To date, dependence has been measured through combining items on replaceability, impact of partnership breakdown and relative size, with some authors calculating the difference in perceptions of replaceability of both relationship participants. It is argued that general measures of dependence, such as 'imbalance' mask the effect of dependence on relationship management practice in specific contexts. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of dependence resulting from relationship imbalance, dependence resulting from competitive vulnerability of one partner, and dependence through one partner's need to access unique resources, on relationship management practice, controlling behaviour and perceptions of relationship equity. The results indicate that dependence attributable to 'need to access unique resources' has a positive impact on relationship management practice and a negative impact on controlling behaviour, enhancing relationship equity. Dependence as a result of competitive vulnerability or 'relationship imbalance' demonstrated no significant impact on relationship management practice nor on controlling behaviour.