Let’s be honest – relationships can be tough, and at times, they can be extremely frustrating. Yet, at the same time, it can be easy to put up with things you shouldn’t just because you don’t want to be single again. It’s a double edged sword. However, there’s no doubt about it – when you’re in a relationship, even when things get tough, there should always be a certain level of mutual respect and, well, love!
If you’re terrified of going back to the dating game and having to subject yourself to awful first dates, or even – god forbid – blind dates, you may find yourself looking at your relationship with rose-colored glasses, trying to convince yourself that it isn’t really that bad. News flash – if you have that little voice in the back of your head telling you that things aren’t cool, you should probably listen to that voice.
One of the absolute worst feelings is when you’re 100% smitten and loving your relationship and you feel like he’s, well, just not. Whatever the reason, you’ll probably end up blaming yourself (even though you shouldn’t) and putting up with it for way too long (even though you definitely shouldn’t do that either).
So how do you know if your relationship is one-sided? Well, here are 15 signs.
15 He never shows up when you need him
When it comes to relationships, one of the things you have to do all the time is show up. It’s part of the whole being in a supportive relationship thing. You have to go to your partner’s work function, even if you think their co-workers are all boring and annoying, you have to go to their family dinners, even if you think their family is loud and intrusive. You have to show up. If you find yourself always dateless because your partner said he was too busy to make time in his schedule, or that he already made plans, that’s not cool. Everyone has a life, and there are definitely going to be a few times when your partner is legitimately busy. That’s fine. If you’ve sat through endless boring functions by his side while you always find yourself alone at functions you ask him to go to, that’s not cool.
14 You’re always his second choice
Everyone has people that they prefer doing certain things with. For example, if your partner absolutely hates wine and is strictly a beer guy, taking him to a wine tasting might not be the best idea – for that, you snag your pinot grigio loving girlfriend. If he wants to go hunting but the thought of shooting an animal makes you physically ill, maybe let him turn that into a guys’ trip. However, if you find yourself always being the second choice for things that you’d actually enjoy doing, like going out to a great restaurant or seeing a movie, that’s another thing. You should never have to give up your friends for a relationship, but you should be able to incorporate your partner into your life. If he just tells you he’s going somewhere and then leaves you at home alone, wondering why you didn’t score an invite, that’s a sign that things are a little one-sided.
13 You’re always justifying his behavior to your loved ones
There will always be some people you date that your friends and family just don’t like, for whatever reason. However, on the whole, your loved ones generally have a good perspective because they know you and they want the best for you. So, if you find yourself constantly justifying things to your loved ones, like why he didn’t show up for the BBQ when he said he would, or why he made a rude comment when you were out at dinner together, that’s not a good sign. The fact that you’re making an effort to justify it proves that you know it’s not okay behaviour – yet you’re accepting it, and trying to pass it off as not being that bad. You’re trying to convince your loved ones, who just want the best for you, that even though you’re sometimes being treated badly, it’s fine because he really loves you, they just can’t see it. Just stop.
12 He ignores any problems in the relationship
There’s no way around it – relationships can be really hard sometimes. No couple in a long-term relationship has smooth sailing 24/7, no matter how much they love each other – things come up, even if it’s just something stupid like you yelling at him for leaving the toilet seat up for the seventh day in a row, or just a silly spat born out of a lack of communication. Couple who are serious about one another will work things out because that’s just what you have to do. If he’s never willing to address any problems in the relationship and actually work at it a bit, chances are it’s because he’s just not invested – after all, why would he put the time and effort into a relationship he doesn’t really care about? If he’s never willing to address issues that you see in the relationship, that’s a big sign that things are very one-sided. Why should you have to do all the work, after all?
11 You have to plan everything
Great relationships are all about balance and reciprocity – you should both be involved in keeping the spark alive by planning date nights and just fun weekend outings. After all, even the strongest couple will likely crave a little change in routine after month after month of Netflix nights in. And yes, sometimes you may have something in mind that you’re really excited about but your partner might not be super jazzed on, and vice versa – balance and compromise. However, one thing is for sure – if you’re always the one planning anything and he has never suggested or organized any kind of date or outing, that’s a big sign that you’re in a one sided relationship. Yes, guys may not always be the best at coming up with date night ideas, but if he doesn’t even suggest something like going to see a movie you’ve expressed you were interested in, he just doesn’t care.
10 You haven’t met anyone important in his life
Look, we’re not saying you need to meet his mother on your second date – quite frankly, that would be alarming. However, when you’ve been dating someone for a while and make them a part of your life, it only makes sense that you’d want to introduce them to some of the other individuals in your life that matter to you. This could mean your parents, this could mean your BFF for years and years, your grandmother, whoever it may be. At some point in the relationship, you should meet them. If your partner is constantly keeping you away from important people in his life, that’s a bad sign. It might mean he doesn’t want to inclue you in what he thinks of as his ‘real’ life, it might mean that he just doesn’t think things are serious enough to warrant an introduction like that, whatever the reason, it’s usually a sign that your relationship is decidedly one-sided.
9 You feel taken for granted
When you’re in a relationship, it’s only natural that you want to do nice things for your partner. After all, you love them – you want them to be happy. So you find yourself doing things like making his favourite meal for supper, or picking up a copy of his favourite magazine when you’re out grabbing some things for yourself. And in return, you get pretty much nothing. No response, and certainly no reciprocation. If you’re constantly busting your butt trying to make your partner happy but he’s not doing the same for you, it’s easy to feel taken for granted – and rightly so! In a strong, healthy relationship, you should never feel taken for granted – that’s a big sign that things are one-sided, and you’re getting the short end of the stick. It’s not acting like a diva to expect him to reciprocate your kind gestures every now and then.
