What To Do When a Relationship is One-sided

Updated: Jan 27

Written by Evi Idoghor


A relationship is one-sided when one party appears to be doing all the heavy-lifting a relationship needs to flourish, whilst the other person sits back without lifting a finger. It can happen both ways; but for the purposes of this platform, I will tackle this issue from a woman standpoint.


Ladies, some of us have been in relationships with men where we had to do all the calling, cooking, and cleaning. We bent over backward just to make our partners happy, so they could keep choosing us every day, even if we became exhausted beyond measure as a result of the relationship being one-sided.

What To Do When a Relationship is One-sided

We kept up this behavior because we were either A) too scared to speak up or B) believing that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. As such, our happiness stifled, whilst we treated our men as royalty. A relationship is a two-way street. If both parties are committed to making a relationship work, it will. If one person is willing and the other person involved possesses a nonchalant attitude towards what you are trying so hard to build, then in no time, the relationship will crash and burn.


Related Article: Why You Deserve to be Happy In Your Relationship


Women, we are not machines; even machines break down from time to time when not properly taken care of. If you happen to be in a one-sided relationship, then it is time to take these steps below:


1) Tell yourself the truth: as women, most times we make up excuses for other people's behavior that might be detrimental to us, especially if we are in a relationship with those people. We lie to cover up their mishaps to our friends and loved ones to save face. However, if you are sick and tired of being stuck in a one-sided relationship, then you must have an honest conversation with yourself.


Figure out why you feel the relationship is one-sided, and ask yourself questions like—why do I feel like this is one-sided? Is there anything he does that makes me feel he isn’t putting in an effort to make things work? Is he taking advantage of me? If you can honestly answer these questions, then the next step is to communicate your feelings or perceptions with your partner.

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” —Spencer John

2) Communicate that truth with your partner: over the years, I found it difficult to express myself to whomever I was involved with due to a plethora of things such as fear and insecurities. There is this lie that lurks around, making women believe that if they use their words to express how they feel to their partners, then the partner would leave.


As such, I swallowed most of the issues I had in relationships and tried to resolve them within myself. T h a t d i d n o t w o r k. The relationships still ended, and I was left devastated with all my emotions and no one but friends to share them with. Sometimes, these issues can be resolved by having a simple conversation with your significant other. So, you have to be first honest with yourself, then with the person, you are dating.

What to do when a relationship is one-sided

3) Avoid being passive-aggressive: news flash, your partner is not a mind reader (at least not that I know of.) Some women tend to turn to passive aggression when they can’t voice their opinion on what is really doing them (as we say in Nigeria). They’d instead give their partner the silent treatment, slam doors, and remain in a funky mood all day, causing their partner to wonder if it is that time of the month!

Related Post: 3 Simple Ways to Avoid Codependency in Relationships

I remember doing these a lot and it actually got me nowhere. And if you are involved with someone who doesn’t care, they wouldn’t even bother to find out what the problem is. Rather than being passive-aggressive, be matured. Sit your partner down and let him know what he is truly doing wrong—communicate your feelings—if for some reason he doesn't want to change, then you might have to start considering other options.

“Passive-aggressive persons may express their anger covertly by choosing not to share information when it could prevent the problem.” —Psychology Today

4) Take a break: most people are petrified of taking breaks when it comes to dating and relationships. Relationships are no easy feat; trying to merge two lives from distinct backgrounds isn’t for the faint at heart. Taking a break provides you with ample time to step back and reevaluate your relationship. You then have the opportunities to make decisions with a clear mind, not clouded by emotions, infatuation, or “love.” During that time, both parties after they have aired out their issues can decide if the relationship is worth continuing. And if you choose to come back together, you do so on a clean slate (hopefully!)


5) End the relationship: if all of these are said and done, and still there is no hope or room for improvement, perhaps it is now time to kiss that relationship good-bye. Although you might feel that you are strong enough to carry the relationship, however in no-time, you will begin to experience burn-out and tend to resent that person. Rather than allow things to get out of control and you both end the relationship on a horrible note, it is better to let them know that you choose your well-being and desire to be in a much healthier relationship—peacefully.

“A good relationship is a give and take from both people… a bad relationship is one person giving and the other taking.” —Unknown

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Related Post: Top 4 Benefits of Long-distance Relationships


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Images used in this article are courtesy of Unsplash


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