12 Signs You're In A One-Sided Friendship And How To Deal With It


Hallmarks of an unrequited friendship

It’s not difficult to notice when you’re the only one giving in a relationship. It’s draining. The relationship feels forced. You initiate everything: conversation, spending time together. Even the act of being vulnerable is unbalanced.

I know it’s easy to enter relationships as a result of proximity, convenience and over-excitement but we need to raise our expectations. Intentionality is expected in a relationship; it’s normal to be invested in the people you say you care about.

In my experience, this all became apparent when I started keeping my distance because I was tired of the lack of reciprocity. The “friend” didn’t even notice my absence, it seemed.

I realised I had stepped into a true friendship when they noticed little things I had said in conversation. They took a true interest in the details of my life. The difference was clear.

12. They make you feel exhausted

This is the saddest part.

This is the saddest part.

No matter how much you want to save this friendship or how close you once were, now, after being around them, all you feel is deep exhaustion. That’s what an unbalanced friendship does to a person.

Being around someone who keeps using you, taking advantage of you and being selfishly unkind to you drains you and destroys your mental health.

After getting home, all you can think about is how peaceful and nice it is to be not surrounded by them and as horrible as it may sound, you’re kind of glad they’re no longer there, at least for the remainder of the day.

My advice is listen to your gut. If someone makes you feel drained and used, they’re not your friend.

They probably never were. It may have taken you a

They probably never were. It may have taken you a bit longer to see it but now you get to decide that it’s time to say your goodbyes.

After discarding toxic, bad friends from your life, for a while, you’ll be feeling lost and a little bit broken.

But one day, you’ll simply wake up with a brand new perspective that will help you turn over a new leaf.

See also: Sex With Friends? The 10 Biggest Secrets No One Will Tell You

And Finally…

You start seeing things for how they really are as opposed to how you wanted them to be.

Bad friends start to show themselves and you realize how rare and priceless good friends really are.

You get a brand new outlook on life and you choose to discard your one-sided friendship for the sake of your mental health.

No more fake friends and wasted time. Unbalanced f

No more fake friends and wasted time. Unbalanced friendships are a toxic waste of time and yours is simply too valuable for anyone who doesn’t see the value of being around you.

Knowing your worth is the key to finding people whose company will make you feel good about yourself. It isn’t selfish putting yourself first. 

It isn’t wrong to want to find a deep, genuine connection with somebody who will appreciate what you bring to the table.

You deserve to be loved for your intellect and you

You deserve to be loved for your intellect and your kindness.

Moving on is never easy but when you know it’s the right thing to do, you never look back.

You decide to leave the bad in the past and focus on the good in your present.

And before you know it, it starts to feel so damn good after being so bad for far too long.

See also: How To Live In Peace And Harmony With The Help Of These 5 Steps




How To Put Right A One-Sided Relationship

If you’re feeling unsure about how much someone is there for you, open communication is key.

Choose somewhere neutral to meet.

A café can be great as there are other people around, and you’ll both want to hold it together a bit more. Having people in a close vicinity makes one of you yelling or crying less likely!

You can also walk out any time you need to if you feel like it’s getting too much.

If you’re comfortable with it, you could ask them to your place to chat. You’re putting yourself in a position of power here as you’re on home-turf and are essentially more in control of the situation.

Don’t go for confrontation.

The chances are, you’re feeling quite emotional. Any kind of relationship that makes you feel vulnerable, self-doubting, or insecure is going to be upsetting, and it’s horrible when it’s due to someone who should care about you the most!

Do your best to stay calm and stick to phrases like:

“This has happened a few times and it makes me feel embarrassed in front of our friends.”

“I’d prefer it if you did not… as it makes me feel…”

Try to avoid blaming them, but, equally, make it clear that their behavior sometimes hurts you.

Explain why you’re feeling this way and how they could help you feel more secure in your friendship.

A good friend will be embarrassed to find out they’re not doing enough and will brainstorm ways you can strengthen your bond.

We think you can guess what a toxic friend will do…

9. They expect too much from you

Your kind head and unselfish nature often lead to

Your kind head and unselfish nature often lead to you doing stuff for people without expecting anything in return.

It’s simply in your nature to be there for your friends, be that emotionally, physically or even financially.

One-sided friendships are a whole other ball game.

If there was ever an instance where you offered to cover the tab or pay for your friend’s dinner because they were tight in the money department, now, it’s become the norm.

When the check comes, all eyes are on you.

They are always in a worse situation than you, so

They are always in a worse situation than you, so it’s expected that you’ll keep paying. That’s called emotional manipulation.

You’re made to feel obligated to keep doing things of this nature because they think you have it better than them.

