4 Steps To Get Your Man To Step Up In A Relationship (Today Show)

After some downtime in London with family, I’m back in New York and have just shot another segment of ‘The Other View’ on The Today Show. Enjoy!

(Having trouble viewing the video? Try this link instead.)

From the video…

Erika asks, “Is it good to stay friendly with your ex?”

The question to ask yourself here is, ‘who ended it?’

If it was you, staying friends isn’t helping him.

If it was them, staying friends with them isn’t helping you.

That isn’t to say that’s going to be the case forever, but until you’ve reached a point where you can genuinely say things are platonic and you don’t feel anything (and they don’t either), it’s better to keep a distance between you.

Rarely you hear the person being dumped suggesting you stay friends, and so if you were the one to end things be empathetic to the fact they’re deeply hurting and how they likely still feel towards you.

Leah asks, “My fiancé never wants to do anything with me. No matter how many times I try to plan something, he just sits at home being ‘tired from work’. What should I do?”

Any number of issues come down to the way you communicate.

Here are 4 steps to determine whether he’s wrong or right for you…

1) Find the right time

Leah first needs to find an emotionally neutral moment to communicate with him. Don’t wait until he’s next angry and tired for things to blow up, or you’ll get in a heated debate, and he’ll feel forced to defend his position.

2) Empathise with how he feels

When it’s the right time, firstly show you want to empathise and help.

“I know you’re tired from work, I know you’re busy, is there anything I can do?”

3) Show him what you want

Don’t make things about ‘going out’ – make it specifically about going out with him, as that’s going to play to the part of him that’ll make him feel good.

4) Give him a minute to change

After you’ve talked with him, don’t expect him to change overnight. Don’t give him a lifetime to change, but give him a fair chance to step up.

Question of the day:

Is staying friends with an ex ever a good idea? I want to hear success stories from people who have done it.

Who ended things? Who initiated the friendship? How long did it take to ‘cool off’ after the relationship? Let me know in the comments below!

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66 Replies to “4 Steps To Get Your Man To Step Up In A Relationship (Today Show)”

    1. I agree. I used to think it was only the SAD pathetic BLONDE cause she was getting older among other personal problems she mentions on the show but Hoda is just as hopeless being single and so UNhappy, and being around these anchors is as if they want to drag everyone down to drawn with them. today show is a LAME unreal news worthy US show just like most of the US news especially the RUSSELL BRAND interview which he handled well, whats up with the blondes (fake or real hair colored) are they all crazy?

  • I have 2 exes that I have kept in contact with over the years, whom I would consider lifelong friendships. One I have known since 1984, the other since 1994. I initiated the breakup in both cases. In both cases, I soon moved to another city, which meant that the initial “friendship” contact was by phone, which I think eased the transition.

    There are two things that helped those friendships thrive: 1. The particular men’s personalities. They are quite calm, not jealous, really want to see me happy, were accepting of the breakup, etc. The friendship part was definitely easier after they had a new woman in their lives. 2. Having very clear boundaries around sex, as in, I don’t get sexual with guys after a breakup. That took the issue off the table, and allowed us to see what other ways we could connect.

    These friendships have been a real blessing to me, particularly since my marriage ended in 2012. It has been so helpful to have 2 men I respect and admire give me their support, viewpoints and advice. It has helped me understand men better, and has helped me get a clearer sense of what qualities I value in a relationship.

    One relationship where I have not been able to have a post-breakup friendship is with my ex-husband, who is a very jealous, blaming type.

    Matt, you are so right that being friends with an ex is not advisable when one person still has romantic or hurt feelings about the other person.

  • It’s funny that this was the topic this week because it’s been something I wanted to ask to cover in the webinar. I was dating someone in the UK for several months before moving back to the states. Things sort of carried on unofficially for a while until he grew very distant and stopped responding to messages and emails. Months later after not talking I sent him a message congratulating him on something and his response was to request that I stop liking and commenting on his Facebook. We’re both seeing different people now, but it breaks my heart that he doesn’t seem to care at all, even just to see how I am. It makes me feel that my sole worth and value as a person to him is only relevant if we’re dating and that’s hard. Did I try too hard to “stay friends” and ultimately drove him away? Am I hoping for a friendship that just never is going to happen? Is there anything I can do to try and salvage the situation?

