Right For You, Wrong For Me: Imbalance Of Affection In Relationships

There is little more frustrating than caring deeply about someone, throwing your whole being into a relationship, and not getting the same in return. The realisation that you can't make someone love you can be one of the most heartbreaking notions to come to terms with. On the other side of the fence, the one who has less affection in the relationship is often portrayed as the 'selfish' one. The one that doesn't care at all, the one who will eventually hurt the other because they can't make themselves love them in that way. Having been on both sides of this situation, I can tell you that they both suck. Here are some signs that there is an imbalance of affection in your relationship.

Putting The Other's Needs Before Your Own

They say this is what mature love is, putting the other's needs before your own. However, what if you're the one doing all the work and your other half just isn't bothered? Wanting to 'fix' someone or give them everything that they want is great in theory, but your needs have to be met as well. There should be a give and take. You shouldn't be the one who's always there for the other, a shoulder to cry on, the designated driver, the one who always pays the bill. On the other side of this, if you're with someone who constantly insists on doing things for you, for paying every time and constantly trying their best for you, then that can be overwhelming too, unless you're a narcissist who enjoys being the centre of attention. If you don't though, it can make you feel like you owe them something in return, which isn't a healthy situation to be in.

Wanting Vs Needing

Some people love being the one to save everyone. They want to be the hero and so are drawn to those that appear to need saving. It makes them feel needed. On the flip side, you can't set your hopes on some knight in shining armour coming to save you. The only person who can save you is yourself. You should be with someone who wants you. Someone who loves making you happy and who you love making happy too. It shouldn't be a damsel-in-distress situation. Finding yourself in such a one-sided relationship makes you feel as if you yourself are a part of such a story. You feel like the hero in your own personal fairytale. But it's all fantasy and won't end well.


Never A Priority

Is one of you always forgetting about the other? Always focused on work or college or friends over the other to the point where they don't even realise that the other is part of their lives? They're always an afterthought. They're always there, like a safety net or a blanket; a plan b in case your other plans fall through. You can realise that they are a catch, a great partner, but you just can't help forgetting about them. He's a keeper, but you're not even watching the game. They say they don't mind that you stood them up accidentally again, but you can't shake the feeling that you are slowly breaking their heart, one neglect at a time.

Imbalance of Affections

Does one of you put all of themselves into the relationship? Does the other feel like they just can't match their affections? Their overflowing passion and infatuation can be smothering. Yes, it's fantastic that they are always there for you and want you to be happy. But they don't just want you to be happy, they want you to be happy with only them. This can lead to obsessive behaviour. The frustration of not being able to make someone care for you can lead to desperate attempts to change yourself to meet their needs, but it's not real. You can't force someone to love you. For the other person, it's difficult to realise that you can never love someone like they love you. You can't make yourself feel something that you just don't feel. End of.


The imbalance of affections makes you feel sorry for the one that loves you more. You can't help seeing them as pathetic because they are literally giving up a part of themselves to be with you. You care about them, so you don't want them to do that. You pity them and you hate yourself for it. You know that you're taking them for granted, and this makes you feel selfish and self-absorbed. You're acting selfish, but only because s/he is insisting that you do. You know they deserve more than what you can give them, but you also know it will crush them when you leave. But this is toxic, and no matter how great they make you feel about yourself, you will never be able to shake that voice that tells you that you are ruining them. If you are the one being pitied, it can be soul-destroying. You can feel like you know that you deserve better, but you're also afraid that you will never find anyone else to love. You deserve to be happy, to be with someone that loves you and doesn't pity your feelings. You both need to let go of this relationship. It's just not fair for either of you.



Orlaith Costello
Article written by
Orlaith is a Creative Writing graduate from NUI Galway. Hailing from the low lying fields of Athenry, or at least what’s left of the low lying fields. She enjoys the internet as a means of living vicariously through others from the safe confines of her own bed. She will initiate a dance off after at least two drinks on any given night out.

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