Is Coronavirus Revealing You Have a One-Sided Relationship?

Just this morning, I had the pleasure of working with a woman who is in my live coaching group, and she confided that she was having an issue with her boyfriend.

It quickly became clear to me that her needs were being ignored, and that she was ignoring a conversation she needed to have. Something I’m worried too many people are doing right now.

If you’re in a similar situation, where you’re feeling scared to ask for what you need, then you need to watch this video…

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Well, here we are. This T-shirt, these jeans, this belt I’m wearing, accessories: It’s all a lie. I have not looked like this in, not just hours, but days. I’m even, like… Do you see me adjusting my shirt? That’s me sort of trying to hide my newfound belly.

Anyway, hello. Another week in isolation.

There was a woman who I had the pleasure of working with for a little while this morning, who told me of an issue she’s got with her boyfriend who is now long-distance. They live about 30 minutes apart, they’re not seeing each other. I asked her, are they speaking every day? It was just a casual question, I didn’t know that anything would come of it. I said, “Oh, that must be tough. Are you speaking every day?”

She said, “Well, actually we text every day, but we speak on the phone about once a week.”

I thought, “Oh, that’s interesting.” Because I don’t know many people, who, in a relationship, can get by on just one phone call a week. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with that. There are many ways to have a relationship and it depends on how each person feels. But I know for me that wouldn’t be nearly enough. So I said to her, “Is that enough for you?” I said, “Is it you don’t like talking on the phone? Does he not like talking on the phone?”

She said, “Well, he doesn’t like talking on the phone.”

I said, “Well, have you talked to him about it?”

She said, “Well, he’s kind of stubborn,” and she kind of almost shrugged that off like it was a cute quality of his.

And I said, “Well, do you want to have that conversation?”

She said, “Well, I don’t know. I mean, I think it’s good for me anyway, because I need to focus on my independence and I think this is actually a good time for me to do that, is to focus on being more independent.”

Now, I’m always interested in those moments where people find ways to square in their own minds something that maybe isn’t meeting their needs. Because clearly, this person – because even when I said to her, “Do you like speaking on the phone?” she lit up. She said, “Oh, I love speaking on the phone.”

I said, “So this is not a situation that’s meeting your needs. I get that you want to be more independent or that you feel that’s something that you could focus on during this time, and that’s wonderful. But there’s a quote from one of my favorite movies, Interstellar, where Matthew McConaughey’s father-in-law says to him, ‘Never trust the right thing done for the wrong reason.'”

And I would apply that in this case that, whilst it may be a good thing for her, and all of us, to focus on our independence and our ability to take care of ourselves or self-soothe at times, in this case it was being used as justification for her not speaking up about her needs, which really wasn’t happening because she was afraid of what might happen if she did.

When we’re afraid to bring up our needs, what is it we’re scared of? We’re scared that we might be seen as high maintenance. We’re scared that it might lead to confrontation. We’re scared that we might seem weak or needy or overly vulnerable and that will be perceived as unattractive. We’re afraid that we’ll be perceived as a nag. At its most extreme, we’re afraid that, rightly or wrongly, rationally or irrationally, us bringing something up could precipitate a breakup.

We’ve pictured the unhappiness of someone leaving, but we’re not associating with the unhappiness we already have in our needs not being met. We are already in pain if our needs aren’t being met in the situation we’re in. We’re not avoiding pain, we are in pain. We’re just in a different kind of pain.

That’s something that can be avoided by, a) approaching something with confidence, with calm. And of course we’re going to have emotion, but try to have some emotional neutrality in the moment, so that you’re able to make your case without losing control to your emotions, where you now get angry or excessively upset when you’re trying to just communicate that, “Hey, this is something that’s important to me. It may not be right or wrong that you don’t want to speak to me as much as I want to speak to you. But it’s not enough for me right now. It’s not enough connection.”

I see a relationship as a blending of two colors. You represent a color, he represents a color.

In a bad relationship that’s imbalanced, where one person holds all the power or is in the driving seat and dictates the rhythm, the routine, the atmosphere, the environment of the relationship, it’s almost like this person has this really dominant color and one person comes along and puts a droplet of their color in there, just to stain that color slightly, but ultimately, it remains this person’s color. So the entire relationship now is the color of this person.

If you’ve ever been in the driver’s seat, you’ve noticed this in reverse. They added a tiny drop of their color to you but ultimately the hue of the relationship, the color of the relationship was your color.

In a really balanced and positive relationship, two colors blend together to create a new color altogether. A beautiful, bright, new color that is the representation of both worlds. Both personalities. Both sets of routines. Both sets of ideas. We, of course, retain our individual colors outside of that, but the relationship’s color is an equal representation of the two. As opposed to this person retains their individual color and also makes sure the entire relationship is their color as well.

So ask yourself this question, whether you’re married, whether you’ve been together a few years, or whether you’re just starting out with someone: What’s the color of your relationship? And is that color representative of a balanced blend of the both of you? Or have you, through a desire to appease, to please, to placate, to hold on to that relationship, allowed it to become 90% their color and 10% yours, all the while pretending to yourself that their color is yours too?

