Relationships are often more complicated than we give them credit for, and if sometimes it feels like
you love your partner more than they love you, that's totally OK. "No two people will love each other with perfect equality and that’s fine," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. It's typical for one person to be a little more invested, or a little more head-over-heels — especially in the early days of dating. "However, the problem comes when there is a clear imbalance of love within the relationship."
When that happens, it might feel like
you're the only one putting in any effort, or like you're the only one taking the relationship seriously. And that's when things can become unfair — and really unhealthy. "At that point, both partners need to look at the reasons for the imbalance and try to correct them," Bennett says. "For example, perhaps one partner has been overly-stressed and emotionally distant. However, if there has been a long-term imbalance of love, then both partners need to determine if the relationship is worth saving. Sometimes people just fall out of love and it’s time to end the relationship and move on."
While a little imbalance is OK, and more extreme imbalances can be corrected, you always want to make sure your relationship is working for
you. If it feels like you're more invested than your partner, talk to them about it. If you can work things out and figure out a plan so both your needs are being met, great. But if you can't, don't be afraid to look for a partner who can give you the love you deserve.
You're Always The One Who Initiates Sex
Plenty of couples have a code when it comes to initiating sex, where one always does the hinting or the asking. If this describes you and your partner's sexual history, and you're both cool with it, then you likely have nothing to worry about in terms of an imbalance here.
But if the pattern becomes intense —
you're the only one who wants sex, and you're constantly getting turned down — it could be a sign you're more invested in the relationship.
"While not everyone wants to get physical all the time, if your partner never wants to be intimate, it can be an indicator there is an imbalance of love," says Bennett. "Whether it’s sex or even cuddle time, spending physical time with someone you love equally shouldn’t feel like a burden." So if you're feeling like things are off, speak up. Talk with your partner about where this imbalance may be coming from and see if you can solve it together.
You're Always The One To Apologize And Fix Problems
Not everyone is a pro when it comes to sharing what's on their mind, or
addressing relationship problems in a healthy, timely way. But people who are invested in relationships usually find a way to do so eventually, because they see a future with their partner and want things to be healthy.
So take note if your partner doesn't seem to care when it comes to fixing problems or solving arguments. As Bennett says, "If you are always the one trying to address and solve the problems in the relationship, it’s [might be a] sign you love the other person more. Solving relationship problems has to be a two-way street. If your partner seems unconcerned about making the relationship thrive, it’s a red flag you don’t love each other on the same level."
You Plan Around Their Schedule, But They Don't Do The Same For You
Balanced relationships should be closer to 50/50 when it comes to give and take. So it may mean you're more invested if you'll happily drop everything to see your partner, even though they don't do the same for you. Your partner's unwillingness to change their day, or inconvenience themselves just a little bit for the sake of the relationship, may be a sign they're only down to see you on their terms.
And that's not balanced love. "Healthy relationships are like Venn diagrams — each of you have your own lives in addition to shared couple time,"
Chicago-area couples therapist Theresa Herring, LMFT, tells Bustle. "The strongest relationships are when two complete, independent people decide to share their life journeys." But the keyword there is sharing.
If your partner doesn't take you into consideration when making plans, despite the fact you're reading and willing to do so for them, talk with them about it. Let them know things feel unfair, and see if they'd be willing to put in more effort.
You're The One Who Makes All The Plans
Sometimes one member of the relationship is better at planning than the other. If that person is you, then the ball might be in your court when it comes to making plans, schedule dates, etc. But take note if you're the one who's always gungho to hang out, while your partner constantly balks and cancels plans. Or is nowhere to be found until you decide to give them a call.
"If you take all the initiative to plan dates and organize time together, your partner clearly isn’t as invested as you in the relationship," says Bennett. "While planning isn’t everyone’s strength, taking some initiative to see the person you supposedly love shouldn’t be difficult."
You Always Reach Out First
The fact you want to talk to your partner, even when you're apart, is a sign you're taking things seriously. "When you love someone you think about them a lot," says Herring. "So it makes sense that you're texting them frequently."
