What is a one sided relationship? What are the signs of a one sided relationship? And what should you do if you find that you’re in a one sided relationship? In this post, we’ll look at all of that and more – so buckle up! It’s time to get to the bottom of things…
What Is a One Sided Relationship?
A one sided relationship is essentially when there’s imbalance… A power imbalance in many ways. The relationship lacks equitable reciprocity.
One person is putting a lot more into the relationship (whether that’s time, money, effort, emotion, love) than the other – without getting the same back.
A one sided relationship is not necessarily unrequited love. The other person may still love their partner, to some degree. But it’s definitely not equal.
Or if it is… they have a funny way of showing it! (Funny, although not at all humorous for the person on the receiving end!)
One sided relationships aren’t sustainable long term, not without causing some serious damage. Which is why it’s important to recognise the signs of a one-sided relationship, no matter which end you stand.
How Do You Know If You’re In a One Sided Relationship?
Some one sided relationships are easy to see. You just feel it. In your gut. You know that the dynamics aren’t quite right – usually from the start, or near the start.
It could be that you’re the person who’s giving more… or it may be that you’re the one who can see how much the other person is giving, and although you may appreciate it in some ways, you just don’t quite “feel it” with them. (Even if you want to / wish you did!)
Either way, it’s not ideal. At the end of the day, everyone wants to find their equal – someone who they love, deeply, and who feels the same way in return. The imbalance is unfulfilling on both parts.
So if you recognise that you’re giving more, or the other person is giving more than you’re able to give – you have to be honest… with yourself and the other person.
If you notice it, if you feel it, and you’ve been trying to avoid or deny it, don’t shut off… have the conversation about it. Open it up for an honest discussion.
If you’re not sure where you’re at, then here’s the signs of a one sided relationship to make it a little easier…
Signs of a One Sided Relationship
When it comes to outlining the signs of a one sided relationship, let’s look at it from the position of giving more than you’re receiving. As you read through these signs however, you can flip it around to see it from the other side.
And by the way… these signs aren’t going to sound nice! I mean, who wants to be on the receiving end of a one-sided relationship? It’s tough – stuffed full of rejection in many ways! It’s not always intentional. Sometimes you can date someone who isn’t 100% feeling it and they don’t want to make you feel the way that you do…
In fact, in most cases, almost everyone will be on both sides of a one-sided relationship with one person or another. But that’s why it’s important to recognise it from both sides and avoid both having to feel these ways, and inflicting it.
So have a read through. These are some of the key signs of a one-sided relationship. Which position do you think you’re most likely to be in right now? (If at all.)
1) It’s Always You Initiating Everything
So let’s kick it off with one of the biggest signs you’re in a one sided relationship, and that is – unfortunately – when you find that it’s usually always you initiating everything. This includes:
- Texting first.
- Phoning first.
- Asking to see the other person.
- Organising what you’re going to do.
You’ll also probably find there’s a bit of rejection in there – not total reciprocation, on top of the lack of initiation. So you’ll find they’re often “busy”, maybe they mess you around with plans quite frequently, change their mind, seem to be flakey or inconsistent, put other people first… regularly.
The thing is, you want this to work, so you’re giving it your all! And when you are together, it usually is good… that’s why you keep doing it. But it feels like hard work, it feels like there’s a lot of pressure on you to keep it going, and you do wonder what would happen if you stopped making all the effort.
2) It’s Generally You Expressing How You Feel
Unless the other person has been love-bombing you or isn’t actually very genuine, you’ll also find that it’s often you telling the other person how you feel more.
This might be in terms of how you feel about them as a person, the feelings that you’re developing and the depth of them. And maybe you’re just naturally more expressive – it can come down to character too!
But what you’ll also notice is your willingness to open up in comparison. See, you want to build something here. You’re invested in the relationship emotionally, and so naturally, the depth of your conversation is deeper.
It could also be expressing in terms of what you are and aren’t happy with. Maybe you bring up issues with the purpose of finding solutions – whereas the other person just complains when they’re not happy and it always feels like they’re ready to up and leave. This leads me onto my next point…
3) You Don’t Feel Secure
Being in a one sided relationship is not a healthy place to be. You feel anxious, uncertain, on edge. In many ways, it’s like you’re treading on eggshells.
You feel like you have to keep the other person happy and you can’t put a foot wrong, otherwise the other person is likely to walk away. Just like that… Boosh. Gone.
As a result of this, you find yourself often worrying, excessively. Overthinking in many cases too – trying to see the “threats” before they happen. You’re clutching onto this person, and feel like you have to, only often you feel out of control.
The thing is, you’re also very self-critical. You blame yourself for the things that “go wrong”, the conflicts you have. Whether that’s because of what your partner is saying, or all this pressure you’re putting on yourself. (Depending on how toxic the relationship has become.)
