Are You in a One-Sided Relationship? 15 Signs and How to Deal with It

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One-Sided Relationships: Understanding and Dealing with Them

Have you ever felt like you are the only one putting effort into your relationship? Do you find yourself always making excuses for your partner’s behavior?

If yes, then you might be in a one-sided relationship. So, what exactly is a one-sided relationship, and how do you deal with it?

Here, we will take a closer look at what causes one-sided relationships and how to cope with or end them.

Definition of One-Sided Relationships

A one-sided relationship occurs when one partner puts in all the effort, and the other is disinterested or unwilling to contribute. In this type of relationship, one partner is more invested in the relationship’s success than the other.

It is important to note that this type of relationship is not always a romantic one and can also occur among friends, family, or coworkers.

Reasons for One-Sided Relationships

Several reasons can cause one-sided relationships. It is crucial to identify the root cause of the problem before finding a solution.

Common reasons include:

  • Challenging Relationship: Some relationships are more challenging to maintain than others. If one partner feels like they are always giving, while the other is taking, this can create an imbalance.
  • Unfulfilled Childhood: Some people grew up in an environment where they had to take care of themselves and others. This can cause them to adopt the habit of putting others’ needs before their own.
  • Past Trauma: Experiences from past relationships can affect how a person behaves in subsequent relationships. For instance, if someone was cheated on in their previous relationship, they might find it hard to trust their new partner.
  • Outgrown Relationship: Sometimes, people grow apart. If you feel like you have outgrown your partner, you might find yourself putting in less effort into the relationship.

Signs of One-Sided Relationships

It can be challenging to recognize when you are in a one-sided relationship, especially if it’s a subtle change that has occurred over time. Here are some signs that you might be in a one-sided relationship:

  • Feeling like Obligation: If you feel pressured to carry out specific tasks or do things for your partner, even though you don’t want to, this might be a sign of a one-sided relationship.
  • Making All the Efforts: If you always initiate conversations, make plans, and put in all the effort to make things work, while your partner is indifferent, you are in a one-sided relationship.
  • Lack of Reliability: Does your partner always make promises they never keep? Are they always too busy to spend time with you? If yes, then your relationship might be one-sided.
  • Partner Putting Themselves First: In a healthy relationship, both partners prioritize each other’s needs. It can be a sign of a one-sided relationship if your partner only cares about their wants and needs.
  • Ignoring Relationship Issues: If you have tried to discuss issues affecting your relationship to no avail, your partner might be indifferent or uninterested in resolving them.
  • Stonewalling: If your partner shuts down or becomes defensive when you try to talk about your relationship, this may indicate a one-sided relationship.
  • Loving despite Carelessness: Have you ever found yourself making excuses for your partner’s behavior, even when they don’t show love and care for you?
  • Constant Apologizing: If you are the one always apologizing for things that aren’t your fault, it’s a sign that your relationship might be one-sided.
  • Justifying Partner’s Behavior: Do you ever find yourself making excuses for your partner’s behavior towards you or others?
  • Being Low on Partner’s Priority List: If you are always the last person on your partner’s priority list, then your relationship might be one-sided.
  • Never Returning Favors: If you do things for your partner, and they never return the favor, it could mean that your relationship is one-sided.
  • Feeling Stressed: Do you feel stressed or anxious when you think about your relationship? It might be a sign that things are not going well.
  • Partner’s Dominance: If your partner is always the one who makes decisions and is controlling, you are likely in a one-sided relationship.
  • Downplaying Opinions: If your partner always dismisses your opinion or makes you feel inferior, it could indicate a one-sided relationship.
  • Lack of Response to “I Love You.”: If your partner does not reciprocate your love or show affection, they might not be as invested in the relationship as you are.

Coping with a One-Sided Relationship

Coping with a one-sided relationship can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to help you deal with it:

  • Be Brave: Admitting that your relationship is one-sided is the first step towards finding a solution. Be brave enough to have honest conversations with your partner.
  • Don’t Keep Score: Instead of focusing on how much your partner is or isn’t doing, focus on doing things that make you happy. Take care of yourself, your mental and emotional wellbeing.
  • Don’t Blame Yourself: A one-sided relationship is not your fault. You cannot control how your partner feels or behaves.
  • Invest Time in Other Aspects of Life: Focus on your career, hobbies, or anything else that makes you happy. Remember that you are more than your relationship.

