10 Telltale Signs You’re In A One-sided Relationship

signs of a one-sided relationship

How can you tell if you’re in a one-sided relationship with someone?

One of the most common signs of being in a one-sided relationship is that you realize you’re putting in more effort than your romantic partner.

In a committed relationship, couples simultaneously invest their time, energy, and money to make it work.

And one partner isn’t left to carry the load alone because they are a team.

However, in a one-sided relationship, it’s difficult to get genuine reciprocal love from your significant other.

According to Clinical psychologist Scott Bea, “A relationship where it feels like the effort, energy, and responsibilities are imbalanced, and where one partner feels as though there is no reciprocity is unhealthy.”

This imbalance can create mental anguish, emotional pain, and physical exhaustion for the partner who is investing heavily in the relationship.

Any relationship where one person is doing most of the work to keep it afloat is not a healthy one.

In this article, we look at some telltale signs of a one-sided relationship and how it affects you on a personal level.

signs of a one-sided relationship


It’s easy to recognize the signs of a one-sided relationship by observing your feelings, your partner’s actions, and their body language.

Here are 10 telltale signs you’re in a one-sided relationship:

1. You feel like you don’t have a real, meaningful connection

When you’re in a loving relationship, you feel a deep emotional connection to your significant other.

As a result of the quality time you’ve spent as a couple and the love you’ve both invested, you feel bonded together.

Even though you may have separate careers or lifestyles, there’s always that undeniable feeling of love and affection for each other.

In contrast to healthy romantic relationships, one-sided relationships are devoid of real love because one partner isn’t fully committed to growing the relationship.

If you feel as if you have a superficial connection with your romantic partner, that’s a sign your relationship is one-sided.

2. You’re putting in more effort than your partner

One major characteristic of a successful relationship is daily shared obligations.

This means both partners are responsible and accountable to each other.

They are also committed to building their relationship and keeping the love alive.

As a couple, they may choose to speak each other’s love language, show genuine affection, and even go on romantic dates often to maintain their bond.

However, in an unbalanced relationship, one partner is usually left to do the heavy lifting and keep the relationship alive.

If you’re the only one initiating contact, making phone calls, sending love messages, and planning date nights, that’s a huge red flag.

3. Your partner never sacrifices or makes compromises for you

Another sign you’re in a one-sided relationship is that your significant other doesn’t go out of their way to make you feel happy in the relationship.

You make a lot of sacrifices for them but they rarely notice and hardly ever reciprocate the kind gesture.

They don’t care about your emotional well-being, mental state, or physical health as they’re immensely focused on looking out for themselves and having their way all the time.

If your partner doesn’t make room for compromise, negotiation, or sacrifice in your relationship, that’s not a good sign.

A relationship where one person is giving their all to make it work while the other partner is disinterested in putting much effort is a toxic one.

signs of a one-sided relationship

4. You constantly feel undervalued and unappreciated

As a result of the imbalance in your relationship, you often feel used and taken advantage of by your partner.

No matter what you do for them, they’re never grateful or appreciative of your efforts because they feel entitled to your love and devotion.

Healthy couples never take each other for granted since they know love is a choice, not a feeling and they’re committed to reminding one another of how special they are.

When you mean a lot to someone, they’ll value you and be afraid of losing you, which makes them treat you nicely.

Your partner shouldn’t leave you guessing about their feelings for you and they shouldn’t maltreat you when you’re doing everything possible to keep them happy.

If you feel undervalued and unappreciated in your romantic relationship, this is a big sign of imbalance.

5. You seem to be the only one who truly cares

Does it seem like you’re always the one who feels bothered or concerned about certain things while your partner acts indifferently?

For example, if you complain about all the things going wrong in your relationship, your significant other will act nonchalantly as if it’s none of their business.

In a good relationship, both partners care about each other deeply and they work together to fix problems that arise in their lives.

Even if the problem concerns only one person, the other partner will show care and support until the matter is resolved.

In a one-sided relationship, however, you’ll often feel alone with your problems and you’ll be the only one running around to fix them.

If your partner seems unbothered about things that weigh you down, that’s a major cause for concern.

6. You feel as if everything depends on you

Are you always the one who makes the first move and takes charge of things in your relationship?

In a balanced relationship, couples intermittently lead one another at different times.

This means one person isn’t left to figure everything out or handle all the problems alone.

The major aim of a relationship is to work with someone else to achieve your goals in life.

You shouldn’t have to deal with all your life issues alone or have to be in charge of things all the time.

