Love Living, Quit Hating, Everyone Relating


This week’s feature guest post is by Mr Philosopher. You can read more of his prose at

The topic of this post is power perception in relationships. We all take actions in order to gain power in our lives but what happens when our misguided power plays affect our relationships?

On the Perception of Power – Mr. Philosopher

                Power’s a funny thing.  Besides being a hot Kanye song, it’s something that we have to deal with on a daily basis.  Most of us don’t have power normally.  Hell, in our humanity we barely have any power at all – we can’t control our births, our deaths or most events that surround us.  Power is fleeting in many ways.  And yet, when we enter relationships, we constantly question who wears the pants.  Who’s got the control over the relationship?  Who’s got the final say?  Ultimately, who’s got power over the other person in the relationship?

                I think this is where the initial power problems of the relationship begin.  The moment we try to bond with one another on a deeper level it becomes a masked war of attrition for a figment of our imaginations.  I firmly believe that it’s the lack of power in our lives expressing itself through its sole means – our interpersonal interactions.  In some way shape or form, there’s a control freak in all of us. But our relation to power can be adjusted in our relationships by looking at power in a different light – equality.    Yeah, you read right; we have to remember that when we call our boyfriend or girlfriend our “partner,” it’s not just sexually.  It should be a literal, equal partnership.

                By considering your partner an equal, you’d consider their needs as the exact same as your needs.  Will we want to tug a little bit of power into our decisions?  Sure, but it’d be a waste of time – our partner should already understand the reasons why we choose what we choose.  When we do not take into account our partner feelings, we’ll continue to be locked into our battle for power.  An egalitarian approach to our interpersonal interactions can help redefine our relationship with power. 

                I don’t think our relationships are of a dialectical origin.  That is to say that when we get together, we’re not naturally at war with one another and trying to subsume the other into us – we just want what we want more than we want what you want.  I think that we’re already a spoiled species for having, maybe even needing, extended contact with others of the species to survive, and yet we’ve become so used to this that our relative egos have been pumped to the point that we choose to consider our desires to always be more important than others.  Let’s get over ourselves and our dysfunctional relation to power and recognize that our partner is our equal and deserves to be treated like one.  This reduces the occurrence of power imbalances in the relationship besides a small tip of the scales every now and then (which is normal).

                Let’s try to keep this all in perspective by acknowledging that we’re not going to pull this off overnight.  Like kicking a drug addiction, this will take time and conscientious effort to check any confused ideas that we hold about having more clout than our partners.  Adopting a concept of equality in our relationship will certainly relieve the pressure that power struggles create.  And in the end, that unnecessary pressure is what we need to eliminate to start having healthier relationships.

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