Every serious relationship has a leader and a follower. If you think you're in a relationship of equals you're actually a follower and just don't know it. The reason why is that when there is disagreement about which path to take, eventually a decision will still be made. There is no third person in the relationship to break a tie 'vote'. The leader will make the decision that affects the couple.
There are also people who believe they are the leader in the relationship but because they haven't earned that position they aren't respected and their decisions are undermined/ignored by the other person. That's right: you are not entitled to be the leader just because you wish it. The person choosing to follow you only does that because they trust you. I'm talking about really following someone. Not just pretending.
A guy once asked why women never want to follow him? Imagine a guy grew up in a little village where there was just 1 car and no traffic. He learns to drive his car there and he feels like he is an expert driver. He meets a woman from a big city who has driven in traffic and seen thousands of cars on the road. He says to her, "I'm the leader! I will drive us". She may get into his car and let him drive her around the village but in her mind she never sees him as the leader. It's a joke to her because she's been with guys who were more experienced. But she won't tell him that. He may notice that when they go to the city she isn't in his car. She's in another guy's car or has excuses not to be involved with the first guy's driving. She has valid reasons to doubt the village guy's ability to be a good driver. Likewise, if you don't have a history of being a good leader you can't expect anyone to follow you.
How can you be seen as a good leader? By leading yourself in constructive ways and being a good follower of yourself. As you develop achievements you earn the respect required to be seriously considered for the role of a leader. Actually I'd even say that (for us common people) nobody ever gives us something we haven't earned. You actually earn things and then after the fact someone "gives" you what you've earned. Nobody promotes the window washer at the bank to CEO.
But you say: I am in an equal relationship! We share and decide everything equally! Then re-read my first sentence. You're not in a serious relationship and you don't even realize it. The other person probably does.