Are You In a One Sided Relationship?

One sided relationship
Image credits: Amy Roy via Flickr

Do you feel like you are doing all the heavy lifting in your relationship? You may be in denial and think that it is normal, but it is not. Balance is a part of any good relationship. Focusing on being liked never leads to emotional satisfaction, and it can take its toll on your well-being. After all, we want to experience being happy with our choices and daily lives.

Relationships have a give and take if they are successful. You may reach out to your partner, and they may reach out to you as well. But what happens when the relationship is one-sided? A one sided relationship may call up some red flags that are an indicator that the relationship needs receive repair or to end. You can learn to recognize these red flags and take action; you do not need to be stuck and frustrated, always seeking balance.

Sometimes a person invests more time and energy into the relationship with their partner. This might be over a short period of time, for example, if a partner is sick. However, when it happens over an extended period of time, there is cause for concern.

What is a one sided relationship?

A one way or one sided relationship has one person spending more time and energy in the relationship with their partner. It also might mean that they are spending more money as well, but that is not the requirement for it to be one-sided. It affects one emotionally, and the fact that there is not a real connection becomes troubling to the person carrying the heavier load.

What are the signs of a one sided relationship?

According to Oprah Daily, signs of a relationship that is off-kilter include the following:

• You constantly second-guess yourself

• You find yourself apologizing more than is necessary

• You are always coming up with excuses for your partner

• You feel insecure regarding the relationship

• Your partner’s calendar gets the priority

A partner that is controlling may limit your relationship with your family and friends. They may dictate how you should act, what you should wear or other things. It may happen gradually, over time, but you may become aware of it suddenly.

Learning about the signs of a one sided relationship may help you recognize it and take action, either repairing it or releasing it and moving on. Having an unemotional discussion with your partner may be important to finding the solution.

What causes a one sided relationship?

You become too dependent on the other person, seeking validation from them at every step along the way. You need their attention, and part of the reason could be that you did not receive it in your home and family relationship, growing up. Sometimes family members practiced emotional avoidance, and those who actually showed emotion received a label of being too sensitive or too emotional.

You may try to re-create those same emotional dynamics, finding it too chaotic and instead opting for peace, which constantly giving-in can promote. However, there is a cost to keeping this peace, and that is your happiness and emotional well-being.

Can a one-sided relationship work or is it toxic?

Not only can a relationship with a controlling or non-involved partner be toxic, it can make you feel like you are to blame for any problems in the relationship. You remain in it with the hope that some day things will improve, and you will have balance. This is not what you want or need for your optimum mental health.

Although you and your partner may sometimes have fun, the bad times seem to outweigh the good times. Be aware that you have needs: Emotional, physical, sexual and other. If there is little or no fulfillment by your partner, it may be time to initiate change. Change can come in the form of communication with your partner or if that proves to not be effective, departure from the relationship with a smile.

Moving forward and having the “talk”

According to Brides, it is a good idea to document your time, while making a list of observations. At that point, you would want to communicate to your partner. They may not even know that a problem exists.

Change is always a challenge, especially when it comes to a relationship. Initiating a talk may be difficult, since your partner is probably comfortable with the way the relationship is going at present. They may not react favorably to your complaint and resist the experience of a “talk.” So far, the relationship is benefiting them, so why change it? That is their thinking.

Researchers have even given this pattern a name. It is “demand-withdrawal”, where one partner initiates a discussion and the other partner withdraws from such a conversation. It may be a common pattern in a relationship that is one-sided. However, if the other partner cares about the well-being of the relationship and the concerns of their loved one, they will be open to improving the balance with some effort or a bit more work.

What are some of the other things that you can do to fix the relationship? You may want to seek advice through a relationship expert or therapist. Sorting out your feelings is part of the solution; are you frustrated, angry, scared or sad? Being in touch with your own feelings make it easier to communicate them to your partner when discussing the balance and patterns. Taking time by yourself first to delve into your feelings will make it easier to share with your partner.

Having the help of a relationship expert or therapist will make having the conversation easier. A neutral third party may help guide you. This may help you in becoming clear. When you discuss the balance in the relationship with your partner, focus on one thing at a time. You do not want them to feel you are attacking them. Stay in the present, and do not bring up past events. You also must avoid getting too emotional, as this will destroy the valid points that you bring up. It may not be easy, but the end result may be worth the effort you give it.

Leaving the relationship and moving on

Deciding whether to remain in the relationship which is off-balance is never easy. If you think it may be too late or that there is no chance for change ahead, it may be time to end the relationship and move on. You didn’t set out to have an unhealthy relationship, but for your mental health, it might be time to leave one that is toxic. Your health and happiness are important; why put them at risk by banging your head into a brick wall?

If you are struggling with your own self worth, you may have stayed in the relationship that was one-sided for too long. Trying to save the relationship may be futile, and your time spent on your own self-worth and growth is more important.

After you have talked with your partner and this has not proved to be the solution, it is time to take other action. Tell your family and friends that you are planning on leaving. People in your network can offer you emotional support at this difficult time.

Spend time doing things that you love and enjoy, boosting your self esteem. Exercise, yoga, massage, time spent outdoors and gatherings with valued loved ones will help make you stronger emotionally and physically. Begin to immerse yourself in hobbies you once enjoyed, paving the way for a future without your partner and time for your own expression or creativity. Healing from a relationship is easier when you are doing something that makes you feel good and worthy.

At this time, you will want to start saving money. You want to be prepared for the ending of the relationship. You’ll want to end communication with this person as well, except in the case of children, when communication is necessary. Don’t continue to flirt or have a sexual relationship with this person, as that will delay your own healing.

Yes, you count

Before you get into another relationship, it will be time to work on yourself. Discovering what led you to a relationship that was out-of-balance will help prevent you from falling into another similar one. It takes time to heal, and learning about yourself and your emotional needs may be important to the next step.

Ever wanted to horseback ride? Learn to windsurf? Become an expert cook? Do a beautiful painting? You’re finally ready to take the plunge into life and discover its experiences. This may now be the time to explore new things and put your own needs first. Spending time with your family may also be part of the spiritual healing process. Flourish in your new life and focus on self growth after trying to save a relationship that wasn’t there. As Oprah Daily recommends, You Do You. The rest will begin to fall into place as it should.