A person fights addiction to food, drugs, games, other bad habits but rarely admits that they are dependent on relationships with another person and do more for the sake of the partner than receive back. There is a universal excuse for this, "I just love them." Although there should be no excuses for putting on the blindfold in your relationships and unreadiness to see the truth. One-sided love has never made someone genuinely happy, so it's time for you to do something about it.

It is similar to drugs or nicotine, gambling or chemical dependence: you lose freedom, all interests are closed on one thing - the object of your love. You do what they want, sacrifice yourself and refuse to admit what you want. You get focused not on yourself or relationships but the partner and worship them. A person that is trapped in a vicious circle of one-sided love, experiences an acute deficit of attention, moral support, self-esteem, self-worth, and loses the feeling of life regardless of its other aspects.

one sided relationships

One-Sided Relationships – What Is This?         

Usually, one-sided relationships occur when one of the partners tries to give the other everything at once. When they succeed, the second one has nothing more to want. The need is satisfied, now other interests appear (now the partner wants to see friends, to go somewhere, meet other people and do things that interest them). And no one has the right to stop them from doing it and demand all the attention. The worst thing is that the second partner, not understanding this, tries to hold on, begins to intensively invest resources more because they think the reason is in them, which throws them even further into the torments. 

People who fall into the one-sided love have several negative beliefs about themselves, such as “I am bad, I do not need anyone, nobody loves me, I have so many flaws,” etc. that determine low self-esteem. Such people always value themselves below their partners, they are afraid of losing them, they are scared that their partner can meet a potential girlfriend or boyfriend on the side. Therefore, in their relationship, a compensatory mechanism works - "If I'm bad, I will do everything to make my beloved feel good with me, I will compensate for my shortcomings with this and that."

These people usually don't know how to refuse, they try to give the partner everything that they would ever want. And even if the relationship developed well at the very beginning, such behavior leads to the fact that the partner gets fed up, they don’t need that much attention. And the unfortunate lover is trying to appease the departing partner, guess their desires and please them beforehand. When the satiated partner leaves, despite all efforts, this becomes a tragedy. Not only the most terrible expectations have come true, reinforcing the existing insecurities, but perplexity and resentment mix in here, “How could they do this? I was doing everything for them." In the following respects, the person will try even more because they are inclined to think that they were abandoned due to their fault. The one-sided definition says that such a relationship means one of the partners investing more than the other. For this reason, they are doomed to failure.

What Causes One-Sided Relationships

Both internal and external reasons can cause the vicious circle of such a partnership. Some people are just naturally inclined to sacrifice, and even the best women for dating will not deprive them of the role of the victim. For others, they just do not have such strong feelings as their partner has, and therefore, they cannot respond to them with the same level of emotions. Upbringing, the negative experience of the first relationships, abuse, harassment or just the desire to manipulate are the causes of the phenomenon we discuss today. So, let’s take a closer look at them.

Low self-esteem

Remember, if a person has a low level of self-esteem, then she or he will not know how to show their feelings, speak up their mind or object against something. Such a partner will always listen to their beloved, ask for their praise, do everything so that they deserve to be loved. For this kind of person, it is hard to imagine that there should be no reason for love. When the two (or more as in the example with one-sided open relationships) choose to be together, an equal union should be built between them. There should be no obeyed and dominated party, two people should care for each other equally. But since people with low self-esteem do not consider themselves significant, they choose to sacrifice and stay calm about their needs considering those of the partner more important. 


