WRITTEN BY Felicia Kashevaroff

8 Signs of a One-Sided Relationship and How to Balance It

Relationships are meant to be a source of support, love, and mutual growth. However, when the effort and affection become lopsided, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and frustration. At Tend Task, we understand the importance of nurturing balanced relationships, and we’re here to help you recognize and rectify when things are skewed. If you’re wondering whether you’re in a one-sided relationship, this article will guide you through the signs and provide practical advice for restoring harmony.

8 Signs of a One-Sided Relationship and How to Balance It

Sign #1: You Always Start Conversations

In a balanced relationship, both partners actively reach out to each other to share thoughts, feelings, and updates. If you find yourself always being the one to initiate texts, calls, or plans, it might be a sign that the relationship is leaning too heavily on your efforts.

Sign #2: Your Needs are Overlooked

Does it seem like your partner’s needs and desires always take precedence? In a balanced relationship, both partners’ needs are considered and valued. If you’re constantly making sacrifices while your partner’s priorities remain untouched, you may be in a one-sided relationship. This imbalance can lead to a dynamic where your needs are perpetually sidelined, which is unsustainable in the long run.

Sign #3: You Feel Constantly Drained Rather Than Energized

Relationships should be a source of energy and inspiration, not a drain on your emotional reservoir. If you find yourself feeling consistently exhausted and depleted after interactions with your partner, it’s important to reassess the emotional dynamics between you.

Sign #4: Lack of Emotional Support

Support is a two-way street. In a healthy relationship, both individuals provide and receive support. However, if you’re always the one offering emotional, financial, or practical support without receiving anything in return, this imbalance needs to be addressed.

Sign #5: You Apologize Even When It’s Not Your Fault

Apologizing to keep the peace, even when you haven’t done anything wrong, is a clear sign that you’re in a one-sided relationship. This behavior can diminish your self-esteem and disrupt genuine communication leading to anger and resentment.

Sign #6: Your Achievements Go Unnoticed

A partner who values and loves you will celebrate your successes and share in your joy. Your partner should be your loudest cheerleader, just like you are for them. If your achievements go unnoticed or unappreciated, it can feel like you’re not seen and valued. Some partners are even threatened by the success of their partner. If that feels like your relationship, it’s time to address the issue.

Sign #7: You’re Afraid to Express Your Needs

Feeling unable to express your needs without fear of negative repercussions or disinterest from your partner is a strong indicator of a one-sided relationship. Open communication is essential for a healthy partnership. You deserve to have your needs heard and met in a healthy relationship

Sign #8: You’re Constantly Anxious About the Relationship

If the state of your relationship frequently leaves you feeling anxious or uncertain, this is a sign that the emotional balance is off. Security and peace should be hallmarks of your interaction with your partner.

How to Balance a One-Sided Relationship

Step 1: Open Communication

Initiate an honest discussion with your partner about your feelings and the need for balance. Express your needs clearly and without blame. It’s helpful to use evidence-based communication strategies like Nonviolent Communication to make sure you’re communicating clearly and with compassion.

Step 2: Set Boundaries

Identify what you are and aren’t willing to tolerate. Setting boundaries is crucial for your mental health and the health of the relationship. Remember that setting boundaries isn’t about changing your partner’s behavior. It’s setting the expectation for how you will behave when your boundary is crossed. In other words, boundaries are about you – not about the other person. 

Step 3: Seek Reciprocity

The definition of reciprocity is the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. That means that you generally take care of each other with the same level of attention and energy. Encourage your partner to reciprocate by expressing what you need from them explicitly. Sometimes, a partner may be unaware of the imbalance.

Step 4: Prioritize Self-Care

Invest in your well-being. Engage in activities that replenish your energy and contribute to your own happiness. This doesn’t mean taking more bubble baths, it means genuinely attending to your physical and emotional needs. This article goes into detail about how to practice self-care while nurturing your relationship.

Step 5: Bring in Professional Resources

Sometimes, professional help from relationship coaches like those at Tend Task can provide the tools and guidance necessary to reestablish a healthy balance.

Conclusion

Recognizing that you are in a one-sided relationship is a significant first step towards creating a more balanced partnership. By addressing these issues openly and honestly, you pave the way for a more fulfilling connection. Remember, both partners deserve to feel valued, supported, and loved.

At Tend Task, we are dedicated to fostering healthy and balanced relationships. Whether through individual coaching or couples sessions, our experts are here to guide you every step of the way. Book a free Balanced Relationship Breakthrough Session today!


FAQs

What causes a one-sided relationship?

One-sided relationships can stem from unconscious gender bias, poor family role modeling, or even unresolved trauma. It’s important that each partner works toward greater understanding of each other and the sources of unhealthy relationship habits.

How do I talk to my partner about feeling unbalanced without starting a conflict?

Conflict is a normal, healthy part of being in a relationship. We shouldn’t seek to avoid conflict, rather we should work toward communicating openly and vulnerably so that both partners are heard and understood. That said, how you start a conversation matters. Start softly and use “I” language. Don’t accuse or insult your partner.

Can a one-sided relationship ever become balanced again?

Absolutely, but it takes acknowledgement and effort from both partners to move beyond selfish and/or people pleasing behaviors. 

What are the signs that it’s time to leave a one-sided relationship?

If you have done all of the work to communicate clearly, share your experiences with vulnerability, and bring in professional help and your partner refuses to acknowledge your experience, or meet you with compassion, it may be time to consider whether this is the right relationship for you.

How can couples coaching help with one-sided relationships?

Coaches act as a neutral, non-judgmental third party. Rather than siding with one partner, they are there to support the health of your relationship. A coach can help you to step outside of your perspective and see things from your partner’s point of view. They can also help you each to set achievable goals toward a more balanced relationship and hold you each accountable for taking action toward those goals.