THE BLOG

Dealing With A One-Sided Relationship

02/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Dear Christine,
I have currently been "dating" a girl for about a month. Our relationship started off a bit odd where we literally spoke everyday for the first 2 weeks of knowing each other. However, recently a day or two has gone by without conversation. If I don't initiate the conversation I am afraid there won't be any relationship left. I am quite confused because when we are together we have a great time, and so far she hasn't said "no" to seeing me. Why doesn't she call or even text me first? Is she playing a game, is she too busy, or just not that interested? I am very confused and feeling insecure about the future of this relationship.
~In a One-Sided Relationship, 23, San Diego

Dear In a One-Sided Relationship,

It seems like you may be getting a bit ahead of yourself. You have only been dating for a month and you are already trying to make conclusions about the future of this relationship. So first, stop over-thinking it. The early "dating" phase is supposed to be fun, the honeymoon period. If you are enjoying getting to know her why not just continue that process? Experience is the only thing that provides actual clarity. Trying to predict the future is a good way to end a relationship before it even gets a chance to begin.

Let some time go by before initiating and see if she responds. A day or two really isn't that long of a time to pass before assuming disinterest. Focus on filling your own life with other people and things you enjoy instead of obsessing about this one thing. Pay attention to how you want to be in relationship and take responsibility for your own insecurities. When you are tempted to reach out to her, ask yourself, "Do I want to see her/talk to her because I need to know she still likes me or do I really just want to connect with her?" If you are coming from a place of need, like a desire to feel reassured, stop yourself from contacting her -- give it some space. Neediness is not alluring to most women.

I will also say to be wary of basing your relationship gauge on text messages. Yes, it is instant communication, but it's also a source of a lot of miscommunication as you can't tell voice inflection and often times misunderstand intent.

I also see this situation as a tremendous opportunity to practice open, honest communication with another person -- something you may not have done in the past. Plus, if you are thinking of having a more serious relationship, better to find out sooner rather than later if you are able to honestly and openly communicate with her. If you are someone that wants to connect with the person you are dating everyday, then it's your responsibility to communicate that to her. Give her the benefit of the doubt and tell her it's important to you that she sometimes initiates communication or makes plans. Women like to hear that you enjoy hearing from us. But you also have to be willing to respect what she is willing to agree to. Relationships are based on compromise -- not control or sacrifice. If after an open conversation there is no compromise at all, maybe this isn't the relationship for you.

Finally, cut yourself some slack by believing you are a worthwhile person to be with. I can't answer if she's playing a game or is too busy. I can say though that I don't think she would be spending time with you if she wasn't interested. If you do reach the point where you feel this relationship is one-sided, guess what? You can end it! A one-sided relationship can only continue if you keep up your side. Don't hang on to a mediocre relationship just for the sake of having one.

- Christine

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