Egocentrism is what causes one-sided relationships equally as often as being too focused on the other one. If a person is supported by these two qualities, then the situation gets even worse because it causes mood swings and periods of uncertainty. Such people love only themselves or simply don’t have enough strength to love others. They do not know how to feel the mood of a chosen one, they are indifferent to their life and desires. As a result, the egotists build one-sided relationships with family and their beloved ones. They can receive the love and affection of others but do not consider it necessary to give something back.one sided relationships advice

"Sacrificial victim"

This model of behavior requires that a person always feels hurt and disrespected in whatever the life situation is. The same also applies to communication with another person. Experts are convinced that the “eternal victims” deliberately fall in love with someone who will never love them back. For example, they fall in love with pop stars or famous politicians. This gives them unlimited resources for mental torment, which are combined with a passion for the object of relaxation and a maniac for it. Lack of communication skills with the opposite sex can be also present. In a close relationship that is manifested in the form of different passive-aggressiveness patterns and manipulations, such people will guess the desires of their partner or do unnecessary things just to reproach the partner later. Such a psychological game is called “Look what you made me do” even if no one ever asked them to do anything. 

Being generally dull and boring

Let us suppose that some people have no hobby, they live in the rhythm of “work-home-work,” do not have friends, never do anything interesting and live a boring life. And when they meet an interesting and exciting person, then their relationship will be one-sided. When one of the partner's shares news, attends meetings, learns something interesting every day and is a breadwinner, while the other one sits at home, such a partnership can not be equal. The problems begin when the partner that falls behind doesn’t even bother to change their life, instead they accuse their beloved that they do not show them enough attention. 

Improper communication 

The potential partner does not even suspect that you are constantly compromising and sacrificing. You can regularly hint that you want your partner to do more for you, that you try hard to make them happy (even if they did not ask for that) and that you would also like to receive surprises and kind words. But if you do not say it directly out loud, your partner does not know that the problem exists. You can accuse them in all sins in your head, once again choose the role of the victim, but your unfulfilled expectations are not their fault. What is a one-sided love? This can be a scenario you have chosen for yourself, and you will stay in it unless you decide to change something.

Signs of a One-Sided Relationship

When you are in a relationship, it is sometimes unclear when the interaction between you becomes unbalanced and turns into the direction of one of you. And although your goal may be to have something more meaningful and lasting, your partner may not even treat you seriously or think about you a much as you do. Not to fail or miss the moment when your love cannot be saved, you need to pay close attention to signs of a one-sided relationship.

1. Only you are ready to make sacrifices and concessions

One of the key characteristics of one-way relationships is that you give more than you receive. In other words, you can adapt to your beloved one’s preferences, change your plans for them, value their desires more than your own and constantly do good things for them. But these acts of kindness do not reciprocate. If you can’t remember the last time your partner did something for you, do yourself a favor and end this one-way relationship. Because you have only one person that will always be with you and whom you should treat as the most important, and that is you.

2. Your mood depends on the mood and behavior of your partner

This can be seen in a situation where one of the partners begins to behave uncomfortably because of the actions of the other, has to apologize for them or in general deals with their tantrums. That is, you take over the responsibility for their behavior while they feel free to do whatever they want. For example, you express dissatisfaction (little attention, your partner often comes home too late, doesn’t help you), then the partner takes a dominant position, demonstrates superiority using “punishment” methods: blaming in return, raising their voice, humiliating, shaming, showing open anger - up to threatening you to break up. After that, you “rollback” the situation, refuse to accuse, apologize, admit your intemperance and return to the original model of behavior (where you feel just as bad), just to neither spoil your existing relationship nor lose your partner.

3. Who is right?

The dependent person (the one who gives more than receives) is confident in their rightness and that the culprit of their poor condition is a partner who behaves incorrectly. They do not allow the idea that the very nature of their anxiety is abnormal, believe that it is worth changing for the sake of a partner - relationships will improve, and they will plead guilty. These thoughts accumulate and pour out on the partner a series of quarrels under the threat of separation. However, as soon as peace comes, they again plunge into discontent, worries, and accusations of what is happening. Surely, sometimes the partner does not act right, and it is they who should change, not you. But remember, no matter at what side you are, on the one that sacrifices and is a victim or the one that doesn’t pay back and acts selfishly, there should be no “wrong” or “right.” There are two of you and the problem you should fight, not each other.

one-sided love4. Increased anxiety

When you get constantly underestimated by your partner, other problems in communicating with people occur like shyness, vulnerability, the need for constant support and approval. This is a sign of any addiction: the function that alcohol performs in alcohol dependence (it’s difficult to interact with people without it), you become dependent on a relationship. And until you get “doping” in the form of communication with them, you can’t improve your condition. You begin to call and text, track down and seek out “evidence,” deceive, accuse and intimidate, try to talk and see their real emotions. You completely lose control over your behavior, directing all efforts towards one person. Do you still believe that this is love?

