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20 Signs You’re Wasting Time In a One-Sided Relationship

One-Sided Relationship

Are you happy in your relationship? Are you just staying out of comfort? Here are 20 signs you’re wasting your time in a one-sided relationship.

Love is a beautiful thing. It comes in, washes over you, clouds your judgment…and gives you happiness. It can build over time, but it can also degrade if you aren’t careful. Stoking the fires is half the battle, the other half being far more complicated: accepting that your partner’s feelings are out of your hands. You can’t do much more than be yourself, and finding someone who will love you for the rest of your life isn’t as easy as you might expect.

Perhaps that is why we stay in terrible relationships: while our hearts fall out of love, our minds continue to chant the things we need to “hear” in order to keep trying. Quickly, though, you may find yourself blowing ashes around, rather than caring for a fire. It isn’t fair to you or your partner to be together out of comfort and familiarity.

At some point, the levee breaks, and you find yourself alone–really alone—and realizing that has been the case for a long time, even while in the relationship.

To avoid this pain, it is best to face the truth of your situation sooner rather than later. Don’t wake up six years later, only to regret the time wasted. Be honest as you run through the list, and pinpoint whether your partner, or even you, meet these characteristics. [Read: 4 reasons why you’re lonely in love and 7 ways to fix it]

Signs you’re wasting time in a one-sided relationship

#1 Your partner is comfortable with routines. When you ask to change things up, like maybe go out to eat rather than stay in for the millionth time, they may grunt or protest. When you suggest something new in bed, they may take it personally. In essence, things tend to be the same on a daily basis—with no room allotted for change.

#2 Your relationship is stale, and it is always up to you to plan dates and activities. Not surprisingly, after reading number one, things get stale really quick. You might know what to expect, and even consider it a comfort zone at first, until things just…grow dull. If you want romance, you have to plan for it yourself, and even when you two do go out, your partner might not be as open during the occasion as you’d like.

#3 Social situations are filled with minimal effort on their part. This means that if you both get invited to your friend’s party, your partner will show up, but keep a distance from those important to you—and everyone else. They will probably be quiet, speak when spoken to, but overall, not put in the effort required to get to know anyone, or spark conversation.

#4 They keep you away from important people. If they have friends or family members that they consider important, but keep you away from them, that’s a red flag. A loving partner will encourage you to meet these people, and spend time with them. They will rejoice at the thought of you befriending their friends. If this isn’t the case, and you’re kept away, something is wrong.

#5 You have to ask for favors, or small things *gestures*. You have to ask for a drink of water, let alone flowers, or all of those small things that add up to a big picture. It can be hot cocoa, it can be a cup of coffee, or maybe even just car keys. Maybe a kiss before work, or a phone call saying they’re on their way home. These are things that are taken for granted until they go missing. Then we notice their absence. If you’ve noticed the absence, your partner isn’t doing the small things anymore, and you may have a problem.

#6 Physical touch isn’t the same anymore *not sexually speaking, but cuddling, and general signs of affection*. Simple touches are loving. A hand hold, a caress, a cuddle, and a peck on the lips all demonstrate affection. When these small gestures of love begin to fade, or seem to become mundane, and… lacking passion or love… you have your answer. [Read: 16 non-sexual touches that keep couples connected and loved]

#7 Loss of sexual interest. Sure, you might still be having sex, but is it mundane? Routine? Dwindling? When you suggest things, does your partner take it personally? More so, what do their porn habits look like?

#8 Your partner takes you for granted. Do you come home with their favorite food, only to get a monotone “thanks”? Your gestures going unnoticed hurts a lot, even if they don’t understand it. When you bring it up, you feel like you’re nagging, and they either roll their eyes, or complain about all the small things you do that make you inadequate.

#9 One-sided openness. Maybe you find yourself telling your partner about your day, pending projects, friend drama, family updates, and more. Maybe you’re open to talking about concerns, or issues in your relationship. But…does your partner do all of these same things?