But how's the response ratio from your partner? If they aren't much of a texter, and thus aren't
ever looking at their phone, then you shouldn't read into the fact they don't respond. It may not feel good, however, if you know that they text everyone else back, but leave you in the dust.
This is something you should talk about ASAP. If your partner can't meet your needs when it comes to dolling out a healthy amount of attention, it may be time to move on.
You Tolerate Their Annoying Habits
Sure, your partner always leaves their wet towel lying on the bed. And they can't seem to wash their dishes in any sort of timely fashion. And yet, because you love them so much, these quirks don't ever feel like a dealbreaker.
Since you're planning on staying in the relationship long-term, you know that it's important to overlook these little habits, as a way of keeping the peace. But if your partner's not reciprocating — and they're annoyed with you at every turn — it could mean they're not feelin' the love right now.
And this is something you need to address, ASAP. When things aren't balanced, "it can create conflict and resentment which can actually erode a relationship," clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow, host of
The Web radio show, tells Bustle. "The key is to remember to love your partner but not sacrifice yourself so much that you build up frustration and resentment. State your needs even if that means stating that you need more love from them because in most cases that is all it takes to tip the scales back to balance."
Your Partner Has Met Your Family, But You Haven't Met Theirs
"If your partner is keeping you in the shadows instead of introducing you to friends and family, that is a big red flag," Julie Amman, a professional matchmaker at
It's Just Lunch Madison, tells Bustle. Someone who was taking the relationship seriously would happily introduce you to the important people of their life.
So don't sit idly by, or wait too long for an invite to a family holiday party. Tell your partner you think it's time you start integrating your lives, and meeting each other's families. If they're a keeper, they'll be all about it.
You're Nowhere To Be Seen On Their Social Media
While it's your partner's prerogative to keep their personal life private, and they may not be too big on posting on social media, it's worth noting whether or not they mention you at all if they're active on their accounts. "Do you show up in your partner's feed? If you aren't front and center, that's a sign [they are] keeping you hidden," says Amman. Usually, a person who's invested in their relationship won't think twice before talking about it with friends and family, or sharing a few moments online. So it's OK to feel a bit concerned, if you share photos and they don't.
Again, this is something you should talk about, since there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation.
You Wouldn't Consider An Emotional Affair, But They Might
When someone isn't feeling invested in a relationship, things like
physical and emotional affairs become all the more likely, since you might look to have your needs met outside the relationship.
If you're invested, you wouldn't dream of such a thing. But take note if it seems like your partner flirts with others, or has unhealthy relationships with people on the side, as it may be a way to gauge their investment. As Amman says, "Your partner may not be cheating on you physically, but are they involved with someone else emotionally? If your partner keeps close, private relationships with someone else, that's a red flag."
You Call Them First With Big News
You know you're in love when your partner is officially the first person you'd call with big news — good or bad. If you get a job offer, they get a call. And if you get fired, they're the one you turn to for comfort.
But who does your partner call? "Are you on speed dial whether your partner gets a promotion or loses their biggest account at work? If you're not the first call they make, that's a sign you may be more in love than they are," Amman says. Maybe they haven't gotten to that same level yet and need a bit more time, or they're just not taking the relationship seriously. Either way, you need to know.
You Know All About Them
If you could score a 100 on a quiz about your partner's life, but they fumble to remember your birthday, that may be your answer right there. People who are invested in a relationship will have a lot of curiosity when it comes to their partner, and they'll take the time necessary to get to know them on a deeper level.
"If your partner isn't willing to open up about their life," you may be the one who's more in love,
therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW tells Bustle. Keep in mind, though, that everyone brings their own strengths and weaknesses and interests to a relationship.
"It is not necessary to even the playing field," she says. "People express love in different ways. Just because your partner expresses love a certain way doesn't mean your love is stronger." It may just mean
you give and show love in different ways.
Do, however, keep in mind that it's perfectly OK to call it quits on a relationship that feels unfair — and stays that way no matter what you say or do. If you aren't getting the level of love you want, it may be time to move on.