The truth of the matter is, it’s more you holding this relationship together than him. You don’t feel secure, because ultimately, the relationship isn’t secure.
4) They’re Not Always The Nicest To You
Not all one sided relationships are BAD. Like we said at the start, it doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t like you, doesn’t love you even perhaps… but there is an imbalance.
As a result, the other person is likely to “push things” a little more than you are. Or when you do push things – they’re more likely to blow that up and then it’s you on the backfoot again, trying to make up (when you know full well they wouldn’t be going to the same lengths if it was the other way around!)
Because they’re less scared of losing you, or too comfortable in the relationship knowing that they have the “upper hand”, if you like, they may also be guilty of:
- Snapping, without caring about the consequences.
- Taking things out on you.
- Treating you badly and not really making up for it, or even fully recognising it.
- Being selfish: thinking of themselves more than they think of you.
- Taking you for granted.
5) You Don’t Feel Good Enough
One of the biggest signs of a one sided relationship, the biggest giveaway of an imbalance, is when you don’t feel good enough.
And this doesn’t just come down to your level of self-esteem. This relationship is knocking you down, making you question your self-worth, because of many of the reasons mentioned above.
It always feels like a fight. There’s a lack of reassurance. A common mistreatment towards you. Even if it’s just with small things – it takes it toll. Then there’s just the general fact that you recognise the imbalance… and I mean, who wants that, really?
You’re doing all you can to make this work, and you feel like it’s not enough, you’re not enough. You put the other person on a pedestal, think they’re better than you (for whatever reason) but it gradually knocks away at your confidence.
What Else Should You Look Out For?
I’m going to quick-fire some other signs that could also mean you’re in a one sided relationship… Especially when they accumulate or go with many of the points above:
- They don’t take as much interest in you, and your life, as you do in theirs.
- You spend more time talking about them, than they do about you.
- You feel like – in many ways – they don’t even really know you. Not the real you anyway. Nor do they seem to care, or show any significant effort to change that.
- They speak down to you, or brush your feelings aside.
- They aren’t there for you, like you are for them. Not really. Not as willingly.
- You find yourself often making excuses for their behaviour, or compromising on what you really want, or would think is right.
- You have some great times, but you also have a lot of bad – and you feel like the bad is usually out of your control. Like we said, you’re trying but nothing seems enough.
- You’re never certain about how they’re feeling – how they really feel about you.
- They can often blow hot and cold, become distant, behave in questionable ways.
- You feel unable to set boundaries, to openly (or easily) address the things you’re not happy with. And often, you don’t seem to be on the same page about these kind of things. This raises concerns, but you usually brush them off.
Can You Fix a One Sided Relationship?
So what do you do? Can you fix a one sided relationship? Will it really work? Well that depends.
1) Why is it a one sided relationship? Are the two of you going through a rough patch? Or are there things going on in one of your lives that’s throwing this off?
2) Is it definitely a one sided relationship? Are you sure that’s the root cause here? Or could it be that insecurities / overthinking / a lack of self-worth on one side, have taken over, making it feel that way?
Please Note: How someone responds to this is still important. Ultimately, if someone is right for you, they’ll work with you to help you and reassure you, but it’s important to get an accurate picture of what the situation actually is and where it’s coming from.
3) How long has it been a one sided relationship? Is this a temporary thing, or have the dynamics always been wrong? Has there been a shift in dynamics at any point? And where did that come from?
The better idea you have of the honest truth about where this relationship is at, the more informed decision you can make. Based on these answers, you may come back and be like…
“You know what, this isn’t working, it’s never worked how it should, and it’s not going to. I’m going to have to walk away…”
On the flip side, you could be optimistic about it, see it a little clearer now, know what you need to do… Or, you could be unsure. In this case, I’d say, give it your best shot. Discuss. Try. Make sure you’re both on the same page with it. And see if anything changes.
Communication really is everything if you want to fix a one sided relationship. And getting clear on what changes need to be made both sides, in order to balance it out.
If it still doesn’t change, even after confronting the issues and genuinely trying – then you know to walk away, but can do so more confidently. If it does change, take it day by day, see if things get stronger, if this is long-lasting.
What To Do If You’re In a One Sided Relationship
I hope this makes things a little clearer – not just about if you’re in a one sided relationship, but what to do from here. If you’re still feeling unsure, give me a shout. I’m here (and more than happy) to point you in the right direction.
Just remember your worth. Also remember what you want… the kind of relationship you want to have, with all the butterflies, fireworks and chemistry! And don’t settle.
I know it’s hard. Both when you’re into someone who doesn’t feel the same way – and when you meet someone and want to feel the same way (because you know they’re a great person!) but there’s just something missing for you.
But if they’re not right for you, you’re not right for them. And vice versa. Sometimes you have to do the things you don’t want to, but which you know are for the best.
Trust your judgement. You’ll make the right decision. All the best!