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In the perfect friendship, the two of you are working hard to give each other the most equal amount of attention possible. However, there are times when it feels like only one person is making an effort to keep the friendship thriving.

Name: Eva

What is my age: I'm 34 years old

Conversations with friends I used to talk with regularly, if not daily, became sparse. And on particularly bad days, I would look at my phone and feel a weighted pressure of sadness in my chest when no new texts came in.

Did the pandemic transform my relationships into one-sided friendships? because i feel like i always text first

Always being the one to initiate made me feel like I value my relationships with others more than they do, and that what we have is nothing more than a one-sided friendship. And even if my anxieties and insecurities were nullified by a great interaction that, again, only happened after I reached outthe lack of forethought on their part still left me feeling hurt.

For instance, your impulse may be to call a friend and vent, whereas that friend might feel like receding from the world to introspect. And while these differing stress responses may exist all the time, when external stressors are ubiquitous and felt in a largely universal way—like in this tension-filled pandemic landscape—maintaining a sense of perspective and objectivity can get more complicated.

If you go this route—and with a best friend, sibling, or parent, it can absolutely be worth broaching—Dr. Bonior suggests steering clear of accusations. Maybe they prefer phone calls to Zoom because they can simultaneously cook dinner. Or maybe, as one of my closest friends let me know early on in the pandemic, they feel like withdrawing more and will be around, but just a little less often than normal.

I have friends who fall into that category, and my reasoning is that they just have a different threshold for needing to reach out.

Either bring up your feelings about the one-sided friendship gently, or just let it go

One is very introverted and rarely calls anyone first; another lives with multiple roommates and already has friends around her all the time. Bonior says.

And, extending that empathy can strengthen our relationships, regardless of who sends the first text. Oh hi!

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Situations like this hypothetical one are emblematic of new strains we may feel on our relationships on top of craving more connection to get through this isolating time. Related Stories.

Experts Referenced. Andrea Bonior, PhD. Clinical psychologist.

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Not convinced?


It can be confusing, frustrating, and insecurity-provoking when your friends don't treat the relationship the way you expect them to.