Equity Theory of Relationships
Equity Theory and Intimate Relationships
The theory is based on the belief that people value fair treatment and individuals have their own perceptions of fairness. In an intimate relationship if a person in putting in time and effort that person will expect a certain output for this effort and when that doesn’t happen the person will experience distress. It can lead to anger and controlling behavior in relationships. This can be better explained with an example as illustrated below:
Yetunde and Tony are in a relationship for a year, she is studying while Tony works as a biochemist for a living. Yetunde takes the effort to go and meet Tony in his office during his lunch breaks and sometimes after his office gets over. All is well until Tony asks her not to come to his office because he extends his breaks and work is piling up. Yetunde now feels emotional distress and anger because she feels that she is putting in so much effort to make the relation work and is not getting her expected outcome which is spending time with Tony.