How to Deal With a One-Sided Relationship

Relationships should be mutually loving and consist of a pair of partners who give each other relatively equal romantic attention. While this equity is ideal, there are some relationships in which one member does all the love-giving and the other all the taking. If you feel like you are constantly giving your affections to your partner and never getting romantic attention in return, you may be in a one-sided relationship. As a result, you need to do some work on your relationship so it can stand the test of time.

Explore your feelings independently. Before you approach your partner, you need to decide how you feel. Give yourself five minutes to write about your relationship, jotting down any details that pop into your mind. After these five minutes pass, review what you wrote and spend some time thinking about how healthy your current relationship seems to be, as well as how the relationship makes you feel.

Tell your partner what you need. After engaging in your metacognitive study of your relationship, sit down with your partner and express your needs. It is quite possible that your partner simply doesn't realize that she isn't reciprocating love and, if you tell her this, she will be more overtly romantic, giving you the attention you require

Explain why you need these things. Present some "I" statements, or sentences starting with I and dealing with your feelings, to your partner, telling him why you require that your love be reciprocated. Tell him for example, "I don't feel secure in our relationship when you don't tell me that you love me," or, "I struggle with low self-esteem, and when you don't show me you care it makes my struggles even worse."

Create a relationship contract. On a sheet of paper, jot down the things you promise to do for each other. For example, you might write that you promise to rub his back several times a week while he promises to give you a kiss and a hug as soon as he returns home from work. Sign this informal agreement and place it in a safe place.

Seek counseling if things don't improve. If your relationship remains one-sided despite your serious efforts, counseling may be necessary. Ask your partner to attend couples' counseling with you to mend and strengthen your relationship.

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About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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