In today's world, we're finally starting to retire the old ways of white male patriarchy, and we're emerging into a new era of human equality.
Our society still has a long way to go until there's total gender parity, but incredible strides are being made in regard to female empowerment.
However, as women, we must remember the personal is the political. What goes on in our everyday lives is a reflection of the society we live in.
Keeping this in mind, it’s important we hold ourselves and our personal relationships to a higher standard.
One way we can do this is by maintaining gender equality in our romantic partnerships.
Here are a few ways to have balanced power and respect in your own relationship:
1. If one partner finishes, you both finish.
If your man is getting off, then so should you.
Sex is meant to be enjoyed by both parties. If one partner is having an orgasm two times a day, and the other is on the every-other-week schedule, things need to change.
Communicate with each other, and take the time to find out what your significant other wants out of sex.
2. Take turns paying, or pay for yourselves.
If you're in a committed relationship, you probably go out with your partner a lot.
Going to breakfast, the movies and then drinks at night can get very expensive, very fast.
If your boyfriend is paying for everything you do all the time, it's going be hard to keep things equal between the two of you.
Think about it, ladies. He's not your father, and you're not his child, so why act that way with your finances?
Of course, taking turns is the best and most romantic way to go about keeping things financially equal.
He takes you out to dinner, and you take him out to breakfast.
It's cute, and you feel good about treating your partner back.
3. Hold each other accountable.
Admit when you're wrong, and call your partner out when he's in the wrong.
An equal relationship comes when both people aren’t afraid to speak their minds with each other.
You can't be afraid to address your problems because you don’t want to “start a fight."
Without equal communication, any relationship — romantic or not — is doomed to fail.
4. No person should be telling the other what to do.
Whether it's “You can’t wear that skirt,” or “You can't hang out with that girl,” no partner should have rules and regulations for his or her significant other.
Like I said before, this isn't a parent-child relationship in which one party has power and authority over the other.
This is an adult relationship, and both parties are held in equal respect.
No one in a relationship should be scolding you, commanding you or setting rules for you.
I’ve seen controlling partners, both male and female, and neither is okay.
I've seen guys tell their girlfriends they can't wear too much makeup or revealing clothing, and I've seen women tell their boyfriends they can't text or talk to any other woman without their approval.
A loving relationship is one in which you honestly and openly discuss the things that bother you.
A loving partner will do what he or she can to understand and make the appropriate changes.
So, keep this in mind as you go about your modern, 21st-century relationships.
I can promise you will feel more respected, valued and appreciated when you're both on the same playing field.