#10 Pretty, sweet words are rare to come by. Saying “I love you,” is easy to do when it’s been done during the entire course of the relationship, but sometimes that’s all it is: three simple words that you’ve grown accustomed to saying. If your partner isn’t actively being sweet, commenting on something attractive about you as a person, or anything of the sort, then you might be stuck. [Read: 15 reasons why people get bored with their relationship]

#11 Unreliable: classic situation of words, not actions. They say they will do one thing, but usually do the opposite. Remember opposite day at school? Think along those lines for a minute. Honestly, can you expect the opposite of what they say at least a good 80% of the time?

Do you prepare for that outcome, just to be safe? A good example is this: does your partner constantly say they love spending time with you, but spend most of their free time with friends? Or say that they are in love with you, but treat you poorly and constantly scan the room for attractive would-be partners?

#12 Your partner develops bad habits, with disregard for you. It could be drugs, smoking, drinking, or actively spending money you don’t have. It can be anything that strains your relationship, and makes it hard to keep the peace. If your partner loves you, they will sacrifice these habits, and be inspired to improve themselves.

You should inspire each other, always. If this is not the case, and you realize they’re making poor choices, and hiding them from you so as to avoid the drama, then you’re not as important to them as you might think. [Read: 9 signs your boyfriend is no longer in love with you]

#13 There is no motivation to change. Again, a good couple inspires each other. Maybe the woman is creative and productive, and inspires the laid-back man to get off the couch. Maybe the man is intellectual and wise, and it makes the woman want to pick up a book or two. This is what a good couple does: encourage the other to improve, without demanding it.

You’re both into each other, you accept each other as you are, but you both improve for the other and for yourselves. If this isn’t the case at all, or seems too good to be true, then your partner isn’t motivated to change. You don’t inspire them enough, and it’s not your fault; it’s theirs, for being blind.

#14 Problem solving skills are basically nonexistent. You both argue, yell, and annoy each other to no end. Perhaps one of you tries to calm down, or stay calm, but the arguing still occurs. Now, arguments are surprisingly healthy for a relationship, and encouraged, but there’s a rule: it’s how you argue.

A healthy couple will argue with the intention of having a discussion. Things might get tense for a minute, but eventually, both parties know to say sorry and sit down and figure things out. An unhealthy relationship, however, is marked by angry shouting matches with the sole intention of winning the argument, and not fixing the problem. [Read: 9 signs you subconsciously want to end the relationship]

#15 Plans together never leave the planning stage. You have been talking about buying a house for three years now, but there’s no indication of it happening. You have been talking about taking a vacation to that one spot you both want to make memories in, but when you bring forth more information on it, your partner makes an excuse to stay home.

#16 You have no common end goals. You want to live together, get married, and own a dog and a cat. Your partner wants to live in an apartment, with no pets, and doesn’t know about marriage. Two different playing fields. Two people in love will actively go out of their way to make sure they’re on the same page.

#17 Growing apart. If you’ve reached this part of the feature and seem to be heading toward a downward spiral, then…you might be growing apart. In fact, chances are it’s already happened. [Read: 12 signs the two of you are clearly falling out of love already]

#18 You bring out the worst in each other. Think honestly about this one simple question: do you feel at your best with your partner, or do you seem to feel at your best when they’re not around?

#19 There’s definitely broken trust. By now, the bad habits have been covered, as well as the common end goals. If things seem dire, it’s safe to assume there’s broken trust. You might feel like you can’t rely on your partner, and like there’s no reason to trust them, because when you do, you’re always let down. Broken trust is a major issue. You can fix it if you’re both keen on fixing it. Sadly, if only one of you actively tries to repair it, it will never work. [Read: 10 simple steps to reignite the lost spark in your romance]

#20 Happiness is a word that describes an emotion you simply don’t feel anymore. This is the biggest test of all. You could be with the perfect person, but it all boils down to you. Are you happy with yourself? Do you have self-love? Without that, there’s no way to love the other person. Now, if you do have self-love, but aren’t happy, and it’s due to your relationship, then you need to leave.

