Don't Stay In A One-Sided Relationship

Don't Stay In A One-Sided Relationship

You deserve the kind of love you would give someone else.
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One-sided relationships have been on my mind this week. The subject just popped into my head and kind of stuck. When I say one-sided relationships, I don't just mean people in a romantic relationship, I'm talking about all kinds of relationships.

We are all busy. We have to balance a lot of responsibilities throughout our lives. It seems like no one slows down, and everyone is always moving at such a fast pace. No matter how busy someone may be, if you are truly important, people will make time for you.

Life is full of extraordinary experiences. There is so much to discover and learn. Being in a one-sided relationship isn't worth your time or the heartache. Life is too short to be putting effort into people who won't do the same for you.

I really dislike when I hear people say, "relationships are hard work." Relationships are not hard work. They shouldn't even be considered work. There will be arguments and disagreements, but that is to be expected. When you are with someone who is in love with you, it won't be hard. Things will have a flow to them. I know "flow" is an abstract idea, but when you're with the other person you'll just feel it. Things will just make sense. When you can share intimacy, vulnerability, and good communication, it will be simple.

One-sided relationships are unhealthy. It will emotionally drain you. It brings you unwanted negativity and will feel like you are stuck in a cycle of disappointment. It will make you feel like you aren't good enough. You are good enough, though.

One-sided friendships deserve recognition. These kind of friendships seem to be a little more common. Friendships are important and should improve your life in some way. Being friends with someone who never initiates contact, treats you like a convenience or sees the friendship as a chore is awful. That's not what friendship is. Friendship is finding someone who will sit on the kitchen floor eating pizza at 3 a.m. with you while talking about each other's hopes and dreams. Friendship is being able to be comfortable with each other's silence and knowing that talking isn't always necessary. The greatest way to honor a friend is to share your vulnerabilities. Trust creates an even stronger bond.

Do not ignore the "red flags" of one-sided relationships. I have ignored the red flags before, and it made the pain hurt even more. It will be less painful to accept and address that the relationship isn't working than ignoring the issue. It will be like ripping a bandage off. The pain will sting at first but after a while, the pain will be gone. I would rather be alone than be with someone who makes me feel alone.

Making an effort is important. It is one of the most crucial elements for a relationship. Without effort, the relationship will crumble. It's sad because it seems like effort is becoming more difficult to find. I want to make deep, meaningful connections with people. I don't want anything frivolous or superficial.

The people who put effort into your relationship and connect with you on a deeper level should be treasured. These kind of relationships are hard to find, but once you make one you'll know that it is genuine and authentic. Surround yourself with people who make you feel loved and important.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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To The 20-Year-Old Girl Dating A 45-Year-Old Man, From The Child Of An Age Gap Relationship

Please know what your getting into.
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Recently, I've seen a few stories on the Odyssey discussing age gap in relationships.

They all seem to be written by girls who are dating men who are 20 years or more their senior. The articles talk about how love is love, the heart wants what it wants and that no one will change their mind about their relationship. I respect everyone's right to their opinion and their happiness. If you really think it works for you, then go for it. However, you should know what you are getting into completely before fully committing to this.

I am a child of parents with a large age gap. My dad is 23 years older than my mom. They got married when he was 50 and she was 26. My dad was 65 by the time I was born. I love my parents but here's why I think we should be wary of large age gap relationships

Disclaimer: my parents both know and understand my feelings on this. They know I wrote this article and that they are mentioned. I wouldn't trade or change them or their relationship. My parents have provided me with a wonderful life full of love, family, and happiness. Because of them, I've been given financial stability, a safe environment, an education and a huge, loving family. Things have worked out for our family, especially given the circumstances. However, that doesn't mean I would recommend a large age gap relationship. It may seem like nothing now, but the years between you and your significant other will catch up to you.

My dad is now 86 and struggling. He has trouble taking care of himself.

He needs help with almost everything. He can't be left alone for more than an hour or two. He has nurses come three times a week to help with his care. He needs someone present when my mom leaves the house to work part-time. His memory is fading, his health is declining and it seems that he slips out of lucidity more often these days.

My mom is now a full-time caregiver more than a wife.

She does an amazing job making sure my dad is content and taken care of. However, it is draining. She is still young enough to want to go out and do things. She wants to go on vacations and hang out friends. But most of the time, she is at home watching my dad. She is following her wedding vows to a tee but that doesn't mean it is easy. She struggles with guilt sometimes over the entire situation.

Then there is me. Because of my parents' age gap, I have been put in a difficult place.