  • I’ve only got two ex-boyfriends from about 12 years ago and if I was to pass them in the street, I would just say ‘Hello’ and that would be it. I couldn’t care less if I never saw them again. I have been on a few dates over the years but obviously they didn’t get any more than that, most of them were jerks, so they can get stuffed, I don’t care as long as I never see them again,
    Hope you’re all having a great day :O)
    Angela K.

  • My ex left me for another woman after a nearly 7 year relationship. It was not the healthiest of relationships, so his leaving me was actually a good thing for me. Despite the fact that it was he who initiated wanting to leave (and I did not stop him), he steadfastly kept in touch with me without any encouragement from me. I hurt in the beginning, but then I got used to the fact that we were better as friends than we ever were as lovers. We keep in touch from time to time.

  • Hi Matt,

    Great segment on the Today Show. The three of you have a wonderful dynamic together which makes it fun even when dealing with a question that could bring up mixed emotions from the audience. In my experience I have not kept in touch with my ex boyfriends. At first it was too painful to be friends but then life went on. There are only 2 people who I’ve had serious relationships with. One ended not on the best terms and the other was a mutual break up. I feel that staying friends with them will hinder future interactions with men. The movie Eat, Pray, Love says it well: “Send him some light and love everytime you think about him, then drop it.You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of [him] because then you’ll be really alone, and [you’re] scared to death of what will happen if [you’re] really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand… If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in… and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using [him] to block that door. Let it go.” For me personally the feelings I had for someone will in someway always be there. Bad ending or not I feel that part of me will always care for them, not in the same way mind you, but it would still affect a friendship. So that is exactly what I do when something triggers a memory of them. I send them light and love and I’m on my way.

    Have a great evening everyone :)

  • Hey Matt, Wow this is my first post on here. I was hoping someone would ask this question. We met through a friend he initiated the friendship we both started college together but in adjacent universities. He treated me initially with a lot of respect and really looked after to me. So I was excited thinking our closeness might get him to ask me out. Instead however he told me how kissing me was a mistake and how he wasn’t over his ex and couldnt comit.Yet he wanted to still be very close and he really liked me and would like stay friends. I asked if i should wait but he left things ambigious saying when I like a girl I do for a long time but Im not sure when ill be able to commit I was extremely hurt but decided to move on. I told him I’d prefer some space. He gave me lots of it. Yet after a while when he saw me at campus parties he tried to get close again and one day asked if we could be friends and go to a concert together in a city nearby. I agreed and travelled with him and his friends to go see this concert as I geniunely wanted to go to this,however he left me stranded in this city that night as he got drunk. He didn’t contact me and or say anything the next day. In an unknown city I somehow managed to get back home. I felt extremely betrayed and disrespected as a friend to be ditched in a random city especially since he had promised to drop me to a friends place in that city for the night. I came back to college after and bumped into him in various places but ignored him. Till one day he told me how he was sorry he said mean things at the concert and that he cared a lot for me and his ex and seeing her at this concert he got sad.I told him he didn’t say mean things infact he said nothing when we were at the concert but no friend ever leaves someone stranded especially a city he knows well. I was also secretly hurt at him putting me and his ex on the same page. By this point I was slowly loosing my feelings for him. He aplogised a lot. We kept bumping into places here and there I saw him hold hands with some girls at parties and initially things were very awkward but some months past. Even though I hated him soo much it still made me want him. One day a friend of his asked me however if I hated him and I thought to myself and said I dont.I always wanted to give him some kind of revenge but then I realised the best kind of it would be owing and creatinf the best version of myself for myself. I watched a lot of your videos and they’ve helped me gain strength and hope. Now when I see him even if he’s awkward I exchange pleasantries,as for me being cordial made me forgive and forget and genuinely move on. I’ve spent a good year and half since he rejected me to move on and create a new me. Yet now I really want to be able to have a fulfilling relationship but I don’t know what will happen and whethe someone who really values me and who I’m really attracted too will be found in college.I have a lot of friends and a an awesome life but I’d love to dirstibute some love and have someone. Am I too deserve it?Will I get a boyfriend soon? Please reply Matt I’ve been itching for an answer or help! Love Pallavi