Ending a One-Sided Relationship

Ending a one-sided relationship can be challenging, but sometimes, it’s the best option. Here are some tips to help you end a one-sided relationship:

  • Clear Signal to End Relationship: Be clear and direct when communicating your decision to end the relationship. Do not beat around the bush or give false hope.
  • Decision to Fix Relationship: If you feel like you want to work things out, be honest with your partner about how you feel. Set boundaries and be clear about what you expect from the relationship.

Fixing a One-Sided Relationship

If you decide to work things out and fix your relationship, here are some tips to help you:

  • Talking It Out with Partner: Be honest about how you feel, and encourage your partner to be honest too. Listen to each other without being defensive.
  • Reminding Partner of Good Memories: Focus on the things that brought you together in the first place. Remind your partner of the good memories and why you fell in love.
  • Deciding on a Future Together: Make a plan for how you want to move forward as a couple. Set goals and expectations that you both agree on.

In conclusion, one-sided relationships are challenging, but identifying the signs and seeking help is the first step towards finding a solution. Remember, you deserve to be loved, respected, and appreciated. Don’t settle for anything less.

Importance of Mutual Contribution in Relationships

In any relationship, whether it’s romantic, familial, or professional, mutual contribution is essential for its long-term success. Relationships work best when both partners are invested and committed to their collaboration. It is essential to create an environment where each partner feels valued and appreciated for their efforts.

Love is an essential component of all relationships, but it’s not just enough to love someone – you need to contribute. A relationship is not just about what you can get but also about what you can give. If you only take, your relationship will become one-sided and unsustainable.

So, what does mutual contribution mean, and how can you incorporate it into your relationships?

Mutual Contribution

Mutual contribution means that both partners are invested and committed to working together towards a common goal. It means that both partners are willing to put in the time, effort, and energy to make the relationship work. It is about sharing responsibilities and working towards solutions to problems that come up.

In a healthy relationship, contribution should not just be divided 50/50. Each partner should be willing to give more when needed, stepping up when the other partner is struggling. It’s about being supportive and understanding while also having open communication about needs and expectations.


All relationships require contributions, but the types of contributions can differ, depending on the type of relationship. For instance, in a romantic relationship, contributions might include showing affection, planning dates, and being emotionally supportive.

In a professional relationship, contributions might include sharing workloads, taking initiative, and being reliable. It’s important to understand that relationships are not static. You and your partner will grow and change, and your contributions may also need to adapt accordingly.

For instance, if one partner has a health issue or personal crisis to attend to, the other partner may need to step up and contribute more.


Collaboration is an essential aspect of mutual contribution. It means working together as a team to find solutions, make decisions, and reach mutual goals. In a collaborative relationship, both partners feel valued, respected, and heard.

One way to create a collaborative environment in a relationship is to have open and honest communication. When both partners can express their feelings, concerns, and expectations, it creates a safe space to discuss issues and find solutions together. Another key to collaboration is to focus on the problem, not the person.

Often, in conflicts, it’s easy to place blame on one another. However, by focusing on the issue at hand and finding a mutually beneficial solution, it helps both partners feel heard and valued.

Decision Making

Mutual contribution also includes decision-making. Making decisions as a team helps both partners feel included and invested in the relationship’s direction. It’s essential to take into account both partners’ opinions and wishes when making decisions that impact the relationship.

One way to improve decision-making in a relationship is to create a shared vision for the relationship’s future. This includes setting shared goals and expectations for the relationship. Having a shared vision helps both partners understand what they are working towards and what they need to contribute to make it happen.


Mutual contribution is essential for healthy relationships. It fosters collaboration, which is vital in building and maintaining relationships. The contribution should not be about keeping score, but about supporting each other and finding solutions together.

When both partners feel heard and valued, it creates a healthy, sustainable, and fulfilling relationship. By focusing on mutual contribution, you can build and maintain successful relationships, whether they are romantic, familial, or professional.

In conclusion, understanding and dealing with one-sided relationships require honesty, bravery, and open communication. It’s crucial to identify the reasons for the imbalance and take necessary steps to cope with or end the relationship.

Mutual contribution is essential for healthy and sustainable relationships, fostering collaboration and decision-making that benefits both partners. By focusing on mutual contribution and collaboration, you can create an environment where both partners feel respected, valued, and invested in the relationship’s success.

Remember that a healthy relationship requires effort and commitment from both sides, and it’s worth it in the end.

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