When A Relationship Is One-Sided | Causes And How To Fix It

People are embarking on romantic relationships for mutual support, intimacy, and companionship. It becomes easier to manage the burdens of life when someone else is helping to manage them.

People might turn to their partners for emotional support, guidance, and comfort in a healthy relationship. There are things that a person can’t manage alone. Relationships can’t live without balance. But in a relationship, if one partner continuously provides all the emotional and financial support, you might be living in a one-sided and unbalanced relationship.

It is disheartening to put efforts towards a relationship in which your partner doesn’t show much involvement. It’s not only about frustration, but a one-sided relationship can sour the affection and negatively impact your mental health.

What is a one-sided relationship?

When a relationship is one-sided, one partner is investing much more energy, time, and even money towards the relationship other than their partner. Sometimes there are specific situations in which a person must carry their relationship for a specific period. For example, when for one partner things aren’t going well or that person is ill.

Even in such situations, the relationship needs efforts from both partners, if not financially, then emotionally. One person can never take the burden for an extended period.

Signs of a one-sided relationship

Signs of a one-sided relationship

Here are a few signs that people generally experience in a one-sided relationship:

  1. You are second-guessing yourself.

Am I smart enough? Pretty enough? Funny enough? According to the experts, if you are constantly second-guessing yourself and living up your life continuously asking yourself such questions to meet your partner’s expectations, then you may be in a one sided relationship. When the relationship is one-sided, one person loses his personality and nature to impress another.

But for a healthy relationship, you must first become true to yourself. Being authentic will attract a perfect relationship for both of you.

  1. You constantly make excuses for your partner.

It is good to play defense but only on the playground. But When a relationship is one-sided, you start justifying your partner’s behavior in a family or friend gathering. In most cases, they are able to see things you don’t want to see.

In my former relationship at my family gathering, I used to say that my boyfriend was just a little cranky today, but he was not. He was abusive; I was just not willing to accept it. If a large group of your closest one is being alert of his behavior, you must also be aware.

  1. Your partner’s calendar always has priority.

When a relationship is on one side, you will always have to wait to see if your partner is available, or else you will have to move the commitment or plans. You will realize that your partner is giving importance to everything except the plans you make.

There must be a balance in the alteration of schedules. But if your partner is not flexible in his schedule and only wants to see you when he is free, then there is a complete imbalance in the relationship.

  1. You are becoming insecure about the relationship.

If you constantly question yourself about the relationship’s future and are never at ease, then the relationship could be more balanced. When a relationship is one-sided, you always look for ways to impress and allure him to keep him desiring you.

It happens because the relationship is one-sided, which unsettles your feelings. It’s a red flag. Such a relationship is not sustainable and will exhaust your mental health.

  1. You are apologizing a lot.

You can be at fault sometimes, but if you constantly say sorry every time you two fight, you need to look at your relationship. You may feel you are helping by not igniting the fight but it is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Avoiding conflicts can harm your own feelings. According to the experts, there should be a team approach to solving a conflict in a relationship. It is never a person’s responsibility.

  1. Your interactions don’t satisfy you.

How do you feel after spending time with your partner? Have fun a little but the lack of emotional connection leaves you unsatisfied, stressed, and lonely. You may even feel lost with them due to s strange vibe and think, what did you do that hurt them?

The time we spend with our loved ones gives us energy and makes us forget all our worries. But becoming stressed, dissatisfied, and drained after meeting your partner means you are in an unbalanced relationship. You are in a relationship where you must always try to meet your emotional needs.

Causes of a one-sided relationship

Sometimes the cause behind the one-sided relationship is the toxic and manipulative nature of the other person. Here are some common causes that result in a one-sided relationship.

  1. Poor communication

One and even both partners can suffer from the lack of communication in a relationship. Improving and practicing open communication will help solve many problems and clarify misunderstandings.

If both partners are willing to improve their relationship, better communication can be a success.

  1. Insecurity

A person gets insecure when the relationship is one-sided as he is afraid of losing. His fear makes him do all the work for himself and his partner. It also leads them to take care of everything by themselves, that result in a one-sided relationship.

  1. Conflict expectations

Every person brings their idea about a relationship and what they expect from it. But if one person is more emotionally and physically committed to the relationship, then he is bound to feel depressed and one-sided.

  1. Individual problems

If one partner is going through a tough time or is dealing with something stressful, it can affect his role in the relationship. They may be unable to give 100% towards the relationship as their problems affect their mental health.

  1. Attachment style

A person’s attachment style also affects how they behave in their relationship. For example, if one person has an anxious attachment style, he will become worried about the other person who doesn’t feel the same way they do.

It can lead to one of them becoming clingy and tangled in the relationship while the other person tries to move away as much as possible. In the relationship, such behavior makes one person emotionally dependent on the other.

