Strong relationships involve a healthy balance of give and take between both partners. But when you’re in a one-sided relationship, you probably feel like this give and take is nowhere to be found. If you’re the partner who cares more in a one-sided relationship, it’s important to be willing to stand up for yourself, whether that means being more direct with your partner or finding a different partner who is willing to reciprocate your feelings. These 9 warning signs indicate that your relationship isn’t based on a healthy and equal dynamic.
1. Their needs come before yours.
Sometimes relationships become one-sided (or are one-sided from the start) because one person is rigid and inflexible, while the other is more willing to adapt to their partner’s preferences. Over time, this can lead to the more considerate person putting their needs aside and their partner’s needs first, which can breed distance and resentment. If you feel as if you’ve been neglecting your own needs or that you can’t because their needs always seem to take precedence, and if your partner doesn’t seem to notice or care, this is a red flag.
2. They are unreliable.
Your partner can rely on you for anything. In fact, they’ve come to expect you to be there for them anytime they call, text, need emotional support. But when you are in need, your partner is nowhere to be found. Does this scenario sound familiar? If your partner can’t follow through on agreements they’ve made with you or they bail on plans with you when they get a “better offer,” you’re likely in a one-sided relationship.
3. The things you do for them get taken for granted.
In a healthy relationship, both partners make a habit of actively appreciating the things the other does for them. In a one-sided relationship, this dynamic often doesn’t exist. If you find that your partner doesn’t thank you or even notice when you do things for them, think carefully about whether it’s worthwhile to keep investing your time and emotional energy in this person.
4. They don’t appreciate you for who you are.
Does your partner love you for you – your personality, quirks, hobbies, and dreams? Or, are they consistently trying to tell you to be someone or something you’re not? If your partner frequently tells you that they wish that you were different in some way, or if they don’t take an interest in learning more about you as you are right now, it’s a major warning sign that they’re in a relationship with a fantasy version of you – not the real you.
5. You’re never enough.
No matter what you do, it’s never good enough or right. You’re constantly trying to adjust and do more to satisfy them and even still, they tell you you’re doing it wrong or not doing enough. If you’re often being criticized that you’re not doing enough, this is a big sign.
See also: 15 Pieces of Empowering Relationship Advice for Women
6. You’re expected to change your plans for them or go out of your way for them.
If you are in a one-sided relationship, your partner probably expects to be at the center of your universe, but doesn’t feel any need to make you the center of theirs. They may expect you to drop already-made plans to spend time with them or help them out whenever they’re in a pinch, no matter how inconvenient it is for you.
7. They’re uninterested in your life and your needs.
When was the last time your partner asked you a question about yourself, your goals for the future, or even just how your day went? If the answer is, “It’s been a while,” your partner may not be fully invested in you or in the relationship, especially if you’re making an effort to be involved in their life and they aren’t reciprocating.
8. Others have noticed or warned you that your relationship isn’t balanced.
When you love someone, you can become blind to their faults, at least to a degree. We all come with faults, but the question is what is healthy and what goes beyond. Other people, though, have no such rose-tinted glasses on, and they may be able to see things that aren’t obvious to you. If family members or friends have told you that your relationship doesn’t seem fair or equal, consider whether they might be onto something.
9. You feel like you’re being used.
Your partner is warm, affectionate, and fun – at least, whenever they need or want something from you. If you feel like your partner only goes out of their way for you or makes plans to spend time together when they want you to do something for them or when they have nothing better to do, it’s unfortunately likely that things are one-sided.
10. Your communication often goes unanswered.
It can be both annoying and anxiety-inducing to not hear back from your partner for extended periods of time, but this frequently happens in unequal relationships. Sure, everyone’s phone battery dies occasionally and people have work or class, but if your partner frequently blows off your calls or texts, it’s a clear sign that talking to you simply isn’t that important to them.
Related: 14 Toxic Relationship Habits that People Think are Normal
If you think your partner isn’t as interested in you as you are in them, don’t panic. It doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is over. However, it does mean that it’s time to reflect on whether this is the relationship you want to be in and if so, how to make it etter. Have a conversation with your partner about what you both expect out of your relationship. If your partner does not make more of an effort to uphold their end of the relationship in the future, it may be time to move on and find someone more deserving of your time and care.