6 Signs Your Relationship Is Off-Balance — Plus How To Fix It

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Even healthy relationships are hard sometimes. You have to find a balance and learn to communicate effectively — especially when things get tough. But that only really works if you have a partner who is putting as much effort into a relationship as you are. You're equally dedicated to maintaining your relationship, even when you face instances of stress or disagreement.

Key examples of effort in a relationship revolve around the balance of initiation. If one partner feels they’re always the one initiating intimacy, or they’re always the one initiating the hard (but necessary) conversations, then it’s likely they are shouldering the burden of the partnership’s upkeep. If your hearts aren't equally dedicated to your success as a couple, there are likely several signs one of you is putting too much effort into a relationship that isn't working — one that maybe isn't meant to be.

"There are two types of people in a relationship: Those who actively want to be there, and those who're simply along for the ride," Susan Winter, NYC relationship expert and love coach, tells Elite Daily. "Ideally, relationships should be 50-50. In real life that percentage may be fluid. For example, your partner gives a lot in some areas and not so much in others. But no matter how the give and take ratio shakes out, a fulfilling partnership is based on balance. Relationships that lack balance breed resentment."

That resentment is a relationship killer, and it reveals itself in various ways. Here are the signs the experts say will help you determine if you’re putting too much effort into your relationship.


You’re Anxious About The Relationship


If you’re not totally sure how you feel about your relationship, dating coach and co-founder of A Good First Date, Grace Lee, tells Elite Daily to stop and think about how you feel physically. “There are obvious physical signs when you're in a bad relationship: the knot in your stomach, over-reacting to simple situations or getting emotional about things that normally wouldn't affect you,” says Lee. All of that anxiety may be a sign that you're trying too hard for something that isn't meant to be.


You’ve Started Overanalyzing Everything

We’re all guilty of over-analyzing at times, trying to uncover the hidden meanings behind every word and gesture. As Lee explains, that need to over-analyze may be related to an imbalance in your relationship. “You may find yourself obsessing over text messages and past conversations,” she says. “When you feel unloved, you scroll to the most loving message ever received and take comfort in it rather than face the overwhelming evidence that something is missing.”


You Have To Work To Get Your Feelings Acknowledged

Heather Claus, a dating and kink expert, tells Elite Daily the clearest sign that you are putting too much effort into your relationship is when you have to work too hard to get your partner to acknowledge your feelings. “A partner invested in your relationship with you will pay attention to your feelings and make you feel validated with feedback and communication,” she says.

Brenda Della Casa, a career and relationship coach and author of Cinderella Was A Liar, suggests asking yourself one question: "How sympathetic are they to your concerns?" She says to pay close attention to how they answer. “When you tell the person that you're not feeling great about the way you are being treated or that you miss time with them, are they quick to make an excuse or call you ‘too sensitive’, or do they share what's going on and promise to work together to improve the relationship?”


You Always Have To Initiate Affection And Communication


Who always initiates affection in your relationship? Is it you? If so, Claus says that's a big red flag. “It’s a clear sign a relationship is not meant to be when you are the only one initiating affection," she says. As she explains, this is one of those things that just has to come naturally in the relationship.“There is no way to force someone to love or even like us back, and if they are withdrawing constantly, then it's a pretty clear sign you are a mismatch.”

The same is true for communication. "You’re always reaching out first. It doesn’t matter if it’s a text, a call or an email. If you’re always the one initiating communication, your partner simply lacks interest," Sonya Schwartz, a relationship expert and owner of Her Aspiration, tells Elite Daily. "Things won’t change overnight, so you might want to let this relationship go."

Andrea Amour, dating coach and founder of UpDate Coaching, agrees. “Approach it in an investigatory rather than an accusatory way," she tells Elite Daily. "[For example] 'Hey, I've noticed I'm always the one to ask if you're free. Should I be reading into that?’ If they don't have a good excuse or don't care, they might not be as invested as you are.”


You Work Around Their Schedule — Always

How much of your energy goes into making sure your relationship is convenient for your partner? If the answer is a lot, then Schwartz says that’s a red flag that you are putting in all the effort. “There is nothing wrong with adjusting your schedule to see your partner if they have a busy period, but if it’s only you adjusting your schedule regardless of how busy they are, that’s a big red flag your partner isn’t as interested in this relationship as you are.”

Maysie Tift, a licensed marriage and family psychotherapist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, agrees and adds you shouldn’t ignore the signals and or your gut instinct. “If someone really wants to be with you, they will generally show it by enthusiastically making time for you and expressing their feelings," she says. "Give the relationship some time to develop, but if you feel yourself growing more attached over time, and it's not reciprocated, this may be a sign that the chemistry is just not there on their side — or something else is going on. Have a talk with your partner and try to bring things out into the open.” She also adds that, as much as you may not want to, it might be time to face the facts.


They Feel They Can Rely On You — But You Can’t Rely On Them

In this situation, your partner always confides in you because, let’s face it, you’re downright amazing and you make them feel safe, seen, supported, and heard. They always ask for your advice, and they expect you to help them clean up their messes. But what happens when the tables are turned? What if you’re going through a difficult time and you need a listening ear? A shoulder to cry on? If they refuse to or are unable to return your level of emotional labor, this is a good sign that your relationship is off-balance. Your feelings, needs, and problems are just as important as theirs — and in a truly equal partnership, you would both feel able to express yourselves freely and know that you’re both committed to helping each other through all the sticky messes that life throws our way.


So You’re Putting In Too Much Effort — What Now?

If some, or all, of this is sounding familiar, it’s time to start getting honest with yourself about the state of your relationship. The experts agree that the first step is to talk to your partner about what you’re feeling. “Do your best to not accuse or blame," Claus advises. "Instead, use phrases like, ‘I noticed that recently we haven't been connecting,’ or ‘We've been arguing a lot lately, and I'm wondering how we might stop that cycle.’ Your partner's response to these talks will tell you a lot about where their head is at. Do they stop and listen to you, and work with you to create better lines of communication and affection, or do they clam up, or worse, suggest you are imagining things?”

“Don't do it after or as part of a blowout argument, instead find a time where you are both calm," Lee warns. If the end result of that conversation is that they don’t want to change, she says it’s time to make a clean break. “Explain in the most simple and straightforward way possible that this relationship isn't for you,” she says. “Don't leave a vague opening or promise of getting back together.”

If the conversation leaves you with hope that you’ve been heard by your partner and that things could change, great! But Claus suggests that you set a time limit to see if they follow through. “In some cases it helps to give a certain timeframe, like three weeks or six months (based on how long you've had your relationship and how strong your feelings of disconnect are) to see a major improvement toward a happier and healthier relationship for you both,” she says.

Taken together, what does all this mean? I think Della Casa says it best: “Ultimately, healthy and happy relationships are mutual in all areas, both parties should feel understood, valued, cared for, and respected. It's really that simple.”


Susan Winter, relationship expert and love coach

Grace Lee, co-founder of A Good First Date

Heather Claus, kink and dating expert

Sonya Schwartz, a relationship expert and owner of Her Aspiration

Andrea Amour, dating coach and founder of UpDate Coaching

Maysie Tift, a licensed marriage and family psychotherapist

Brenda Della Casa, a career and relationship coach and author of Cinderella Was A Liar

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