8 You spend a lot of time alone
No one likes the kind of couples who instantly morph from two interesting individuals to a sickening ‘we’ who only refer to themselves as a plural. You still want to be able to have your own identity and your own life when you’re in a relationship. However, one of the reasons you’re in a relationship with your partner is because you genuinely enjoy spending time with them – at least, that’s how it should be. So, if you find that you’re constantly spending time alone, whether it’s at home or at social gatherings with friends, that’s a sign that the relationship is one sided, because it’s an indication that he just doesn’t really care enough about you to include you in his life. No one wants to be spending every waking moment with their partner – independence is an important thing – but if you find yourself struggling to remember when the last time you actually spent time together was, that’s a problem.
7 You feel like you’re constantly being too needy
Thanks to the stereotype of the nagging, pushy wife that so many sitcoms seem to love, as well as the endless advice that women should cultivate an air of mystery and aloofness in order to attract a man’s attention, it can be easy to immediately feel like you’re being too needy the moment you ask your partner to spend some time together, and that’s silly. In a good relationship, both people involved should be making an effort, and quite frankly, you should want to spend time with your partner – that’s the whole reason you’re with them. If you find yourself feeling needy because you’re constantly asking your partner to spend some time with you, that’s not necessarily because you’re actually being needy – you might just feel that way because you’re doing it so often because he’s not being a very good partner, and what you think is neediness is actually just a one-sided relationship.
6 He doesn’t acknowledge you in public
Most guys absolutely love showing up in public with their gorgeous girlfriend on their arm – it gives them a confidence boost to know that, of all the guys you could have picked, you picked him. Sure, not everyone is a big fan of PDA, and that’s fine, but you should generally be able to tell that a couple in public is a couple. If he’s constantly clamming up in public and unwilling to even hold your hand, if he introduces you as his “friend” or simply his “date” instead of his girlfriend once you’ve been dating for a while, that’s a big sign that the relationship might be one sided. Trust us – you want to be with someone who is shouting from the rooftops he’s so proud that you’re his. You don’t want someone who only wants to date you in secret. You deserve way, way better than that, and don’t you forget it.
5 He’s oblivious to what’s going on in your life
There’s only one way to say it – your partner should know what is going on in your life, because he should care about you and take an interest in what’s happening. You don’t need to dish for three hours about your annoying co-worker and what she did today. However, if that huge presentation you’ve been prepping for for weeks finally happened, he should know about it and ask how it went. If you’ve been crushing it at boot camp for the past month because you want to get in better shape, he should know that. If you decided to try going vegan for a bit, he should know not to take you to a steakhouse on date night. Basically, if you’re constantly having to remind him about things he really should know, there’s a reason he’s not paying good attention to you – and it’s certainly not because you’re boring. It’s because the relationship is one-sided, plain and simple.
4 He’s always making excuses
Making excuses is the easiest thing in the world. It’s certainly easier than actually making an effort and trying to be the best partner you can be. While there are certain situations where you can let things slide, if he’s constantly making excuses, that’s a big sign you’re in a one-sided relationship. For example, if he has to work late once, or cancels one date because he had a family emergency, that’s fine. The issue is when he does it all the time. While things come up every now and then, especially when you’re an adult with a busy schedule, if he’s constantly making excuses for why he was late, or why he didn’t show up, it just means he doesn’t have the respect to treat you as someone who is important and worth showing up on time for. You should have two words for him in that situation, and they’re not “that’s okay” – they’re “boy, bye.”
3 Your friends think he’s no good for you
Most women go to their friends for relationship advice time and time again. Part of the reason is because they value their friends’ opinions, and part of the reason is because, well, there’s a good chance one of their friends has experienced something similar and has some helpful insight. However, your friends don’t have the rose-colored love glasses that you might have when it comes to your relationship – they can see things from a different perspective, and they can see what is truly happening. If you’ve told your friends all about your partner and your relationship and your friends are totally convinced he’s no good for you, that he’s taking you for granted and not treating you how you deserve to be treated, we hate to say it but… they’re probably right. Listen to them. Chances are they’re seeing the situation for what it truly is, and not blindly making excuses for your guy like you might be.
2 He never makes an effort
Everyone shows their emotions and their love a little bit differently. We’re not going to go into the whole love languages stuff, but basically, some people just are never going to be comfortable showering their partners with lovey dovey words – and that’s fine. For some people, a romantic gesture might involve bringing their partner their favourite beverage or a small gift when they’re feeling down, it might simply involve knowing they had a hard day and giving them a mini-massage. However he generally shows his love is fine – but he should be showing it. In order to maintain a healthy, loving relationship, there needs to be balance, and that means he has to be willing to put in the time and energy to make sure you’re happy – not just to make sure he’s having a good time. If he’s constantly only putting in the absolute minimum effort required, that’s a sign that your relationship is one-sided – and quite frankly, you deserve better.
1 He’s not willing to change his routine for you
Relationships are all about compromise and about syncing two lifestyles and schedules. Sometimes, this can be really tough – perhaps one partner is a big morning person who loves getting up early to go on runs, while the other would rather sleep until noon and indulge in a gut-busting brunch on the weekend. You definitely shouldn’t give up all your passions and interests when you enter into a relationship – they’re part of what make you you, and you should hold onto that sense of individuality and independence. However, if he’s not willing to change his routine for you whatsoever, that’s a sign that the relationship is one-sided. After all, it’s likely a routine that he established when he was single and had no one else to worry about but himself. When you’re a couple, there needs to be a certain amount of give and take – and if he’s not willing to make a single adjustment to his schedule in order to accommodate time for the two of you, that’s not cool.