I've had to watch my dad slip away physically and mentally for a good portion of my life. I try to help out but it is not always an easy thing to do. I will go watch TV with him so my mom can get out for an hour. Unfortunately, I usually end up calling her home because something arises that I can't handle alone. I have gone over to their house many times to help pick my dad up because he fell and refuses to let someone call the EMTs. I have changed college and life plans in order to stay close to home. I have known since I was little that my dad most likely won't be there for my wedding. He won't meet my children. I have struggled with my relationship with him due to the immense age gap. It is all I have ever known but it is something that still greatly affects me. I love my dad with everything I have, but that doesn't make the situation easier.

So my warning to you is this; be prepared for what is down the road.

Know that your age difference of 18 and 40 doesn't seem like anything now but it will at 60 and 82. It will be difficult for everyone involved. As a wife, you will slowly watch the man you loved slip away. Your kids will have to deal with struggles that no one else will understand. It is a lonely and painful situation. Before you make any drastic decisions, please understand what is coming.

If you decide that is what's right for you, then, by all means, go for it! but just understand the consequences of your choices.

Cover Image Credit: PX Here

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An Open Letter To My First Love

We've all been there.
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You were the first one to know me after I had my world shaken. You were my first love.

Before that, you were a guy I met online on this random chat site. I was looking for a friend because I felt so isolated from the people around me. I was alone and that terrified me.

I recall looking at your profile, a little hesitant to send you a message and I don’t know what compelled me to do it in the end. I met you, a standoffish and rude person. Initially, you were dry and sarcastic.

You said it was difficult for you to make friends and I saw why. Nonetheless, I was enthralled which kept me persistent.

A few months went by and our friendship was relatively solid. We spoke every day without fail. We would often talk on the phone for hours. We’d give up our other plans so we could spend more time together.

You were still the person I met, however, I noticed that you were like that towards others. I wasn’t the object of your spite, you treated me well. At the time, it was everything I was looking for.

I remember the day we began to date very clearly. I know it was sometime in the summer, I was at an outing with my family, and we had stopped for ice cream. Of course, I was texting you all day. I was sitting there, eating the strawberry covered vanilla ice cream, and you asked me to be your girlfriend.

I was absolutely ecstatic. If I think hard enough, I vaguely remember the feeling of it.

It was okay for awhile, it was hard since we lived so far apart. You lived in North Carolina and I lived miles away in New Jersey. We suffered a lot due to the distance. We had many arguments but we remained hopeful that one day we would meet and be together for real. I can say that for some time I was happy with you.

Until I wasn’t.

You became bitter and manipulating. You were jealous. You were putting me down because you were afraid of losing me. You treated me as carelessly as you treated everyone else.

Eventually, we broke it off. We stopped dating but it didn’t keep us from talking. I knew I would lose more than I was willing to if I stopped speaking you altogether.

A few months later we reconciled and we began to date once again. This on and off again process went on until I was fifteen. Each time you felt tired of being with me, you would curse at me, say that I was useless or that you never cared about me. You convinced me that there was something wrong with me. I believed you. was young and I thought that if someone who was so close to me thought that, then it must be true. I let you do it because I believed that was how I should show my love for you. To this day, I still believe some of the things you convinced me of.

It sounds ridiculous now but right before we never spoke again, you spoke with intention of moving here and marrying me. I thought that all the terrible things were worth it because we would spend our lives together. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to but it was easier to handle the manipulation than to start all over again.

Years later, I am unsure of why I let this behavior go on for so long. Desperation, maybe. Loneliness, likely.

I remember there was a day we spoke for the final time. I was angry and confused. I wasn’t able to reach you on anything. You blocked ME. Yes, you blocked me after I had held onto our relationship, no matter how sad you made me.

After everything that had happened, I never got any answers. I was never able to say goodbye. I think about you sometimes and I feel such sadness. Sometimes, I wish that I could talk to you. I want to know if you ever did decide to go to college, how your graduation went or if you found someone better. It’s infuriating that I can’t seem to fully let go. Then, I realize that I don’t necessarily miss you, I simply wanted answers.

I wish to keep you in the past because you are a person who belongs there. Nothing good would come from us speaking again. The malicious cycle would only continue and I’d be trapped. I know it’s highly unlikely that you will ever read this, but if you do, I forgive you for all that you did. I forgive you for leaving me without the answers to properly move on. I can thank you because you did teach me what to NOT look for in a person.

Luckily, I found someone who was the answer to all the questions I was left with.

Cover Image Credit: Andrea Iragorri

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