You begin a process of dating and discover the wonders of another person. You find yourself excited and happy to take that risk to allow yourself to trust being vulnerable and open. You find yourself selflessly creating more and more space in your life for the person and doing more to demonstrate a growing admiration and love for this person.

Yet, as time goes on, you begin to realize that you are the person who always initiates saying “I love you” and that although your partner is saying, “I love you too” as response, you notice that your partner is just not making very much effort to demonstrate that you are as special as you feel that your partner is to you. It begins to dawn on you that perhaps you are in a one-sided relationship.

One-sided relationships occur when one person falls deeply in love compared to the other person. Yet, the person, who is not as deeply in love may be saying “I love you” as a response when he or she may be experiencing more of a state of deep fondness than love. This creates confusion in the relationship by making the person who is in deep love believe that love is mutual when really it is not.

Why do people say they are in love when they are more fond of rather than in love with another person? Often times, people enjoy being the recipient of adulation and being the center of another person’s world. After all who wouldn’t enjoy feeling love lavished generously onto them by another person? Thus, when faced with a person saying, “I love you,” such individuals simply echo back the words because they don’t want to lose the person who is in love with them.

They may even feel a strong connection or adoration for the person who loves them, but mostly it is about not wanting to lose the person’s attention, companionship and all the things that the person is bringing to their life through love. So the motive to say “I love you” can sometimes come from a selfish place versus an authentic place.

People can also try to talk themselves into believing they are in love because they don’t want to hurt the other person. Yet, this approach creates more pain for both people down the road and can lead to deep wounding and breaking of trust.

Also, some people have not developed a deeper level of self-awareness and mindfulness to truly know what they are feeling inside. They may be confused, scared or feeling unworthy of love. So, they may not even realize that they are not in love but are simply enjoying the fact that you are in love with them and perhaps are intrigued or fascinated by you. They may have dreamed of having a loving partner like you, yet they cannot believe you are the real thing and do not know how to handle the fact that love has finally manifested through you.

How do you know if love is one-sided or if your partner is truly in love with you? You simply observe the actions and energy of your partner because behaviors more than words reveal how we really feel about someone. Actions and energy never lie.

Signs that You Both are in Love

People who are in love welcome love and feel worthy of it such that when one partner gives love, the other partner reciprocates easily because both people feel good about themselves and their ability to embrace love.

This ease of reciprocation is also reflected in how people communicate their feelings. Both people feel comfortable expressing and initiating saying, “I love you,’ versus one person primarily saying, “I love you” while the other person responds with, “Ditto (I love you too).”

When love is reciprocal, after one makes love, the romantic expressions and ways of showing how much you value another person increases. Physically affectionate behaviors increase such as more hand holding, hugs, and sitting close while in public. Gestures of romantic gift giving or thoughtful presents also increase as both people delight in new ways to show how they feel about each other. So, we have an increase in communications but also actions that back up those words.

Also, when love is mutual, both people want to see each other with greater frequency and make the commitment to create quality time to spend together by actively planning and valuing date nights and sleepover. Both people also share the work and responsibility of the date planning versus just one person doing most of the work of figuring out where to go and what to do.

Thus, both people create a flow where they are a high priority in each other’s lives. For example, if your beloved is ill or having a rough time, you actively make it a priority to spend time with your love even if it is just watching a movie together or sitting together and talking quietly, versus choosing to hang with other friends or running errands that could be put off a day or two.

In addition, people who are mutually in love have healthy boundaries and are committed to sharing positive energy and enthusiastically embracing the time that they share with each other. They are also willing to reschedule if they are not in a space to bring positive energy to other person. In other words, both people value creating a positive impact on their partners, versus creating situations where one partner is dumping negative energy on the other due to stress or challenges in life. This is a respect and boundary issue that naturally flows out of being in love—for when we are in deep love, we are mindful to create spaces of positive energy to uplift each other.

