10 Signs You’re In A One-Sided Relationship

Carmen Jost
Carmen Jost

When you’re in love, it can be difficult to pay attention to anything but the person in front of you. So many of us have been blinded while we’re enamored with another person, and it can be hard to bring ourselves back to reality. But it’s important to pay attention, because sometimes, you can end up in a one-sided relationship, where you are doing all the work and your partner ends up making you feel worse instead of better about yourself. Here are 10 signs that it might be time to get out of your relationship.

1. You always make the plans. As two busy working adults, it’s hard to make sure you get enough time together. Dating in college is pretty easy, but dating in the real world often means you have to set aside specific dates and times to be together, even if your plans only involve relaxing at one of your apartments. But you notice that you’re always the one having to instigate it and plan your dates.

2. You are always ready to drop everything when your partner needs you, but they’re not. This doesn’t mean you’re at your partner’s beck and call or that your entire life revolves around them. It just means that when they need you or they’re going through a difficult time or they just need somebody to be there for them, you’re there. You realize that being in a relationship means sticking by your companion’s side through the good and the bad. The problem is that they don’t always do the same for you.

3. You constantly feel vulnerable, and not in a good way. If your relationship is going to make it, you have to be willing to get hurt and you have to be willing to open yourself up to another person. It’s scary to share your weaknesses and fears and deepest desires and struggles with another person, but being vulnerable is the way to get closer to someone. The problem is, when you’re vulnerable in a relationship, the other person should still make you feel safe and loved and cared for. If you open yourself up to vulnerability but you feel like your partner could use it against you at any time, you’re not in a healthy and trusting relationship.

4. When it comes to spending time together, your partner makes you feel like they have better things to do. You should both have your own independent lives and friends and hobbies. You shouldn’t spend every waking minute together. But when you do spend time together, you should enjoy it and have fun and feel like neither one of you wants to be anywhere else. When it gets to the point where you’re having anxiety because you feel like you’re a burden on your significant other’s social life, then it’s a problem. No one should ever make you feel like you’re not good enough, especially the person you’re supposed to count on more than anyone else.

5. You feel the need to apologize for things you shouldn’t apologize for. Like getting emotional. Or needing to talk about something. Or not being fun. Or having a bad day. Yes, you and your partner should be bringing a lot of joy and happiness into one another’s lives. But part of being in a relationship means loving the other person when things aren’t so carefree and easy. Loving another person means you shouldn’t have to put on a happy face just because it’s more convenient for them.

6. They act like talking on the phone or texting or communicating in any way is like a chore or a hassle. You shouldn’t expect them to want to talk 24/7, and you shouldn’t want to either. It’s not healthy. But you should also hope there’s a smile in their voice when they talk to you. They should make you feel like they enjoy talking to you and hearing about your day and asking for your opinion and making you laugh. Communication is one of the most important parts of having a relationship that will last, so if your partner is making you feel like it’s the last thing they want to do, you’ve got a problem.

7. You feel stressed about things you shouldn’t. You constantly worry that the relationship is out of balance, or that you’re trying too hard, or that they’d rather be somewhere else, or a million other things. Here’s the plain and simple truth: you should definitely reflect on your relationship, but you shouldn’t overanalyze it to the point where it’s making you crazy. If someone is making you feel that stressed out and uneasy and insecure, you shouldn’t be with them. It’s important to have a good idea of what your relationship is like, but you shouldn’t spend every waking moment worrying about it and wondering if something is seriously wrong.

8. You feel bad when you ask them to go to things with you, like your work holiday party or that new movie that looks really bad but that you really want to see. That’s what boyfriends and girlfriends are for. They’re the person you can count on to go with you to stuff that you’d feel bad asking your friends to go to. You go to all their boring and lame stuff. Not because you want to, but because you want to be there for them. They should act the same way for you.

9. You feel the need to explain your significant other to your friends and family. You make excuses for why they treat you the way they do. You have to reassure your loved ones that you’re with the right person, instead of them being able to see it themselves from the way you two behave around each other and the way your partner treats you.

10. You make an effort to invite them into your life and to make them a part of it, but they do not do the same for you. You invite them to come out to trivia with your friends, or to go to your family’s house for dinner. Sometimes they come and sometimes they don’t, but they never seem too excited about it. And they never make much of an effort to incorporate you into their life either. You know very little about their friends and family, even though you’d like to. And sometimes, it feels as though you’re leading two separate lives that barely even overlap one another. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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