When your emotional tank is always running on the low

What you need to know:

  • You are the one who communicates, visits and remembers their birthdays. You are the one who makes the biggest compromises. You are the one that apologies and the one that pays most bills. 

Joyce is dating David, but she feels like she is doing all the chasing. “I put in all the work. I call to check on him regularly. I am the one that plans for most date nights. In the face of conflict, I am the one to apologise, even when I am innocent. I feel like I am the only one who wants this relationship. It is tasking,” she says.   

 Wycliff says his girlfriend only likes him when he has money. “When she wants money for rent or to clear any other bill, she calls me. Every time she needs money, she remembers that I exist. Each call is laced with a request for money. I feel used and unfulfilled,” he says.

We all want balanced and fulfilling relationships, where we give and take in equal measure. But it is not always so, isn’t it? One-sided relationships are where one partner is more heavily committed and weilds more control, while the other partner is not investing in as equally their fair share of time, resources, and energy. That relationship is imbalanced.   

You probably are in a one-sided relationship, but you do not know yet. So, how do you tell that you are in a one-sided relationship?

Always on the giving end

 You are heavily invested in this relationship emotionally, financially, and physically, but you sense they are not. You go out of your way to do all you can and do the best for this person, but they never reciprocate or if they do, they are not as thoughtful or intentional as you are to them. You are the one who communicates, visits and remembers their birthdays. You are the one who makes the biggest compromises such as quitting your job or paying the bills in the relationship. You feel your love is unrequited. You are constantly asking yourself if they love you or not. 

You are constantly drained

 Because you lead all the aspects of the relationship and give all to them unreservedly and they do not do the same, you find your emotional tank always running on low. You try to convince yourself it will get better with time, but it keeps getting worse. As a result, you find you have to get some refilling from other sources say, friends and family. 

You feel lonely

Yes, you are in a relationship, but you still feel lonely, when it matters such as your birthday, sickness and in need of affection, or when you need someone to talk to. You cannot express your true feelings to this person. You are better off concealing them for fear of disapproval, disappointment or dejection. You probably feel strongly about them, but they do not feel the same way about you. 

Always the “nagging” one

They find you nagging or disturbing their peace, even for normal or routine conversations, because you always initiate them. They are always too busy for you. You always feel they are hard on you. They probably always say “no” to you. They probably do not pick up and return your calls and if they do, it is only after some time to cover up their guilt. They never want to hear your opinion and if they do, they will downplay, ignore, manipulate, or gaslight you. 

Never know their true self

Yes, they are around you, but they seem to never share their intimate life with you. You never know how they feel or what they think rather they have others they share their lives with. You feel insecure or insignificant in the relationship.

What they take from you

If you are the one with the money and they love money, they become nice to you only when they want something. Apart from that, they are usually out of your door the minute they get what they want. 

Maintain the relationship

 You apologise when they are wrong. You put up with their idiosyncrasies rather than confront them because you fear they might walk out of the door and you do not want that.


 Was it love or lust? After the lust has worn out, as it always does, then you are likely to be the one chasing after them. In some instances, arelationship ends, but one partner still wants to hold on. And the other is not bold enough to say they moved on. Additionally, when a person did not choose the partner for themselves, they are likely to just keep up appearances, but not be emotionally involved. So, how does one deal with a one-sided relationship? 

Uncomfortable conversations

 Do not avoid the conversations. Make your true feelings known to them. Be as honest as you possibly can. Maybe their love language is different from yours and you both need to recognise that bit and compromise.

Do not do their part

Allow your partner to do their fair share of duties in the relationship. Stop making up excuses for them to take up their roles. His may shift the balance in the relationship.    

Spend more time together

All relationships require intentionality to thrive. Nothing comes by random chance. The imbalance in a one-sided relationship can be corrected if two partners decide that their relationship is important and decide to make it work.

End the relationship

 It might hurt you, but after you have done all you can and your partner still is not understanding and meeting your needs or they are building more walls around themselves, you may consider ending the relationship.