Yet, some people might feel, “Well if my partner truly loves me, all of my negative experiences or baggage should be accepted as part of the package of who I am.” Yet, think about that. Would you really put smelly garbage at the feet of someone you truly love and respect and say, “If you love me, please walk with me through all this garbage that I’ve collected outside of this relationship?” That is ridiculous, right? So people who have deep love and mutual respect for each other are careful to check their past baggage or emotional garbage at the door and keep the energy of the relationship clear of negative influences that are external to the relationship.

Partners in love also welcome feedback (both positive and constructive) and seek ways to improve what they are doing to keep partners happy. When conflicts occur in the relationship, both people are committed to talking it out without being defensive or making comments such as, “Well if I am not pleasing you or if I am not what you want me to be, maybe we should just end this because with all I have going on in my life, I really don’t need this.” Instead, people are willing to listen to find out where the gaps are occurring between what each person has agreed to be for the other person versus what is actually occurring and work on that without getting all bent out of shape.

Last, mutually shared love nourishes the health of both partners such that their immunity increases and they feel physically more vibrant as they spend more time together. In contrast, one-sided love tends to deplete one partner energetically, emotionally and physically, causing T-cells and other immunity cells to drop instead of increase such that health is more easily compromised. If you notice that your relationship is one-sided and also observe challenges with your health, you might take a closer look at the impact of your relationship on your well being.

Signs that Love is One Sided

Love is one-sided when one person is doing most of the work of the relationship in terms of making commitments to create quality time, plan dates, research new things to do as a couple, and going out of one’s way to show the other person how much he or she is loved.

Research shows that as a person gives more in love, he or she experiences greater levels of love for another person, because oxytocin, the love hormone that allows us to bond more intimately with others, gets released when loving and giving behaviors are engaged. Yet, research also shows that the receiver of the loving behaviors may experience less of a feeling of being in love because merely receiving does not activate a release of oxytocin. Reciprocation is the act that releases oxytocin and creates an energetic completion of the cycle of giving that deepens a sense of trust, intimacy and the feelings of mutual love.

Thus, it is very important to find out early in the dating process how your date feels about reciprocating loving efforts. Find out if your date is a natural giver and a person who enjoys nourishing and pampering others. Observe actions not just word as many people imagine themselves to be givers or those who enjoy pampering their partners but sometimes their actual behaviors do not deliver on their spoken representations of themselves.

During the wooing stage of dating, people often will make the effort to be givers. Pay careful attention to how the person behaves after you take the relationship to a deeper level by making love. Affectionate behaviors, romantic gift giving, being considerate of bringing positive energy and placing a high priority on continuing to spend time together should increase, but in a one sided relationship these behaviors diminish after a couple has made love.

Another significant sign that love is one-sided is that only one person is experiencing sexual orgasms during lovemaking. Sex is about the mutual exchange of energy and if love (one of the strongest energies we can feel), is not mutual, this imbalance will often manifest as a challenge with attaining sexual climax with a partner.

Unless there is a physical or medical reason that is impeding sexual climax, there is no reason why a couple in deep love should not be experiencing sexual orgasms together. Why is this important in a love relationship? The act of climaxing together releases oxytocin, which creates intimate bonding and increases the feelings of love.

People who do not allow themselves to fully relax into love or are not in love, subconsciously deny themselves the intimacy of climaxing with a partner and may not recognize that their bodies are telling them that on a feeling level they are not truly allowing themselves to connect with their partner through love. Sometimes fears, issues with trust, insecurities, feelings of unworthiness, or emotional baggage from past relationships can also be the factors in not allowing one's self this level of sexual and emotional intimacy. In any case, the body is clearly communicating that there are blocks around intimacy, and without intimacy, mutual love cannot thrive and grow.

This challenge in the sexual arena can also be influenced by events outside of the bedroom where there might be a disparity around the level of priority that both people are willing to put on creating space for each other in their lives. Usually one person will make the person who is the object of love a high priority in the life, while the other partner will tend to relegate the partner who is in love to the back burner of life and treat that person as an option not a priority without even realizing that they are doing this. When people do not feel as if they are being valued enough to be made a priority, it diminishes sexual interest and the desire to bond through lovemaking.