Even if this was the case, this is wrong on so many levels. You are not responsible for your friend.

You do not have to keep being there for them in whichever capacity they need you to if you’re made to feel obliged to do it.

That is not a friendship; it’s a toxic environment where you’re being manipulated and used.

See also: Manifesting A Specific Person Using The Law Of Attraction

Can You Fix a One-Sided Friendship?

Whether or not you can fix a one-sided friendship depends mainly on the other person. In fact, the only things you need to do are the following:

  • Keep being the friend you are. 
  • Let the other person know what you expect of a friend.
  • Commit to not settling for less.

You have the right to expect a friend to show an equal investment in the relationship. If they’re not interested in a close friendship, that’s fine. But you can let them know you’ll only give as much to a relationship as you’re likely to receive. 

Friendship is a two-way street. If they want in, they can meet you halfway. 

2. They put you down (in front of people)

Real friendships are built on mutual care, respect, and trust – you’ve got each other’s back and you’ll defend them.

In fact, you’ll actively big them up; you’ll compliment them and do your best to get other people to realize how amazing and special they are.

One-sided friendships can be built on foundations of loneliness, insecurity, and anxiety.

If you’re in one of these types of relationship, it could be that they want to keep you close to avoid you being competition.

If you feel like you’re their friend, you won’t make a show of being more attractive than them, or more intelligent or funny than them.

Keeping you close is some people’s way of preventing you from shining on your own.

If this is the case, you may also notice that they put you down a lot, often in front of other people.

Negative comments about your appearance and behavior may genuinely stem from envy.

Remember when your mum used to tell you girls were mean because they were jealous of you? She knew what she was talking about!

Final words

All in all, one-sided friendships are often the result of different personalities. You may feel like you cannot connect with a friend on a deep level because they are introverted, overly competitive, or insecure.

It can be frustrating when your only option is to pull away from them without addressing the issue.

However, the best thing to do is to tell them that you cannot continue being friends and that you want to be more than just good friends.

Remember, if they were really your friend, they wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings by breaking up with you – they would do it out of their own good intentions. So, you should be able to move on and forget about the one-sided friendship.

How Do You Know If You Are In A One-Sided Friendship?

Do you spend all your time and energy on your friend but often find yourself dealing with your own problems alone, even when you reach out for help? Are all your plans with them as per their convenience, regardless of your schedule or preferences? Do you feel like if you let go, they would not make any effort to make you stay?

If you have answered yes to at least two of these questions, it is time to look for one-sided friendship signs.

A one-sided friendship is more common than you think and can drain the giver of their energy, both physical and mental. People often feel hurt and confused when a friendship is one-sided. One of the biggest questions that can haunt you during these times is, “Is there something wrong with me?”

However, rest assured that despite all the efforts that you are making, if the other person fails to appreciate and cherish you, it is not your fault.

A strong and long-lasting friendship is based on mutual support. It is a two-way street. If your bond is based on loose strings that only you are holding on to with dear life, you may be spending way too much of your energy on something that can end up hurting you in the long run.

You can have an honest conversation with your friend and figure out how to fix this one-sided friendship, but it is possible only when both sides are ready to do so. You can always try to convey your feelings and make them understand what has been hurting you. If they are willing to acknowledge your feelings and do something about it, you are good to go!

Before the talk, let’s look at the signs your friendship is one-sided.

It can be worth defining friendships

I don’t know about you but when I see a possible connection with someone, I dive all the way in. I’ve learnt over time that you can’t force it, however. You shouldn’t skip stages. Rushing into relationships has a kind of ecstasy that comes with it, but it can be problematic in the long run.

I started grouping my friendships and it’s helped a lot; acquaintances, casual friends, close friends and intimate friends. I try to observe patterns and progress relationships accordingly. You can’t have a deep relationship with everyone, you can desire to, but you have to be self-aware. Discern when to stay in your lane and keep things where they are.


  • It’s always best to look at a person’s behavior before considering them a friend. If someone is constantly gossiping about others, for example, you may not want to consider them a friend. They might be gossiping about you, too.

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  • If it’s a common occurrence for you to get stuck in one-sided friendships, you may want to try seeking friends elsewhere.

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How to End a One-Sided Friendship

The great part about unbalanced friendships is that they are very easy to walk away from. If you are the one putting the effort into keeping in touch, simply stop and move on to find other friends. Very often in one-sided friendships, the self-absorbed friend won't even notice or care enough to contact you to find out what is the matter.

If your friend does contact you at some point, be cautious with how much effort you put into the friendship going forward. You may be dealing with someone who will continue to use you or worse, someone that just doesn't get what friendship is all about. If you find that your friendship immediately falls back to an unbalanced state, move on from that person for good.