Have you ever found yourself in a one sided relationship?
I know a lot of people who have. One email I received from a young lady about her one sided relationship went something like this…
I’ve been involved in this relationship for 5 years, and I’m starting to come to terms with reality that it isn’t much of a relationship at all. I’ve been committed to him, but he hasn’t committed to me.
One Sided Relationships: though they may be titled many different things within the world of counseling and psychology, that’s pretty much the easiest way to describe them.
Like other relationships, one sided relationships consist of two people, except in one-way relationships only one person is doing the work. It’s an unfortunate problem that even more unfortunately occurs far too often.
The man who has been saying he loves you for years, but is never willing to commit…that’s a one sided relationship.
The woman who avoids emotional intimacy by investing everything in her life and career and neglecting to invest in her relationship…that’s a one sided relationship.
The guy who’s been calling, texting, and emailing you for months- but face to face acts like you don’t exist…that’s a one sided relationship.
The girlfriend who keeps saying she’s done with all the other guys, but can never seem to keep those doors closed…that’s a one sided relationship.
The boyfriend who wants to keep taking physically, but giving nothing back emotionally…that’s a one sided relationship.
I could list a hundred examples, and I’m sure you could too. But the bottom line about one sided relationships like the above, is that they are relationships in which one person always seems to be doing all the giving– the forgiving, the forgetting, the ignoring, the working through– while the other person seems to be doing all the taking.
But the interesting thing about one-way relationships, is that no matter who is doing the giving or taking, it always takes two people to keep them going.
One way relationships are always fueled by two people…which tells you something.
It tells you that behind every one-way relationship, there is another person who is giving too much, and expecting too little. A person who continues to make excuses. A person who continues to see the relationship for what it could be, rather than what it actually is.
If you’re stuck in a one sided dating relationship, you’ve got to dig deep and really ask yourself why?
Why is it that you allow for this kind of interaction to be a part of your life? Why don’t you believe that you deserve better? What are you afraid of? What continues to fuel your desire to remain in a relationship that gives you so little, when you could open yourself up to receiving so much more?
Remember, you have the power to teach people how they can and can’t treat you. Maybe it’s time for some changes to happen. Maybe it’s time to start living out the truth that you deserve God’s best for your life and relationships, and nothing less.
Maybe, it’s time to say no, once and for all, to one sided relationships. If not now, then when?
**This article is written specifically for those in a dating relationship. Advice and encouragement would be different concerning those in a marriage relationship.
If you have struggled with unhealthy or toxic relationships, one-sided relationships, or generally struggled being drawn to the wrong kind of people…and if you want to find the freedom to move forward in healthy interactions, then check out the upcoming Healthy Relationships: SINGLES group session over zoom. There are a very limited number of open spots! Signup here.
We can often learn great lessons when we share with each other…when we practice vulnerability, openness, and dig deep!
Debra is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in dating, marriage, and relationship issues, along with a spectrum of mental health disorders and issues. She’s the author of True Love Dates, Choosing Marriage, Love in Every Season, Are You Really Ok?, and Married Sex. She’s also the host of the Love + Relationships Podcast, a hotline-style show where people call in to get their relationship questions answered!