If you’re watching this and thinking, “I want to be braver, this is going to require some bravery and I want to push myself to get outside my comfort zone,” then I invite you to watch a training where I coach a woman on stage and show her exactly how to do that. I think that by watching her, you’ll also see how you too can be braver and get out of your comfort zone. So go to this link, check it out, and I will see you there.

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27 Replies to “Is Coronavirus Revealing You Have a One-Sided Relationship?”

  • Not only did my had-to-be-ex ignore me 6 weeks ago, when I asked him if there was any hand sanitizer in his neighborhood, as there was none available near me, (a slap in the face for sure!), there was more, and worse, to follow. He is really into porn big-time. I asked him to please not watch it when we talked on the phone, as it was disrespectul to me, and he just totally refused, calling me the next night, and simply babbled quickly, like a big, dumb, spoiled, baby brat, “I don’t wanna!!” So, there are no phone calls for me anymore from this narcissist, whom I dated for 3.5 yrs., in this awful time of corona. Who can top that story?

  • Love this…and I feel we are doing everything right so far. He is 1.5 hr from me. We had been out about 4 times before this CV19, but had talked since January. It is funny because we met on a dating site, we have common occupations and it is a good foundation. We initially started talking through Snapchat after the messaging through the dating site. We did this until we were ready to move to exchanging phone numbers (I waited for him to give me his number and ask me to call). In response, I gave him my number back, and he called me first. We then moved to Facebook friends and also chatted through messenger..I found him still messaging me through Snap and messenger, even though he had my phone number, and we have chatted on the phone a few times. Well, I just came forward last week and I explained to him that at this point, it was important to me to mainly speak through text and phone calls. I am doing this because to me exclusively chatting through messenger or Snap is shady…like it makes me wonder if a man is hiding something (I did not tell him this though). Well, he has pleasantly responded to me telling him my needs and me saying that it is important to me at this point for us to talk more through actual text and phone calls. I got Matt’s ebook “How to Talk to Men”. I have been reading it, and have using some of the scripts appropriately. Telling him to call me the way specified had definitely gotten me somewhere with him. Since we are moving slowly, I feel this is helping us and we are doing good so far by talking in the phone, which I have nudged him to do more of. It helps us get to know each other still even though we can’t go out…which he has told me he can’t wait to see me again once the stay home orders are lifted and we are able to go somewhere that is open.

  • You are so beautiful, Matt. So cute, such a lovely person. And funny too, as you are making fun of your tiny belly! Anyway, you are right once again. Thank you for this nice and valuable video.

  • As the woman who Matthew talked to on the video chat, I can honestly say that having a discussion with my boyfriend (my lovely stubborn and independent boyfriend) that same evening was a changer… I have excused his ways and not been as assertive as I should be. Giving of myself more than I get back and accepting too much.
    Thank you again for having the time to do an impromptu session with me and helping me in a way I didn’t expect.

    Since that conversation, my guy and I have talked more and I even showed him this video so he could understand what I didn’t say well enough. Though he had his doubts about a relationship coach lol, he did say that he supports me if I get advice and assistance from you ;)

    He appreciated the explanation of the color analogy in what you said in this video (again I must not have done well enough lol) and I am so glad I could have the ability to bring up this to him so hopefully our relationship, as odd and quirky as it is, grows and doesn’t get dominated just because I’m accepting less than I deserve.

    Thank you again… For your knowledge, charisma and the patience to not whip me upside the head when we chatted haha

    Best wishes and yes I’m a member of your posse now… I’ve seen the light:)

  • Hey Matt. I have same situation as her but we aren’t in relationships. We far from each other. I used to crush in him during high school. He’s my senior back then. After he graduated we didn’t see each other again. So last month it’s apart of instagram challenge something like that when he was the first person who liked the picture so I need to send him a text about the game rules. But then it took me a few minutes to think should I send it to him or not? After that I said “nah it just a game anyway” so I sent to him. I thought he not going to reply me but he did! And we having a conversation after so many years never in touch with each other. Since that day he text me everyday and that feeling cone back again. He know my feeling towards him tho. I told him I hope he text me not bcs he bored or take advantage for me. He told me not to worried about it. There’s a time he being sweet, there’s a time he being romantic. When I asked him his real feeling towards me he said “I can’t tell you everything through text because action speaks louder than a words”. But these few days, we less texting not like usual we always text each other and flirt each other. I clearly don’t know is he feel the same as I did? Is he not interested on me? He told me he still wanna talk to me but just because these few days he less texting me it makes me overthinking about it. What should I do?

  • Crazy thing. Before it was definitely a one-sided relationship, and we ended up breaking up, but we remained friends and in that time he actually got to know me better. I leaned back, followed a lot of your advice in “how to get him running back”. Now he’s initiating more contact, he’s showing more effort, even expressing his feelings more. We’re slowly moving towards eachother, but I’m letting him do more work, creating that space. We’re also working on mask projects together to try to help save lives, being a team fighting the worst crisis of our lives together and that’s created a bonding mechanism. Grateful, patient, I’m in no hurry. We’re building something here.

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