5. One of you is less open

All quotes about one-sided relationships that psychotherapists give are concerned with an emotional imbalance. That is, one of you is giving more, showing more emotions, is more in love, feels freer to express their mind while the other one does not correspond. In fact, even if you are completely honest with your partner, this does not mean your partner will do the same for you. Like you tell them about how your day was, the latest news and what bothers you and do not hear anything in response. They are either too shy to talk about themselves, indifferent to your worries, do not care about you in general or have something to hide and do not trust you. And if you are in a relationship with someone who is building a wall between you, you should not even try to establish your connection further.

Tips to Cure a One-Sided Relationship

We are told that you should fight for your love. That relationship is constant work. And you, rolling up your sleeves, work on them tirelessly, but it still does not give your result, and you still can’t resuscitate and save your relationship. The thing is that if only one of you works to save your relationship, then this will not lead to success. If you are in a relationship where one of you drags everything on themselves, and the second doesn’t want to do anything, then do not hesitate, you are stuck in one-way relationships. And it will be difficult to save this relationship. We suggest trying these 3 steps technique.

Let the partner feel that they have lost you

Completely cut off communication, up to full ignoring (not seeing, not picking up the phone, etc., so that the person does not know what is happening to you). You can also show that now there is another person around you. This allows you to play on the sense of ownership (this technique is better to use in extreme cases).

Do this at once

The separating itself must be done sharply and firmly to unsettle a person from the usual rut. If you do it smoothly, then they gradually get used to living without you and will not feel the difference. If you still try to return them for some time, then they even will get tired of you, and when you disappear they will be glad or may think that they can play with your feelings as long as they want because you will turn back anyway.

A sudden comeback

After a sharp break, time will work for you. After some period, you need to appear and again cause interest. But no longer try to appease, but rather, on the contrary, it is necessary to show independence and self-sufficiency.

Are One-Sided Relationships Dangerous?     

After reading one-sided relationships advice and deciding to fight, get ready for the fact that only you will make efforts and therefore, over time, you may feel emotionally exhausted, and your strength will be empty. You will also begin to understand that you are not receiving feedback and that there is no difference. Indeed, if this was so, and your partner does not try to change something for the better with you and just wastes all your efforts, it is not worth it.

The most unpleasant option is when, due to the inability to satisfy a need, a person “sticks” to their partner for life. For example, loving someone to the grave: when other people no longer seem interesting, the image of a person is idealized and therefore, real people cannot compete with them.

If you read “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, or at least watched a movie, you will be well aware of what we are talking about. Scarlett chased Ashley all her life, with the confidence that only he could bring her happiness, discarding people and opportunities that would allow her to be truly happy. When she receives him (closes gestalt), it immediately becomes clear that she never really needed him. Many people live like this, not understanding that as soon as they get what they have been chasing for so long, they will not need it. It is very bitter to realize how much has been lost because of this.

The more you try, the more you understand how different your views and values ​​of your partner are. In the process of fighting for someone’s love, you may realize that it’s you and your partner who is quite different. After all, they do not want to hear from you, or even try to understand. And this discovery can be quite painful - be prepared for it.

You may begin to notice that only you care about your partner, while they are in no hurry to do the same for you. Also, most likely, everything that you will do for the relationship and your partner will be taken for granted, and this is very painful and unpleasant. Sometimes we change ourselves for the sake of what the partner wants, even though they were never ready to make any “sacrifices” or compromises for our sake. But when we completely lose ourselves, we realize that it cannot continue. Better if you realize this earlier and stop fighting for the person that does not care for you!

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