Equity theory: people are most content with a relationship when the ratio between what they get out of it (benefits) and what they put into it (contributions) is similar for both partners. According to equity theory, the balance is what counts. if one partner benefits more from a relationship but also makes a greater contribution, then the situation is equitable. People prefer to receive too much in life rather than too little even if they feel bad about it. If equity is so important, then any partner in a close relationship may at times feel a need to restore the balance when he or she is feeling inferior, as if he or she is falling short, or insecure. People in relationships naturally and unconsciously maintain a trust- insurance system they keep a tally of costs and benefits in order to detect and then repair imbalances.