A one sided relationship is a relationship between two people in which one party does virtually all the investment of resources, such as time, physical and mental energy, emotions and sometimes material resources while the other party simply sits back and enjoys. A one-sided relationship is a form of servitude because there is a master-party and a servant-party. In a one-sided relationship the only compensation the investor who is the servant-party receives is the approval of the other party who assumes the role of the master though the investor may not be fully aware of these dynamics earlier on in the relationship. It is important to understand that the partner who plays the master may not necessarily be the more powerful one in terms of socio-economic status though this could be the case in some situations. In many situations, the partner who assumes the role of the master could be the seemingly less powerful or dependent one whose condition naturally elicits the sympathy of the seemingly stronger party who chooses to be committed and loyal to the other without expecting anything in return. The most painful aspect of a one-sided relationship is that the servant- party usually does not realise the true status of the relationship until very late when they begin to feel used. A one-sided relationship can occur within the context of any close relationship, such as between romantic partners, friends or even marriage. It is worthy of note that there is no living human who has absolutely nothing to give. It is understandable that at any point in any relationship, both parties may not have equal amount of time, physical energy, intellectual resources, and material resources to share. More often, in a mutually beneficial relationship, each party strives to invest the resources at their disposal. It is impossible to not have time, not have material resources, not have physical energy and also not even be able to support the other party by showing interest in the things that are important to them. The failure of the master-party to invest in the relationship is not necessarily due to lack of capacity to give but more often as a result of their inadequate emotional involvement in the relationship. In order words, they simply do not care about the other party. The other party is simply a tool to be used and is not considered worthy of any form of investment. While it is true that individuals vary in their level of selfishnesss and willingness to share due to past experiences, love has been found to be able to make people break such limitations. There cannot be true love or friendship without a yearning to give. If you are emotionally involved with someone, you would naturally think about what to give to them, and this will happen often. Giving could be something as simple as a good morning or a good night call or message, a message to ask how the day is going, a prayer, a good wish message especially on their special days, little material gifts or physical visits. Friends or partners who always give excuses for not giving to the relationship may be playing the master’s role. They give little or nothing to make the relationship work, yet, they get offended whenever you are unable to give as much as they expect. To set yourself free from a one-sided relationship, the following steps may be helpful:
- Be aware that you are valuable and worthy of love and appreciation. Whoever does not consider you to be worthy of their time or other resources may not really care about you.
- Talk about your feelings without being judgemental- You may want to let your friend or partner know what you think and how you feel about their non involvement instead of just pulling away. It is important to be open minded during this conversation instead of being judgemental.
- Be patient with them to change if they are willing to and are committed to change.
- Decide if you want to stay in the relationship or not if they try to justify their non involvement by giving excuses or if they blame you for discussing the subject.