Wanting something on the side

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If you've ever been a part of a one-sided relationship, it's likely you're keenly aware of the intense loneliness that can exist. They could physically be in the room sitting right next to you, but you can still feel alone because you're not being emotionally seen and taken care of. Even though you're committed to your ificant other, there's a fundamental difference between being selfless in love and loving someone who takes it all in without giving you anything meaningful in return. A relationship that lacks balance or equitable reciprocity may look like one person investing more time, energy, effort, emotional or financial support than the other," Mychelle Williams, M.

If this sounds exhausting, it's because it is—physically, mentally, and spiritually. A relationship should feel like a safe harbor to play, relax, and weather the storm together. A one-sided relationship doesn't enrich your life ificantly because the construct doesn't consistently promote meaningful connection and constructive conflict. It becomes overwhelming and tiring for the self-sacrificing partner to manage the relationship on their own when it should be a responsibility shared by both parties to nurture and move the relationship along.

You notice that you do things for them, but you can't say they always do the same thing for you. Williams says that if you find yourself having to accommodate all of their needs instead of experiencing a flow of compromise, it's a red flag of a one-sided relationship. Take note if they're only in contact when they want something, but they aren't accessible to you in times of similar need. You keep trying your hardest, but it doesn't go anywhere. Over time, you begin to question your worth and believe that your needs aren't important enough to bring up.

After all, if you were good enough, wouldn't they want to make you happy? Your mind can spin in circles wondering why they aren't putting in the same amount of effort. They're always having a bad day or going through a rough patch. It seems like an act of benevolence and love to continually justify your ificant other's actions, but it could also mean that you're avoiding the truth and enabling them. You're seeing your partner for their "potential" rather than seeing them as they are. Kim, LMFT , tells mbg. To reduce stress in the relationship, you may find yourself apologizing more just to end the arguments—even if you did nothing wrong.

Over time, you can tell there's a clear power inequity with how you hold space for each other. Communications around certain topics are tiptoed around because you don't want to upset them. If it is spoken about, it's not received with mutual reciprocation. So instead, you repeat interactions where you feel love from them, even if it's at the risk of you not feeling known.

Anything that might trigger conflict is swept under the rug. You don't have opinions that may trigger them. On the surface level, conversations are pleasant and benign. Because communications aren't transparent , you may find yourself overthinking their behaviors toward you and how they're truly feeling. Because you're unsure, you might dismiss your own feelings in favor of thinking about what they're feeling. The connection may be filled with more guessing and speculation rather than facts grounded in reality and knowing where they genuinely stand.

While it can be beneficial to get a second opinion, it's not a good if you're always running to your friends about your relationship issues. It's better to bring it up to the person that can actually solve it and give you the validation you are desperately seeking: your partner.

Boundaries are necessary and extremely healthy for a relationship because it helps reduce conflict, anxiety, and misunderstandings. Priorities about the relationship primarily differ. Perhaps you want to take the relationship to the next stage, but they're more interested in going out. They're not excited or as receptive to hearing about the things that matter to you. You're in the same relationship, but it's as if you're both doing things your own way without much overlap. There's no reconciliation between both perspectives, and the well-being of the relationship isn't prioritized as much as individual needs.

You often hint or give out clues because you want to change the way that they interact with you. But at the end of the day, it's not up to you; it's up to them. People don't change unless they want it for themselves, and they have to be an active participant in the growth. Forcing someone to alter who they are, even if you think it's best for them, requires manipulation—and it'll do more harm than good. You don't feel comfortable sharing certain aspects of what's going on with your friends and family.

They may raise questions about your partner and how they treat you that you don't want to hear. One-sided relationships are usually stagnant for both parties because there's not a focus on development. The relationship tends to be characterized by accommodation and peacekeeping in lieu of sitting through the discomfort of having challenging talks that lead to change. Because the relationship isn't progressing, it starts to affect the way you view yourself and other areas of your life.

You feel like you're stuck or in a rut. Here are some s that you're the one allowing all the work to fall on your partner's shoulders rather than mutually participating in the relationship and carrying the load with them. When times get tough, it's easier to leave than stick around.

There's fear around confrontation and intimacy. You don't want to rock the boat, so you would rather focus on the fun and enjoyable aspects of the relationship and keep communications lighthearted and easy. You feel comfortable thinking about how you' re feeling and what you're OK with giving, regardless of what your partner may be asking of you.

Your emotions and your preferences take center stage, and the relationship, and your partner, comes second. Maybe they want to have a career-change or travel to an exotic location on their bucket list. You may encourage and ask them about their interests, but it's mainly up for them to figure out on their own. They're dealing with a stressful situation at work that's taking up all of their time, or they're going through a rough patch with their family.

Rather than checking in with them about it, you would prefer to have them bring it up if it matters to them. You might feel weary about sharing your innermost thoughts because it makes you feel weak or unworthy. You don't open up about the good and the bad all the time, preferring to keep it to yourself. Kim says it can often be traced to the family origin where there were few boundaries or a lot of chaotic dynamics in play.

If family members regularly engaged in emotional avoidance at home, emotions that are perfectly normal to express could have been received with negative attention instead of acceptance. Family members who expressed these normal emotions may have been labeled as being too much, too emotional, or overly sensitive.

However, it's not impossible. It can be corrected, but it'll take a lot of hard work, reflection, honest communication, and if it's needed, therapeutic help. Here are tips from Williams on how to move the relationship to a healthier place and transform the dynamic into one where both parties feel mutually heard and understood:. What behaviors appear to be consistent across their relationships? Are they unique to your relationship? Is this person safe to talk to?

Do they listen? Do they accept feedback well? With this, explore your boundaries. Having boundaries looks like being clear about what you absolutely can and cannot tolerate and honoring that. You don't have to have any ultimatums because people don't respond well to them, but you can emphasize what's important to you. It is important that you practice being intentional with what you are doing and why you are doing it to make sure that they ultimately honor your boundaries. The only way to find balance is to discuss and collaborate on what can realistically happen.

Explore any barriers that may be present, and then you can decide how long, if at all, you are willing to stay in that capacity without experiencing what you need. If you're experiencing too much anxiety, guilt, shame, and resentment, those are s that you have absorbed far more responsibility than you were supposed to, leading to emotional burnout and oscillating feelings of numbness and anger, Kim says. If you've reached your breaking point, she recommends doing what's best for you and ending the relationship.

Additionally, if your partner isn't willing to hear you out or adjust their behavior, that's a that it may be time to move on. The irresponsible party has a vested interest in keeping the one-sidedness going and maintaining the status quo because they could afford to not do anything further.

Wanting something on the side

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