  • I have a Question a bit out of topic.
    But what if I’m oversees and I’m only communicating with a guy via facebook for example. How can I get that guy’s attention and make him step up with a move? I have initiated a few conversations and he does go along, but never initiates himself a conversation. We used to work together a few years ago and we had a really nice friendship and some flirtation every now and then.I don’t know if he’s single or not, and it would be awkward to ask or to flirt with him now via text chat. Now, he is super focused on his work as well.

    So Matt what should I do, or how should I think about such a topic?

  • Hi Mathew!
    I just want to say first off that I do thoroughly enjoy reading and watching your blog; very enlightening and entertaining. :)

    I need your expertise…

    I have a situation at hand that I am not sure how to decipher.
    I am currently on a dating site (yes I know it’s greatly looked upon ;) ) I am talking with a very ambitious business man that lives in Australia; now I should let you know that I am not in Australia yet, I am in North America. I am moving to Australia in 2 months. So back to this man, we have taken our conversations out of the dating web site and on to actual email; we have spoken on the phone once for a lengthy amount of time I might add. Over our recent emails he tells me he wants me in his life. Through out our conversations over the past month we have discussed dreams, ambitions, out looks on life, our goals, experiences ect. In his second to last letter to me he makes a notion saying that he “can be all that I want, crave and desire, you can stare in to my eyes, feel my soul, kiss his heart, and breath through my lungs” literally his words! That he wants me for all that I am, that he is going to hold off sex until I get there, and that he has never had a mental connection like this with anyone!! I responded to his email with great enthusiasm and joy; and that I myself had never experienced such a strong connection, but! stated one thing differently (and I think this is maybe where I scared him off) I told him it was quite a notion to make, that it is bafflingly flattering, I asked if he was sure he actually meant it or if it was just in the moment, that I had never had anyone say that to me before, and that he gives a lot of power away by saying something like that. (And this is a man that holds personal power very high on his priority list by the way) Anyways after I sent the letter I had not gotten a response for 4 days. So I started wondering if I had written something insulting. I wrote him a short and sweet letter asking if I had insulted him, and that I would rather him tell me he is not interested up front, and I do not fear rejection. I also said that he was sending mixed messages. That same day!! He sent me a letter saying that “there is no mixed messages!!” that he had attempted to write back on many occasions but that he was burnt out from work and was lacking in sleep, that he was going to respond to my email in full that day…well it has been two days now; and no response! I do not know what to do. I have a very intense and high connection with this man; but I think he might just be toying with me…
    Any advice?

    By the way I want to also thank you for taking some of your time to read this letter. It is very much appreciated!

  • Hi Matt,

    I’ve known someone for almost 8 months where in between we’ve talked and he proclaimed he doesn’t want a relationship but we continued hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. The other day it came about time where things were getting steamy but I stopped and asked to want to re-evaluate our understanding as two people as two friends don’t really do certain things. We talked about it and he proclaims he still wants to hang out.

    what do I do?

  • No, don’t be friends with your ex. You both have moved on. What is the point? No children involved? Then why? You can be cordial, and kind when a social occasion comes up, but enjoy your life and let him live his. No bad feelings, just move on. You most likely have enough lady friends, and if not, it’s high time you invest in yourself and your friendships with women, who will be there thru thick and thin. Just my two cents. We as women deserve to be there for ourselves and stop engaging in old patterns and old relationships.

  • My boyfriend and I have been together for several years. We have not officially broken up, but I would say that we are just friends now. I have not talked to him about it. It was kind of a gradual thing. We only see each other, but we have a platonic relationship, and I think we will be “together” for many more years. He is my best friend.

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