These behaviors are examples that reflect that a partner is not making you a priority as a love object—and may be a sign that your relationship is one-sided.

*Your partner regularly calls you at the very end of the night when you are tired or already asleep instead of making it a priority to call you earlier in the evening when you are actually available to be be present to talk more vibrantly or even meet in person.

*Your partner gives you crumbs of time and fitting you in around all the many things in his or her life, versus creating advanced plans to spend non-distracted time with you.

*Your partner engages and makes other activities that are not time sensitive a higher priority than spending time with you.

*Your partner will not hesitate to ask you for favors that require you to sacrifice your time and energy, yet when it is time to reciprocate, the partner says his or her plate is too full with other obligations and may even get angry and say that you expect or want too much if you express disappointment or hurt that your partner is not reciprocating the priority and energy that you give to him or her.

The critical thing to ask yourself if you see these behaviors reflecting a lack of priority, is why be an option when you deserve to be the priority?

Last, sometimes people in one-sided relationships will subconsciously sabotage the relationship to end because it is not what they are truly wanting--but again these behaviors often occur out of the sphere of their conscious awareness.

These are the partners that suddenly start acting aloof or inconsiderate, or become defensive when you try to talk with them. They essentially drive you away but try to make it seem as if your expectations are unrealistic or demanding. These are particularly damaging partners in relationships because instead of owning that their inability to feel comfortable with you or embrace love is the source of their angst, they seek to put the blame on the partner. This can leave the partner who was being loving and giving very wounded and in a state of shock, self doubt and pain.

How to Deal with the One-Sided Relationship

Love is a miracle and life is too short to engage relationships that are one-sided. If you suspect or feel that you are in one-sided love relationship, follow these strategies:

Make your partner aware that you are feeling that things are not mutual in terms of support, expressions of love, priority etc.

If your partner truly loves you, he or she will step up behaviors to bring balance versus just saying, “You’re right, I’m not holding up my part of the relationship.” Actions speak louder than words. Don’t accept mere words.

After you share with your partner your concerns, give it a month or so to observe shifts in behaviors and share more feedback. If you still do not see a positive and consistent change, or you experience an increase of non-supportive or selfish behaviors, value yourself enough to exit the relationship.

Avoid being dramatic and simply state, “I’m really feeling that the relationship is one sided so I’m going to step back and let you go because I deserve more.”

When you choose to end the relationship, be sure to surround yourself with loving support of family and friends and immerse yourself in activities that awaken your spirit to help heal the wound that comes from loving someone who is not reciprocating love at the same level.

Also, hold firm to your boundaries because often when you pull back from people who have been enjoying your affection but not really reciprocating at the level that you deserve, they will suddenly step up efforts. Yet, this is not about being in love with you. This is about them missing what you bring to their lives. So, you need to be strong and not get drawn back into the relationship because as soon as you re-engage the relationship they will fall back into the same pattern because they are not genuinely and selflessly in love with you. Remember that you gave the person an opportunity to step up to different behaviors but they opted not to do that. So save yourself the time, energy and hurt from reengaging such a person and instead embrace the idea that you deserve mutually selfless love with a partner who is truly in the space to welcome and reciprocate all that you have to share.

People who love with their whole hearts are extraordinary jewels capable of attracting others who are also willing, able and ready for deepest love. Remember that, affirm it and put that on a note where you can see that everyday to remind you of your worthiness of deep love.

Author's Bio: 

Kay Hutchinson (CAMQ, CAMT) is a practitioner of medical qi gong and Chinese medicine who examines relationships from an energetic perspective. She has a thriving clinical holistic practice that helps people bloom their energy from the physical to the emotional and spiritual layers, empowering people to grow individually and through their relationships with others. Visit her website at for more articles and self help tools. She is also the founder of the non profit El Tule Institute, dedicated to the creative expression of people via qi gong, music and community art projects with an eco focus.