Anyone who has been in a one-sided relationship knows how much it hurts. You feel like you’re putting constant effort and love into a relationship that the other person could walk away from at any time. It makes you feel terrible and unsafe.
Read on to learn how to recognize if you’re in a one-sided relationship, and what you can do about it.
Signs of a One-sided Relationship
You’re unsure if your partner feels the same way.
If you’ve been in your relationship for a while and you still feel neglected, uncertain and unsafe, you are most definitely in a one-sided relationship – especially if you work hard to make sure your partner feels safe and secure.
If you spend your time posting about them on social media, remaining loyal, and taking care of them but you aren’t certain they do the same for you, then something is wrong. You should both be putting in effort and energy for your relationship to work.
You feel unfulfilled.
Time and time again you’ve reminded your partner that you appreciate going on date nights, little gifts, and surprises. And yet, you come home every day to a gift of dirty dishes and a dinner that still needs to be made, for both of you.
You’re left feeling as though your partner isn’t working to meet your needs, whether they are physical or emotional needs. A lack of intimacy and kindness can also make you feel terrible. If your partner is being well taken care of and you aren’t, it’s time to deal with it.
There’s a lack of communication and effort.
If your partner can go the entire day (or week) without texting you, you are definitely in a one-sided relationship, especially if you’re texting or calling your partner to check in and make sure they’re doing well.
If they aren’t putting in the effort to make you feel loved or special, especially when you always make sure they’re happy, it’s one-sided. You’re putting in all of the work and energy to create a loving, happy relationship – and only your partner gets to feel the warmth of it all.
How Can You Fix It?
1. Admit that it’s happening.
It sucks to finally admit it. We often try to ignore problems in a relationship altogether, and to pretend we’re in a happy, warm relationship, like when we first started dating our significant other.
Unless you want to continue to feel insecure, mistreated, ignored, and cast aside, it’s important to acknowledge and admit that it’s happening. Only then you can really begin to really fix it or see if it’s already too late to save the relationship.
2. Communicate your feelings to your partner
Once you’ve admitted to yourself that you’re in a one-sided relationship, it’s time to let your partner know that you’re no longer comfortable with their lack of effort.
This should be done in a respectful, calm, and organized way. You can’t storm into the room screaming at your partner and expect things to work out in the end.
Write down a few examples of what you’ve noticed in the relationship (make sure to focus on “I statements”), explain calmly how it makes you feel, and provide a few ideas of how you can both move forward. This way, you’re providing explanations and solutions instead of attacking and blaming.
3. See if your partner is willing to change.
Now that you’ve put the ball in their court, it’s up to them to pick up the effort. Your greatest hope is to wake up the next morning to a fresh pot of coffee and a hand-written love note saying “wear something pretty tonight, I’ll see you at 7”.
A partner that truly loves you and sees a future with you will want to work on improvement. If instead, you wake up and nothing has changed, or the week passes and literally no other effort has been made, your partner has made it loud and clear that they preferred the one-sidedness of the relationship. Actions speak much louder than words, and they’ve decided you’re just not worth it.
4. Take it one step at a time.
If your partner has decided to work on things and improve the relationship, make sure you’re patient with them. Old habits die hard. He might still leave his dishes in the sink, but if he’s making an effort elsewhere and listening to your needs, it’s most definitely okay to take things one step at a time.
No one can wake up and become perfect – it wouldn’t last long. The goal is real and sustainable growth and change. If they’re trying, they care – and, if they’re trying, that’s effort.
5. Focus on yourself.
Take a moment to focus on yourself, and reevaluate what you’re looking for in a relationship. Reflect on how you allowed yourself to end up in a one-sided relationship for such a long time.
It’s really important to rebuild your self-esteem, re-vitalize your self-worth, and level up so that you never expect anything less than 110% from any man you allow in your presence again.
Regardless of whether or not this relationship works out, focus on loving yourself first. If you consistently treat yourself well and put love and effort into your relationship with YOU, it’s incredibly challenging to accept any less from those around you.
The Bottom Line
If your partner has decided that they aren’t willing to change, then it’s time to re-evaluate what you’re looking for in life. Do you want to continue on with someone happy to brush aside your needs and treat you less than you’re worth? The answer to that should be a resounding hell no. So it’s time to muster up the courage to make the hardest decision of all: ending things.