The idea of an equal relationship is nice in theory, but it doesn’t work in reality.
The truth is, there’s no way of knowing how much someone loves you. You’ll never know for sure how somebody really feels about you. All relationships are inherently unequal, even in friendships. This would’ve bothered me years ago, but I learned awhile back that this was purely due to my pride and not because there was anything that was actually wrong with this concept.
For a long time, I was worried that I wasn’t pulling my weight in my relationship. Part of me still worries about that. I think about how much more money my girlfriend makes, how she has given me a home, and how she has stuck with me throughout my transition into a woman.
I think about how unfair it must be for her, how I haven’t done enough to make her happy.
But in doing so, I’ve done nothing except cause myself pain, and it also makes her unhappy to hear me being so cruel about myself. She tries to reassure me that I do pull my weight by cooking and cleaning, by taking care of her needs, and by being her emotional support. She says that when I downplay my contributions to our relationship, I’m “score-keeping,” which she very much dislikes.
There is an example of score-keeping in the movie The Joy Luck Club, which features a relationship between Harold and Lena, a couple who splits everything right down the middle. Harold is all about “fairness.” For instance, he labels everything in the refrigerator as either his or hers, and he keeps track of how much everything costs. This causes a get strain in their relationship, and they end up splitting apart because of this.