiness, and when both people feel this way about the other – you cannot lose.


Like a pitcher and a catcher on a baseball team, they need to work together seamlessly in order to perform efficiently. They communicate in their own ways and each have different talents that they leverage to get the job done.

The value they provide is equal, but the ways they do it in are not.

And that’s what makes it beautiful.


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  1. Holly Smith on October 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    how did you get so freaking wise at your age and more over, why aren’t there more gents like yourself who make themselves known?

    Guys, if you a good, be proud of the good that your are – tons of women are legitimately looking for you! Have faith! The good girls are out there still too! We do live in a world of dashed hopes, broken relationships, and failed marriages, all of us, both sexes are becoming weary of find good significant others to spend the rest of our lives with, but I can attest that there are a few of us still around. While the women such as myself may not be you pinup perfection size 2-6 — we are good, honest, loving, funny, caring women at every size, shape, color from every ethnicity and race so if you feel like you’re alone, like most of my single female friends and I think, know that there are still old fashioned romantic women who still yearn to be courted and desire to be treated as a lady and we want to treat you as the most perfect man too. Don’t lose hope.
    #womenforchivalry #chivalrysnotdead #oldfashionedlove

  2. Petra Oviedo on October 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Perfect words….words with class.

  3. sewloveable on October 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Reblogged this on sewloveable.

  4. iamginamarie on October 14, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Reblogged this on I Am Gina Marie and commented:
    I have read balance described as a see-saw (teeter-totter), up and down rhythm rather than constantly even.

  5. iamginamarie on October 14, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Reblogged and commented:
    I have read balance described as a see-saw (teeter-totter), up and down rhythm rather than constantly even.

    Many thanks. Gina

  6. 1161believeinme on October 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I just want to say… I’ve been a long-time fan of your blog. I think your advice is not only sound but great. It helped me grow and I recently started dating a wonderful man which was a huge step for me. I hadn’t dated for 5 years prior! But recently I started seeing someone and I read posts like this and I find myself smiling because it describes my SO to a T. He stops everything at the drop of a hat if I have an evening free and is always coming up with great ideas for dates. I feel really fortunate to have him in my life. Now this weekend will be the first weekend that I won’t see him since we started dating last summer and I find myself wanting to do something for him as a surprise. Not because he’s ever done that or because I want him to do something like that but because I just want to. This is a completely new feeling for me and I love it! Thank you for your wonderful advice. I think it has really helped me recognize a truly wonderful thing. 🙂

  7. hype0301 on October 15, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Falling Word and commented:
    Well said my man. I agree with everything you wrote. Your ending statement about value is spot on.

  8. rlcarterrn on October 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    This is why I’ve said for years that the best relationships are just like being best friends with someone (because you really should be best friends). You don’t keep track of the things you do for each other. You just do them b/c you love them.

  9. Semhar on October 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

    This was a breath of fresh air! You’re an amazing writer. Great article!!

    • James Michael Sama on October 17, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Thank you Semhar! I really appreciate that, glad you enjoyed the article! 🙂

  10. […] strong, empowered, women uses her strengths to create and inspire others with positive messages. An empowered woman takes no shit from sexist creeps and saves those sacred parts of herself for […]

  11. Dk on October 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Reblogged this on The Best Self By D.K and commented:
    “A great relationship is not 50/50, it is 100/100. When both people consistently give their all, neither will be left wanting. “

  12. Danny Honey on August 30, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Absolutely amazing article, I applaud you man. Completely spot on. Of course equality is important in terms of rights and respect for each other, but I agree, sometimes in a relationship things are bound to be uneven. Things will ebb and flow both ways as well, there will be times when you need to support her more than she can you, whether that is financially or emotionally and then vice versa… that is what makes such a good relationship.

  13. Sarah Love on September 6, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    See, I have a different opinion on this and I believe a relationship should be equal and that both partners should be treated the same. Its healthy when both of the partners have a positive outlook on the relationship and one isn’t belittled.

    That’s just my opinion though!

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