Equity Theory of Relationships: A Must Read For All Who Are in Relationship (I)

Equity Theory of Relationships

The dictionary meaning of the word ‘equity’ is the quality of being fair and impartial. This is what we as human beings strive to achieve in our relationships either knowingly or subconsciously. The notion of restoring balance to the relationship is what drives most of us as all strive for harmony.
Equity Theory of RelationshipsEquity theory of relationships proposes that partners in a relationship who feel that they are putting in more efforts to keep it going will experience emotional distress and anger. The theory also proposes that partners who feel that they are getting more than their share of rewards in a relationship will also experience emotional distress in the form of guilt.
In both cases the affected partner will try and restore balance by making certain behavioral changes that they perceive to be the right thing to do. The equity theory of relationships is based on the equity theory developed by behavioral psychologist John Stacey Adams and explores the perceptions of humans regarding their inputs in the relationship and the expected output…

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.

This love and relationship theory also explains how partners in an intimate relationship react after they feel that they are getting rewards beyond their efforts. Those partners who feel that they are being over rewarded will also experience emotional distress in the form of guilt. These partners will also have a perception of fairness and will make certain changes to restore balance to the relationship. Let us take the previous example to understand this: Click here for the rest of equity theory of relationship

8 thoughts on “Equity Theory of Relationships: A Must Read For All Who Are in Relationship (I)”

  1. Kiganya Peninah

    I literary can’t wait to read your next email cause you simply
    Understand my issues and give answers answers to most of my silent
    Questions. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  2. I love your write up sir.
    I have something bothering me and I can’t resolve it. I have a frend (female) and I want to go into an intimate relationship with her But her reply when I asked her out was that She does not feel the same way with me and I really love her.what Can I do?

    1. You need to prove your worth to her, she’s not convinced yet about the love you have for her. Find out if she’s in a relationship with someone else as that might be one of the reason why she’s not feeling the same way with you.
      If she’s free not based on your assumption, then you need to prove your worth and get her convinced that you really love her.

      Your first assignment now is to find out her status, if still single or in relationship with someone else.

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