Have you ever been with
– a boyfriend who says ‘I love you’ twenty times a day but nowhere follows it up through actions?
– a boyfriend who is always ‘ready’ for ‘physical action,’ but never seems to have time for ‘emotional sex’?
– a girlfriend who ‘is in a relationship’ with you, but cannot quite keep the doors closed for the other guys?
– a girlfriend who keeps calling, texting, and mailing 24*7 but acts aloof in person?
– a man who is avoiding emotional intimacy by investing effort into everything in his life except the relationship?
– a man who keeps you wondering whether or not he’s into you?
If you can relate to any of the above situations or some-similar-s**t, it means only one thing – You are speeding on the ONE-WAY RELATIONSHIP HIGHWAY.
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A one-way / one-sided relationship is a relationship wherein only ‘one’ of the two partners is doing all the ‘work,’ while the other one is enjoying the ‘results.’
This fact brings us to the essence of one-way relationships – the two people who fuel it.
Person 1 – gives too much, expects little or nothing in return, and continues to make efforts to make it work.
Person 2 – taking it all, investing nothing or too little, always making excuses, and ‘present’ by his/her ‘absence.’
Unfortunate as the above situation is, it is far too common and unfortunately so. There is absolutely no reason you should be trapped in a relationship which doesn’t make you feel appreciated, a relationship that makes you feel like a pushover, a relationship that gives too little and takes your all, a relationship that coerces you to keep at it, despite being ‘unhappy’ in it.
And more than 90% people in the one-way relationship boat never ‘give up’ on the relationship because they delude themselves with a potently ‘fatal’ image – the image of what the relationship could be. It is this erroneous step that keeps them in a toxic relationship that does nothing to help their personal levels of happiness. Continuing to delude oneself with what the relationship could be instead of accepting it for what it ‘really is’ becomes the worst way of jamming hard on the accelerator and is responsible for ‘the accident’ they had feared all along.
So, how does one avoid speeding on the one-way relationship highway?
Here are the ways I recommend to keep away from the fatal accident that shall inevitably occur as a result of reckless speeding on the one-way relationship path:
1. Avoid talking of commitment, before it actually happens
People have this inherent tendency to indulge in a conversation about the ‘future.’ Ever present is the irresistible temptation of dreaming of a future together and setting about on the path to create this future together. What happens in the seemingly ‘human’ failure to overcome this temptation is that people end up committing to the future before they have actually committed to the present. And this creates a faulty foundation for the relationship. Unless you are fully present in the present, any wishful, dreamy commitment to the future would inevitably lead to a gap between being ‘present’ and being ‘fully present.’ So, one needs to fully realize the power of the ‘moments spent in the present’ to gauge if they are strong enough to form the foundation bricks of the ‘future citadel.’ It is the first and the most basic step to take to avoid being stuck in an unwanted one-way relationship.
2. Have standards, instead of expectations
Holding oneself entitled to receive ‘this and that’ from a relationship is an undesirable trait in a romantic partner. Expecting that he’d call you throughout the day and treat you like a ‘princess’ are idealistic expectations that are better trashed. Every individual’s idea of ‘love’ is different from anybody else’s, and as such, expecting a person to love you the way you expect to be loved is to build yourself a false bubble that will sooner or later be burst by a reality check. However, that does not imply that one should be completely selfless and accept whatsoever treatment is being meted out. You should deem yourself worthy of certain standards when it comes to dating. Mutual respect, appreciation, love, and care are a few important ones that cannot and should not be compromised upon.
3. Never sell yourself short
Remember that there is nothing that should fuel your desire to stick to a relationship that gives you so little that it’s equivalent to nothing, when you deserve so much more. Take charge, realize your own worth, and know that once you know what you deserve, you shall stop handing out discounts to people.
4. Share your concerns
Make your partner aware of how you feel. Tell him/her that you feel that the relationship is not mutual in terms of expression, support, love, care, priority, etc., If the other person truly cares, he/she will make amends and step up their behavior to bring about balance and make things even. Remember that there’s a difference between saying, ‘You are right. I have been holding back and not giving you your due,’ and translating it into actions. It’s not for nothing that a wise soul said, ‘Actions speak louder than words.’
5. Set boundaries and hold on to them
Remember that when you pull back from people who haven’t quite been reciprocal, they’d surely step up their efforts. However, if you get immediately drawn back into the relationship, there’s a 90% possibility of them relapsing into the same old pattern of disinterested, casual, and un-reciprocal behavior. Remember that when you take a step back and draw boundaries, it isn’t for people to miss the affection they were hithertofore enjoying but instead, a chance to realize what you bring to their lives. If that realization doesn’t seep in, it is time you start driving towards the exit.
6. Overturn the unequal power dynamic
You have the power to let people know how they can or cannot treat you. Make sure that the power-game is swiftly and gradually overturned once you’ve allowed enough traction to let the ball be in his/her court. You need to hold on to the last smidgen of self-respect, all-the-more tightly and remind yourself it is time for change. Tell yourself you are a good human being and deserve all the good there is.
7. Value yourself enough to exit
If communication and withdrawal haven’t really worked, nothing will. No matter how deeply you care for them, this juncture is your cue to stop driving altogether and dash for the exit. Do not bid adieu with tears or create an emotional ruckus but opt for a dignified goodbye. Tell them that you feel the relationship is one-sided and therefore, you are going to step back and let him/her go.
8. Accept and live the truth
If your communication reaps zilch results and you observe no change or little/flimsy change in your partner’s behavior, it would serve you well to accept the truth about the relationship being a one-way poison that shall keep drinking on your life’s vital vial, draining you of your emotional and physical capacity to love. Once you accept this truth, try and live with it. It will take time to heal yourself of the wound that comes from loving someone who never reciprocated your love at the same level or with the same intensity. Surround yourself with friends and family and immerse yourself in activities that make you feel good.
Remember that God has blessed us with a capacity to love with all of our heart and soul. And the ones who are able to do that are capable of attracting those who are willing to love the same way. We are all capable of deep love and affection and deserve the same. So, put this up on a note so every morning reminds you of your worthiness for true love.
Happy loving. J
Featured image source: Shutterstock