One-Sided Relationship Meaning & Psychology & Red Flags

One-Sided Relationship Meaning & Psychology & Red Flags

One-Sided Relationship Meaning & Psychology & Red Flags

A one-sided relationship can be considered an imbalanced interpersonal relationship where one partner invests more energy or one person wields more control. This imbalance can be one of many factors like one person is more committed or more interested in the relationship.

Meaning of a one sided relationship

One-sided relationships signify a communication or compatibility issue between two people, yet they don’t always mean one person is being abused. For example, one partner may feel more about the relationship than the other, or perhaps one side isn’t sure of their feelings.

The features of one-sided relationships are covered in this article, along with their causes and advice on how to handle them. Relationships can become unbalanced when one person is deceitful or toxic. In other conditions, various psychological factors can contribute to a one-sided relationship.

  1. Inadequate Communication Skills:

One or both partners may have difficulty communicating their feelings, needs, and preferences. Practicing and improving communication skills can help both parties gain clarity about potential solutions, responses, and opportunities for repair and healing.

  1. Insecurity:

One person is concerned that they’ll lose the relationship if they do not handle everything independently. As a result, they think an unequal share of the relationship’s responsibility.

  1. Expectations that differ:

Each one brings their perspective on a relationship and what they expect to gain from it. It will feel one-sided if you are more involved in the relationship than your partner.

  1. Individual Troubles:

When one partner is interacting with a stressful situation or undergoing signs of a psychological condition, it can directly affect how they respond in a relationship. If they are affected by such issues, they may not grant it the attention it requires.

  1. Attachment Styles:

Attachment styles can influence how adults behave in romantic relationships. A person with a nervous attachment style, for example, may be concerned that another partner does not feel the same way as they do. As a result, one partner may become emotionally needy and entangled in the relationship, whereas the other starts trying to get as far from it as possible. In intimate relationships, this conduct frequently leads to one person becoming psychologically dependent on the other.

  1. Passive-Aggressive Behavior: 

One-sided relationships can also be identified by intentional actions that burden one mate with commitments the opposing person does not wish to deal with. One example is a phenomenon called as “weaponized incompetence,” in which one partner pretends to be unable to perform basic tasks. They move the responsibility for it onto their partner in this way. It is a type of passive-aggressive behavior that can lead to one-sided relationships.

Red flags of a one sided relationshipMhrezaa GRYHwCxL9wQ Unsplash Scaled

One-sided relationships can take many different forms. It could be your relationship with your partner, but it can also be other interpersonal relationships, such as those with your parents, friends, or coworkers.

Some red flags of a one-sided relationship include the following:

  1. The other person initiates the vast majority of activities and communication: 

The other individual is rarely the one to achieve and make first contact. Instead, you are expected to initiate almost every conversation and interaction and plan the more significant proportion of what you do together.

  1. You must make the majority of severe relationship judgments on your own: 

The other person may say they don’t care either way or effectively forget the obligation to make essential decisions entirely. In either case, you bear the burden of significant decisions on one back with little contribution or financing from another person.


  1. Being the one who must apologize: 

Following a disagreement or conflict, the other individual rarely reaches out to accept responsibility for their behavior or make amends for the harm they have created. Instead, you are generally the one who apologizes in an attempt to move on from the problem.

  1. Willing to sacrifice everything and anything to make the other individual happy: 

You may feel compelled to ignore someone else’s wants and needs to keep the relationship afloat.


  1. Emotions of insecurity and uncertainty about where you stand: 

When the opposite person does not appear to care or put forth much effort, you question one’s motivations, dedication, and investment in the relationship.

  1. Poor communication: 

You may feel they need to listen, care, or fully understand what you are saying. As a result, you are displeased and unappreciated when you communicate.

  1. Unbalanced financial commitments:

 You are the one who must charge for each of your shared expenses, and they always expect you to cover their financial obligations.

  1. Excuses:

You constantly justify why the other person isn’t contributing to the relationship. For example, the other person is often having a difficult day or is under stress, which prevents them from being present for you.

The influence of a one sided relationship

One-sided relationships can be highly harmful, especially when one person is taking advantage of another. Some of the negative consequences of this kind of relationship are as follows:

  • Increased Stress Levels: 

Being involved in this type of relationship can put a strain on both your physical and mental well-being. While healthy relationships can act like stress buffers, studies have shown that some relationships cause stress and can harm health. Sleep problems, anxiety, depression, and lowered immune function are a few potential negative consequences of chronic stress.

  • Loneliness: 

Aside from the emotional turmoil of doing most of the work in the relationship, any absence of mutual attempts can leave you feeling isolated and lonely. In addition, you may feel you can’t honestly talk to the other person about your problems or how you actually feel.

  • Reduced self-esteem: 

Being mostly disappointed in this one-sided relationship can leave you unloved, unsupported, and unloved. This can make it difficult to be comfortable and confident in oneself.


Being involved in a one-sided relationship can cause resentment, insecurity, and loneliness. If you identify that you are in an unequal relationship, it is critical to assess the situation honestly, discuss your options, and decide if the relationship is worth saving. A one-sided relationship is ultimately unhealthy for both parties. While changes are possible, it is critical to figure out when it is time to break ties and consider moving on.


What is the psychology of one-sided love?

According to Campbell, a one-sided relationship occurs when one person devotes significantly more time, effort, and, in some cases, money to the relationship than their partner does. When one spouse is ill or things aren’t going well, for example, “sometimes one person ‘carries’ the relationship for a period of time,” she says.

Signs of a One-Sided Relationship
  • You don’t experience a compelling, profound, or meaningful connection.
  • The connection is wearing you out.
  • You are the only person who ever expresses regret.
  • You are the only one who makes or gives sacrifices.
  • All the plans are created by you.
  • You always find reasons to justify your partner’s actions.
  • The “big decision maker” is you.

What causes a one-sided relationship?

One-sided relationships frequently involve a spouse who is unable to set and maintain healthy limits. It is crucial to have an open discussion about the things you can and cannot tolerate in a relationship because everyone has different boundaries for various things.

Can one-sided love be true love?

It is love or emotional feelings that one partner in the relationship does not return. We may suffer anguish, grief, and shame as a result of the one-sided nature of the encounter. Unrequited love isn’t always obvious and can lead to a lot of misunderstanding and emotional pain, despite what you might think.

When should you let go of a one-sided relationship?

There is no single indication that a one-sided relationship needs to cease because everyone has a distinct breaking point. It might be time for a change, though, if you make every attempt to let a friend or partner know you’re dissatisfied and nothing changes.

What are one-sided lovers called?

Unrequited love

Love that is not overtly expressed as a reciprocation or recognised as such by the lover is known as unrequited or one-sided love. The object of one’s admiration might not be aware of it or might actively choose to reject it.