  1. Passive-aggressive behavior

Sometimes, one-sided relationships are specially planned to burden one person with all the responsibilities of the relationship and even the other partners. Sometimes, the manipulative partner uses emotional tricks to show the other person that he cannot perform these essential tasks. It is a passive-aggressive behavior that results in a one-sided relationship.

Are one-sided relationships worth the time?

By putting in the effort, it’s possible to solve the issues in any relationship, including the one-sided relationship. Like other issues, it always helps to have a deep conversation. If you have recently seen him showing such behavior, ask why they are distracted or distant. If they need to know the reasons, here are your next steps.

  • Work together to address the thing that is affecting them.
  • Work together on strategies that help you work together.
  • Explore different ways to work together and have open communication together.

In case of past relationship trauma or attachment issues, professional help can be the best solution. It’s tough to overcome such issues. A professional therapist can help you navigate the problem quickly. Whereas a couple of counselors can help you find the central problem and its solution.

How to fix a one-sided relationship?

How to fix a one-sided relationship?

If you are wondering how to fix a one-sided relationship, here are some practical tips to make your relationship work. These tips will create balance in the relationship so both partners will feel love, respect, and value. It can also benefit in the long term to create a balanced, healthy, and mutually rewarded relationship.

  1. Talk, Talk, Talk, and listen.

As we discussed above, good communication guarantees a healthy relationship. Fortunately, you can quickly learn communication skills. Practice the skill with your partner by doing the couple’s communication exercises. It will not only keep you closer together but will also help you feel valued.

  1. Try therapy.

As I mentioned, it can be beneficial to identify the problems in a relationship in physical or online therapy. It benefits in overcoming the things that are the leading cause of the imbalance. Sometimes we can’t observe the problem ourselves, and a third party, like a professional counselor, can help us understand the problem.

  1. Accept your partner’s behavior.

There is always a limit to which extent a person can change, even when they want to modify the behavior. If you or your partners have an introverted nature, are not skilled in cooking anything, or are a bit messy, then try to have realistic expectations from them.

Don’t expect them to become extroverted suddenly. You have to manage your expectations by being realistic. It can help you come to a better understanding and accept each other in a better way.

How do things end when the relationship is one-sided?

Sometimes you have to end things with a heavy heart because you two are incompatible. If you or your partner have no hope of meeting in the middle, then moving on is always a better option. Even if you think you have invested a lot of effort into the relationship, it will not be worth your wait.

No amount of effort is worth taking a toll on your mental health. Explain to your partner why you want to end the relationship. Sometimes you both are not wrong, but you two are just not compatible together. Some people feel like there is no emotional intimacy in their relationship, while some feel insecure about their plans.

It’s lovely to desire a relationship with equal investment and intimacy from another partner. Besides that, what have you called a healthy relationship?


When a relationship is one-sided, it can make you feel lonely, resentful, and insecure. If you feel that you are in such an imbalanced relationship, it is vital to look deeply at the relationship’s future.

Be honest with yourself and see if your relationship is worth saving. If change is possible, see if the other person is willing to change. Remember cutting ties is better than having a toll on your mental health.


What to do when a relationship is one-sided?

Here are a few tips to fix a one-sided relationship:

  1. Have a deep conversation and try to listen to each other.
  2. Accept the behavior and personality of the other person.
  3. Accept taking third party (therapist) help.
  4. If things don’t work, cut ties politely.

What is a one-sided relationship?

When a relationship is one-sided, one person will be investing a lot of time, energy, and, in a few cases, money. Sometimes a person carries the relationship for a specific period because things aren’t going well for the other partner. But constantly depending on one to do all the work in a relationship needs to be corrected.

Can a relationship work if it’s one-sided?

A one-sided relationship is not healthy for any person in the relationship. However, changes are possible only when both are willing to do it. One person can always maintain a relationship long term.

Should I end a relationship?

When you stop becoming vulnerable and open with your partner, then it’s the moment that there is no emotional connection left. As in a healthy relationship, both partners are always open to discussing things and sharing their opinions on everything.

What is an unhealthy relationship?

Unhealthy relationships are characterized by controlling and disrespectful behavior towards their partner. It’s important to recognize these signs in relationships to avoid being unhealthy and damaging your mental health.

What are the stages of the breakup?

Even if you are the one who initiated the split, there are still five stages of grief that you need to go through. These stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. According to the reports of mental health matters, these are the natural steps involved in healing after a breakup.


R Sehar

R Sehar

I am a licensed therapist and life coach who specializes in relationships. I help strong, empowered women develop healthy, fulfilling relationships with themselves and those around them. My clients often struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression & addiction. I work with them to create a healthier mindset and lifestyle that supports their worthiness for love.

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