If, by the end of the list, you realize that you are in a dead relationship, you have to understand one thing: there is nothing you can do. Two people in love will communicate, actively try to make each other happy, and focus on growing together, not apart.

[Read: 20 hard signs it’s time for you to throw in the towel and walk away from the relationship]

For a variety of reasons, situations, etc., sometimes love does fade. As depressing as this all might sound, sometimes, leaving your one-sided relationship paves the way for you to meet the real love of your life.

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Jennifer Mendez
Jennifer Mendez
Jennifer is a writer, director, consultant and author, with a passion for all things literary. While she works on a variety of projects at a time, her one true ...
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One thought on “20 Signs You’re Wasting Time In a One-Sided Relationship”

  1. stoney girl says:

    I wish it was easy to leave a long-term relationship. 20/20 score over here. With first hand experience it just feels that if you break up, everything that you’ve built together just fades away like it was nothing. It’s easy to say that “well, if you’re not happy it’s not worth it”, the thing is in a relationship you couldn’t expect to be happy all the time. Leaving a one sided relationship still isn’t easy cause you keep on remembering the times you were happy and tend to think that you could get that back.

  2. Tiffany says:

    “They keep you away from important people.” If you are in a relationship that keeps you from your own friends and family, something is not right here. If the person you are dating says that they care about you, they should be fine with you seeing your family and friends. These people are important to you and if they do not see just how important they are, clearly they think your relationship is one-sided. It could be time for you to move on.

  3. Alison Hunter says:

    There’s something wrong with routines? I don’t know, but I think I’m someone who actually prefers the idea and security of a routine. Sure, things can get a little boring and there should always be a little wiggle room to go to a known restaurant, see an occasional movie on a Friday night, or whatever every so often, but someone who wants to always do something different all of the time wouldn’t be someone who lasts very long with me.

  4. Jess says:

    I really want to get married some day but I don’t trust myself to commit for that long. And therefore I don’t attract the kind of love that leads to building anything with anyone. I have been attracting men who work too much and seldom make time for me. Or have other priorities. No wonder I would attract a married man. I want to be number one in someone’s life. I feel so alone sometimes. Even though I have a boyfriend but, he already has a home and we can never grow together. I feel a sense of waiting for him. Lately I feel he will never have time for me. He’s working more with his new promotion. Saving to take me on a trip. I told him I’d rather see him now and have him work less. I know he’s not in control of his work schedule though he acts like he is. He would have made time for me by now if he wanted to though. He acts like his work is keeping him so busy but even in those two hours when he’s laying on his couch at home exhausted…he could be laying on my couch exhausted with ME. And any time he’s at his house in my mind he’s with HER even though I know she has her own stuff she does too. Still. Just when the sad feelings take over, when I find myself crying alone, flooded and weighted and officially drained…and I finally decide we should break up…I reflect on how much he inspires me, how much I really need him. How good he makes me feel. How I don’t want to turn my back on love even if it isn’t perfect. Why can’t I do like he does and turn my brain off and just let myself enjoy it for what it is? Maybe because he has 2 relationships and that is at the expense of her and I sharing 1/2 a man. Whenever I try to explain that to him he ends up reminding me I’m making a whole bunch of assumptions. And that his feelings for me are real. He does make huge sacrifices for me. He goes out of his way for me. In some ways. Arrrrrrggggg I need someone to talk to about this. I haven’t told my friends because they wouldn’t support me. They would just judge and say a bunch of annoying stuff. There I go making assumptions about my friends too.

  5. James Colley says:

    Wow that is excactly what’s been laying over and over in my head since New Year’s Eve when she threw a surprised look at me when I leaned over to kiss her at the welcome of the new year. She informed me that she made the administrative decision to break off our ten year relationship on Halloween two months prior. If I never had a feeling of being the last one to find out about anything that was it lol. Especially coming from the husband of the best friend of my ex that I got btw and ruined their relationship.

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