Healthy couples know the value of teamwork and often balance each other’s efforts at every turn.

If you feel like you’re carrying a heavy weight on your chest and you know that if you stop trying, your relationship will fall apart, that’s a sign you’re with the wrong person.

A good partner should be willing to support you at all times and be ready to fulfill your needs on a regular basis, not desert you to fend for yourself.

How to know if you're in a one-sided relationship

7. You feel emotionally drained and mentally exhausted

Another sign of being in a one-sided relationship is that you experience constant mental and emotional exhaustion.

No matter what you do, you just can’t shake off that feeling of dread or sadness when it comes to your love life.

For example, any time you think of your partner or your relationship, you feel so sick and tired.

Your romantic relationship is meant to give you immense joy and inner peace not drain your energy or suck away your life force.

Sure, you’ll have your ups and downs as a couple but the good times will often outweigh the bad moments in a healthy relationship.

So if you’re feeling demotivated, sad, or depressed because of your relationship, that’s not a good sign.

8. You feel as if you’re losing your mind

Do you feel like you’re going crazy? A common sign of an unhealthy relationship is that you’ll often question your own sanity.

This means even if you know your partner isn’t treating you right, you’ll come up with lots of excuses to cover up their bad behavior because you don’t want to lose them.

However, the mind always knows when something is wrong long before the heart admits it.

If you’re constantly struggling with intrusive thoughts and you keep asking yourself if you’re overreacting or being too sensitive, it’s a sign you’re in the wrong relationship.

When your mind and heart do not align on something, you need to consider your actions carefully.

For instance, if your partner acts disinterested instead of taking something seriously, you may dismiss it as them being too tired or stressed meanwhile your mind will tell you that the way you’re being treated is unfair.

If your instincts are warning you about your partner and you find yourself fighting with your mind frequently or having intrusive thoughts, it means you need to face your truth.

9. You desperately want your partner to try harder

How would it feel if your partner started putting more effort into growing your relationship?

Will you feel relieved or happy about this sudden change?

Most people in a healthy relationship don’t really care about changing their partner because they are comfortable with the way things are.

Of course, there’s always room for improvement in any area of life but when you’re with the right person, a change of attitude doesn’t really concern you.

If it would mean a lot to you if your partner took your love life more seriously, that’s a sign you’re in a one-sided relationship.

signs of a one-sided relationship

10. You feel like giving up on your relationship

Being in an unbalanced relationship can feel like an uphill battle that never ends.

You’re constantly trying to keep the relationship afloat while being a supportive partner at the same time.

It can feel draining to realize that you’re the only one investing your time, energy, and money to sustain your romantic relationship.

No matter how strong you are, the effects of being in a one-sided relationship will eventually get to you and at that point, you’ll seriously consider quitting because you can’t take it anymore.

If you don’t know how much longer you can hold on and you’re just hanging in there wishing for things to improve, it’s a sure sign that you’re in the wrong relationship.

When you’re with the right person, you’ll look forward to better days ahead while enjoying the fun times available in the present moment.

But when you’re numbing your feelings and daydreaming about blissful moments that may never happen just to survive until next year, that’s a cause for concern.


I’ve given you a few tips on how to know if you’re in a one-sided relationship.

These real-life examples are usually detectable if you reflect on your relationship with your romantic partner.

One of the biggest signs of a one-sided relationship is a lack of balance.

In a healthy relationship, you get balance, stability, consistency, and support from your partner.

If you feel fearful, anxious, depressed, or uncertain about your love life, it means your relationship isn’t working out.

So what do you do when you find out you’re in an unbalanced relationship?

Talk to your significant other about the things bothering you and what they can do to improve your love life.

Sometimes, a partner may maltreat you out of ignorance or naivety because they were never taught how to love.

You may also consider going for couples therapy together to find the best solution to your relationship issues.

If you’ve repeatedly made your concerns known to your partner and there’s still no improvement, it’s okay to end the toxic relationship.

You don’t have to force something that isn’t working simply because you want to be in a romantic relationship.

The best way to attract your true soulmate is to know what you want in a relationship and to learn when to let go of the wrong partners.


Recommended Reading:

10 Things You Should Never Tolerate In A Relationship

10 Obvious Signs You’re In A Fake Relationship

12 Warning Signs He Doesn’t Value You

About The Author

Jennifer Dagi
 | Blog

Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life.

As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.

She strongly believes communication and intimacy are the most important ingredients for building a successful relationship.

Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.

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