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Are you, or have you ever found yourself, in a relationship where you’re carrying the bulk of the load? Sometimes our partnerships can feel a little unevenly weighted, and that exhausting relationship dynamic can be described as an “asymmetrical relationship.”

According to researchers at the Family Process Institute, asymmetrical relationships are, “relationships in which there is a substantial difference in the commitment levels of the partners.”

The social scientist’s theory is based on the concept of the “Principle of Least Interest,” introduced into academia by sociologist Willard Wallar, Elite Daily reports.  The principle explains that the person who’s least interested in a connection has the most control.

Perhaps this is where the idea of the “give no f*cks” dating culture emerged. Often times, the person who calls firsts, texts first or takes any initiative at all in a relationship is considered the most vulnerable party in the partnership. This trend can evolve throughout dating until one person becomes drained from the imbalance of give and take.

Here are some signs you’re in an asymmetrical relationship, according to the study and reported by Elite Daily:

  1. Does the person you’re currently into seem to operate under the assumption that there are “plenty of fish” in the sea?
  2. Have they cheated on you?
  3. Do they have an avoidant attachment style (which means they have difficulty opening up and getting close to people)?
  4. Do they have a lot of exes? Were their parents never married?

The study didn’t find personality links between people who tend to be the least invested in a relationship, but they did find that they all carry characteristics of an anxious attachment style, which means they question if their significant others are really committed to them.

If this sounds like a lot to, you’re right. But aren’t we all? It’s important in any partnership to evaluate what you can mentally and emotionally tolerate. There could be someone whose way of loving matches yours more closely.

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